Update on Hiking Potential

May you stay forever young!

I looked at the blog title space when beginning this.  What do I title this mess of words that are about to be recorded?  The dream or obsession about hiking the AT is slipping through my fingers and truthfully at this point is long gone.  I had an MRI of the knee and while I want to get the results and see the images myself (I’ve had some medical training) and read the radiologists report slowly–the ortho doctor that I saw read the report fast and his message to me was pretty consistent from the first visit which was:

 …take this prescription anti-inflammatory and if it hurts when you “do that” then, “don’t do that.”

 Completely unacceptable IMHO.  

He says the MRI does not indicate any fracture or complete tear.  But I could see on the scan the lateral meniscus bulging and protruding into the capsule and there was a mention of the fibular head something or other–which is where it hurts.  It was a mute point anyway as even if the doctor did say a cortisone injection would help, no way would I trust the guy to administer it.  And I didn’t even care to ask him to explain the images and the MRI report from the radiologist because he kept ticking me off as he referred to my age.  I didn’t like the guy from the start and really wanted to be able to just get the report and the MRI images without having to see him again.  His attitude sucked.  Anyway…

I’m going to take the medical records and scans/xrays to my regular MD and see what he thinks.

I don’t want a surgery and if I had to choose, I’d probably choose to limp around and make the best of it.  I pretty much think so anyway.  

The ortho doc (and I’ve worked for a few of them as a PT and know of which I speak) was not about to back down from his original proclamation.  It’s arthritis so take this pill and stop doing anything that hurts.  Yeah? like walking or standing? I said.  And he smirked.  He smirked during both office visits.

The thing here is that he (I believe based on his responses to my questions and general attitude) …. I believe he see’s me as a fat old lady and I see view myself as an athlete!

I’m struggling with exercise asthma too.  After the office visit yesterday when I got the MRI result from him (which is different from the actual MRI result in my opinion), I went to the gym.  He said, you can do anything that you want even if it hurts because you can’t hurt your knee any worse, it’s just arthritis in an aging knee.

I got on my warrior attitude and hit the gym a few minutes later and couldn’t even complete a 30-min session on the spin bike without having an asthmatic situation.  I forgot to take a Singulair before leaving the house.  I was fine all summer and even winter (as long as I exercise inside during winter) with no need to take anything for exercise induced asthma.  The thing is you feel fine until about 20-min. into a cardio work out and then you feel like you have lead in your blood and it is a big struggle and when you are done (if you do manage to get through) it takes a good half hour or more to breathe normally again.  That’s without the medicine.  I can go 4 or 5 days without taking it and be fine and then you think you’re “over it” when you have it happen again.

Well, long story short, I managed 20 min. on the spin bike and had the breathing problem.  I just got my stuff and left the gym but going down the steps the knee hurt pretty bad again.  I felt like an old cripple and mightily discouraged.

I plan on taking some serious weight reduction steps (I always plan that) because that will cause less stress on the knee I’m sure.  And today I’m going to try to just walk a while on plain flat surfaces and see if the knee will handle that without swelling and throbbing.  I have to find a starting point.

I may have to start spending more time at the pool but today I feel sniffle-ly so I think just a walk on even ground to see if the knee will be okay with that.

The ortho doc snickered at me when I said that Meloxicam (prescription) made me nauseous.  He said, it’s no more than strong ibuprofen and I thought it better not to tackle him to the ground and yell in his face that ibuprofen makes me nauseous  and that’s why I came to him in the first place!

He says keep taking it until the pain cycle ends and the knee calms down; yet, he volunteers (I didn’t ask) that an injection of cortisone wouldn’t do any good.

Personally, I’d rather like to try a cortisone injection to avoid having to take the prescription–but not an injection from HIM!!   So  maybe he knew that even if he’d have volunteered to give me the cortisone, I’d have refused it.  No way.  I, truthfully, don’t know if he knows what he’s doing.  The guy kept on talking about a surgery would not help anything and I thought that strange because I did’t even ask for any surgery; I just wanted to know if there is a tear or what structurally is happening inside the knee.

 His physical exam was weak and wimpy and believe me I worked for several ortho doctors in my career in physical therapy and have seen plenty of knee exams.  

Well, I just really picked the wrong doctor and it has wasted so much time dealing with him.  But at least I got the MRI report and can get another opinion. 

By the way, this whole experience is why I usually avoid doctors as much as possible!

And, to back that up,  I waited 2 1/2 months before going to a doctor about this.  Just sayen’.

Xrays show a nice space between the bones so there’s no bone-on-bone or bone spurs or anything like that.  But something keeps pinching and catching at the back of my knee with every step, especially when there’s a lot of swelling.  And previously there was a huge amount of pinching and burning into THE UPPER LEFT CALF my leg.  The MRI report that he read at lightening speed mentioned “Baker’s Cyst” and that I already knew.  I know that a lot of docs don’t fully understand MRI radiology report language and I wouldn’t trust him to translate anyway.   Luckily, I think I know the symptoms of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) well enough and that wasn’t a personal concern for me anyway.  He never acted concerned about that.  The guy never even asked questions about my symptoms — just waved his magic want and pronounced me arthritic. 

My plan is to go see my regular MD (general practice) because I need another prescription for an inhaler and more Singular (best to have them handy if I need them) and while I’m there to ask him about my knee and cortisone injection.  I will say that the general practitioner that I go to did give me an injection in my shoulder once when I hurt it at the gym and I’ve not had a single problem since!  I trust him and he listens to you!  

I want to see the radiologist report and have ordered the CD of the images and xrays and the radiology report, etc.  I should have those sometime this week.

Well, that’s my update.  Our spring weather has been beyond ideal for hiking around the lake and day after day with a throbbing knee it’s hard not to imagine myself on a hike and feel bad about that.  I know I’d never make it up and down the first elevation change, trekking poles or not.  Geeze, I can barely make it down the stairs at the gym.  Going up is not so bad but going down–yeah, forget it.

I am no longer obsessed about hiking the A.T. —  for now it’s a faded dream barely there.  But despite that, I will come to this blog and post something every now and then.  And will keep some hope alive.

You need a knee to hike — otherwise, I’d have been to Maine and back quite a few times! 

cell block tango

If I can get another doc to at least try a cortisone injection in order to calm the knee down instead of drugging myself with a prescription that slows me down more –it does, I feel a little groggy after taking it… that will be good.  I did not tell him the prescription makes me groggy…..

 ….if I told him he’d just show that snickering smile again… and if he snickered ONE MORE TIME…..  and mentally I now break out into song THE CELL BLOCK TANGO  from Chicago,

“He had it comin’ (He had it comin’)
He only had himself to blame
If you’d a been there, if you’d a seen it
You would have done the same!”

Anyway, if cortisone will break the cycle of pain and swelling then I’d like to do that.  It worked for my shoulder last year.

ADDENDUM:  OH, and almost forgot.  I did try GLUCOSAMINE CHONDROITIN this week and while everything online by the AMA and doctors say it doesn’t work… I think it is making a bit of difference after only 2 days.  Spring Valley variety Triple Strength purchased at Wal Mart.  Just sayen’.


May you stay forever young.
May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young,

May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young,,,,

May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young

— Bob Dylan


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