๐ป๐‘’๐“‡๐‘’ ๐’ฒ๐‘’ ๐’ข๐‘œ ๐’œ๐‘”๐’ถ๐’พ๐“ƒ…

Drawing of a medical bed with many circles in the background, with overlaying rain. Over it, are lyrics from Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars”
Since the surgery, my knee hasnโ€™t been bending past 60 degrees. I go to Physical Therapy and I do all of my exercises, but it seems that no matter what I do, there is progress everywhere except the kneeโ€ฆ

Since the surgery, my knee hasnโ€™t been bending past 60 degrees. I go to Physical Therapy and I do all of my exercises, but it seems that no matter what I do, there is progress everywhere except the kneeโ€ฆ

This isnโ€™t the update I hoped I would be writing, but here we are. I finally had my second post-op appointment this Friday, to check up on my progress. I started worrying about a week ago because in Physical Therapy they kept asking when Iโ€™m going to see the doctor. They always asked me when they were manipulating my knee to bend.

I love the PT that I go to. They put together such an amazing team of people; even the patients seem to add life to this place. Some of the patients were joking that they should have a reality TV show with the staff as the main characters and the patients as returning characters. Maybe even some romances can start. The mood in PT is light and upbeat, which is a lot to ask for when most of the people there are being pushed past their limits. Sometimes I really think: Is my knee actually going to snap in a second if he keeps pushing?

This past Thursday, the PT doctor was manipulating my knee as usual, and as I squinted my eyes and bit the inside of my lower lips, he again asked โ€œYouโ€™re seeing your surgeon tomorrow, right?โ€ My heart fluttered around in my chest as if the doctor just said something bad. 

โ€œYep.โ€ I replied. I looked at the doctorโ€™s face and he wasnโ€™t smiling like usual. The mood around his question wasnโ€™t light, and I could tell that I needed to be worried. Nonetheless, I went home afterward and tried not to think too much. I was seeing the doctor the next day.

Friday rolls around and I see my surgeon. Itโ€™s important to know that my surgeon has a very mellow personality. When he talks, no matter what heโ€™s telling you, you feel a sense of calmness. So, after getting my X-rays taken in the office, I went to the room and waited for my surgeon.

I had a lot to tell my surgeon because after getting my Ganglion Cyst (in my wrist) aspirated, it had been coming to the surface in a bubble and then draining. I had to keep squeezing out jelly-like, clear fluid. Also, my lower back has been causing me a lot of pain and I still had a bruise below my tailbone, and first and foremost, my knee was still not bending.

My surgeon asked me how I was doing post surgery. I led with the knee because thatโ€™s what was causing the most concern.

โ€œOkay, hop up here, letโ€™s have a lookโ€ he said in his Xanax-like voice. So I did. He moved my knee around a little bit and then he told me to rest my legs off the edge of the exam table. I dropped my legs and my left leg slowly contoured the edge of the table. My right leg, though, hung in the air like a flag. My surgeonโ€™s subtle smile quickly faded as he realized that my leg was bent as far as it could go. I saw panic in his face for the first time. His eyes darted from my leg, to the X-ray pictures on his screen, and back to my leg.

He immediately vocalized his worry. Apparently itโ€™s not normal for my knee to not get past 60 degrees after 7 weeks. He got another set of X-Rays – this time of only my knee. The X-rays were inconclusive, but either way, he said he has to book me in for his nearest surgery slot; the reason being that most likely my scar tissue has built up so much that itโ€™s blocking my knee from bending all the way. He has to take me in to manipulate my knee as much as it can go, but I have to be under anesthesia because it will be unbearably painful. FUN! On the bright side, there will be no addition cuts being made (AKA no additional scars being made).

In the meantime, I had to get an MRI as soon as possible before the surgery date. I donโ€™t know if any of you have had an MRI before, but usually it takes a few days for the insurance company to approve you to get an MRI with coverage from your insurance company. Since it was a Friday when I saw the doctor, I was shooting for getting the MRI maybe on Tuesday if all goes well. My approval for the MRI was done the same day, and even though I needed a specific machine that had limited availability (due to me having a metal rod in my leg, which interferes with the MRI reading), I was able to get an appointment for an MRI for that same day. The process went unbelievably quick! Is anyone else as shocked as I am? Nobody? Okay, moving on.

My surgeonโ€™s office called me on Monday and said there was nothing significant on the MRI, so we are scheduled for a Knee Manipulation, as planned. Since Iโ€™ll already be under anesthesia, my surgeon will cut out my Ganglion Cyst as well. I donโ€™t want to keep getting knocked out for surgeries and procedures. I think Iโ€™ve had enough for my โ€œyounger yearsโ€.

I am feeling a little bit down because after the cyst removal, I will be unable to create art for a little while. I just made a Polyptych this past Saturday that I am so proud of. It felt so good to be able to paint, that I am devastated to have that  ability โ€œstolenโ€ from me – even just for a little while. Every artist knows that when you stop practicing for a little while, you have to work twice as hard when you start back up again.

Please keep me in your thoughts this week! I will be back as soon as I can type again (hopefully not too long after surgery).

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