diagnosis

I was really looking forward to this doctor’s appointment, seriously. Going on three months of hobbling around, feeling silly, and not running combined makes me ready for this to be over. I feel like every summer something stupid happens to me and I have to go see a million specialists and pursue some sort of therapy regardless of what I do.

I realize this is extremely fatalistic, but it has kind of become my life.

So I saw the doctor, had my knees x-rayed (nowhere NEAR as exciting as the MRI, let me tell you), sat in a cold examining room while he developed the films, and finally had a short chat with him.

normal knee x-ray (not mine)

normal knee x-ray (not mine) taken from trentmueller.com

He says I have Patellofemoral pain syndrome. It’s also called “runner’s knee”, and it is also called “something that ladies sometimes get especially if you are loose-jointed” (which I am). Basically, my kneecaps sit off to the side, which has ground a lot of the cartilage off of the top of my knees. And because of that I have osteoarthritis (again, both knees). He has prescribed some physical therapy, but that is about all there is to do, besides pain medications and just learning to deal with this for the rest of my life.

I realize that this isn’t a death sentence, it could absolutely have been a worse diagnosis, but still.

This is incredibly discouraging. I have to avoid high-impact workouts like running, crossfit, etc, and pick up on low-impact workouts. My knees are always going to hurt.

Now, I’m an extrovert, and the baby of the family. I’m used to and often enjoy being the center of attention. It’s a part of who I am, how I entertain and make friends, and also my job. Since I’ve started having joint issues in high school, I often get to this point in the cycle of pain and achy-ness where I get incredibly paranoid about the pain, and how people react to my pain. I essentially get to this place where I feel like a) nobody believes that I’m actually in pain and b) everyone thinks that I am talking about it/ going to the doctor for more attention.

This is pretty much where I say (more for myself than for anyone else):
I DO NOT WANT THIS TO BE MY LIFE.

seriously.

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M.R.I.

About a month ago, I went out for my thrice weekly run and after a solid minute of warm-up walking, I had to hobble back home due to the incredible sensation of an invisible four inch spike penetrating my kneecap.

Ever since, my daily ability to stand or walk has been questionable.
So, yeah, that’s been great.

I finally saw a doctor about two weeks ago (the theory is that I have probably torn my meniscus), and today had Baby’s First MRI. They ask you about a hundred times if you have a metal chassis laid over your skeleton or if you’re claustrophobic before you get in the machine. Of course, you know better, and you check “N” all over the forms because of course you’re not some crazy awesome-type-supermutant, and also, who is claustrophobic these days? Not this guy.

Yeah.

So… the instant I sit down to take off my knee-brace, it flies through the air and hits the colossus’s magnet with a sickening THWUMP. The technician and I both blink at the machine for a half second in surprise, while I’m thanking my lucky stars that the magnet wasn’t strong enough to take my already-injured-knee with it. (Although, getting a bionic knee installed kind of sounds hilariously awesome in theory.) Neither of us really figured that my brace was full of metal, but I guess that’s what we deserve for assuming, right? The nice technician lady took the liberty of wrestling it off of the magnet for me, and taking it out of the room before slowly wheeling me into a giant cave of molded plastic and loud noises.

I had a moment of panic as I was halfway enclosed in that giant, noisy tube. Thankfully, I am not burdened with claustrophobia, rather, I am burdened with the amazing gift of being terrified of Anything That Is About To Happen To me Right This Instant. (I’m not sure if there is a handy Latin phrase for this one) I calmed myself down by focusing on how the MRI seems to be made of the same plastic tubing that playgrounds are made of. And before the machine started jackhammering in my ears, my technician gave me headphones and I got to listen to Coldplay.

Man, of all the things, I never, ever thought I would listen to Viva La Vida while a giant magnet sends nuclei-enhancing death rays into my right knee.

Hopefully my doctor gets back to me in the next week or so, in the meantime, I shall continue to wear my metallic exoskeleton and hum Viva La Vida to myself while I hobble through life.