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Friday, March 2, 2012

I'm Lucky?

In my last post I mentioned that I tore the meniscus in my left knee in the midst of my passing out from blood clot/going into cardiac arrest/open heart surgery debacle. It's the craziest thing. Even though the blood clot was with out a doubt the most terrifying experience I've ever had...the scary thing is telling the story to people in the medical field and seeing how scared they get. Everyone is shocked I'm still here because those clots were massive. Me too sometimes actually. I know that a lot of people don't make it, so it's quite incredible that I did.

But back to my knee...so it's been hurting ever since I came home from the hospital in July, not awful pain, just kinda annoying pain that I usually only noticed when I was at home and got up off the couch and couldn't straighten my left leg all the way. Ross said he found me on the floor when I passed out and I was in a weird position, so we figured I bruised it and it would go away. But for months it continued. However I had a few more pressing things on my mind...ahem lymphoma...so I kept forgetting to mention it to my doctor. Finally I did and they thought maybe it was pre arthritis...great! I'm officially old at 29 years old. Since it kept hurting, my hypochondria took over...I started googling knee pain and became convinced I had bone cancer and may lose my leg. You may have called me dramatic 2 years ago, but these days in my mind anything is possible. One of my doctor's suggested an MRI, but then my main doctor switched hospitals and there was a shuffle in all the paperwork/scheduling and it never happened. Finally last month I got the MRI. Mind you, I've been walking, climbing stairs and working out with this knee for months so it wasn't awful but I knew something wasn't right. And ta da...a torn meniscus. It's the inner part of the knee and I had a small tear and a sprain in the back. It all makes sense because people usually tear their meniscus in sports when they pivot suddenly. I literally fell on my bedroom floor without bracing myself so it was a similar action.

But then the word surgery was mentioned and I freaked. Please, no more surgery!! Thankfully my doctor said he didn't think I would need surgery, just physical therapy. I still wasn't excited about the possibility of more doctor visits on top of my very full schedule, so I admit it, I went home, googled "torn meniscus" (I can't help myself with the internet!), put ice on my knee and cried. I'm just so tired of stuff being wrong with me! Ross tried to comfort me and said that since I could walk and run, I would be fine and didn't need to worry, but I didn't want to listen.

Regardless I went to an orthopedic doctor who proudly told me that he works with the Yankees and Giants...ok don't really care...do I need surgery?? He recommended physical therapy as well because I'm on blood thinners, surgery would not be a good idea for me right now, it would only be an option if the PT didn't work. Thank God. So I started physical therapy this week and I'm so happy because my office gym offers PT services so I go there and not to a doctor's office...small blessings! My physical therapist is great and encouraged me to continue my spin classes since that helps with the rehab. And my knee is already starting to feel better.

So in my spin class last night I told my instructor that I tore my meniscus, so I would have to keep it easy in class. He asked how I did it and I said I fell without bracing myself. He joked, "were you drinking?", and I was like, "yeah I was drinking and not paying attention, ya know how it goes", because I really didn't want to go into the whole story...I hate to be a Debbie Downer! (My physical therapist does know the truth!) So now all my gym instructors think I'm a drunken girl who falls at bars...oh well. He told me how he tore his ACL, had surgery and it took 2 years to recover! Then he looked at my knee and had me do a few moves with my leg to check my movement and told me that I am one of the few lucky people who have a tear and are able to still use their leg fully and may never need surgery. "You're so lucky!" he said. "Really?" I said, "I need some luck now!". Its so funny to hear someone say that...for once I am the lucky one! Of course he has no idea what else I am dealing with now, but it's nice to hear. All through class as we spun (is that the right word?) he told other people, "she tore her meniscus and look she can still spin!". So funny.

So I guess I'm lucky! Lord knows I needed it. I have enough on my plate and there is no room for meniscus repair surgery. Plus it's nice in a weird way to have a "normal" medical problem that happens to a lot of people. Wanna talk knee problems all day? I can do it! Cancer and blood clots...not so much! Here's to being lucky! May it continue...