Monday, December 21, 2015

Update and Merry Christmas!

Hello, Friends!

Long time no hear from, huh?

I wish I could tell you it was because I was so healthy, I've been out living it up, going out on the town, partying until the wiener dogs come home.  

Unfortunately, I only wish I could tell you that because it isn't true.  When I last left you, I was getting ready to start physical therapy for my left knee and general strengthening all over.  I got to go to the evaluation and one therapy session.  During the evaluation, I explained that I hadn't been able to do much of anything for the last 2 1/2 years.  I told the physical therapist over and over that I was very, very weak.  I said it when I answered every single question.  The only way I could have made that clearer would have been to tattoo "I have no strength!!!" on my forehead.  Thankfully, I didn't get that tattoo, because I don't think it would have done any good.  During the first session, I told the physical therapist over and over, again, how hard each exercise was.  I even started crying because I was upset at how weak I had truly become.  However, I can't tell the difference between "this is helping to make you stronger pain" and "this is way too much pain."  Silly me- I trusted the therapist to know what was appropriate.  I left exhausted and in pain, which I had expected because I knew it was going to be hard.  I had no idea what was coming thanks to her expertise...or lack there of, unfortunately.    

Two days later, when I was in the shower getting ready to go back to physical therapy, my back went out.  I could barely lift my legs to get out of the shower and to my bed.  The therapist had me do way too much and I had injured all of those muscles that I had told here were so weak in my back.  It took 5 straight weeks of bed rest for the muscles to recover.  Ironically, during that time, I lost even more strength.  It's only been in the last couple of weeks that I've been able to move around the house more and be a little more active at home.  Dealing with someone elses' mistake which left me trapped back in bed was frustrating to say the least!

So, since I'm finally getting stronger, I should be stamping in no time, right?


While I was waiting to have surgery on the meniscus in my left knee, I tore the meniscus in my right knee.  I was going up two stairs in our house and I felt it tear.  I also heard it tear.  It brought me right back to the first time I tore it more than 10 years ago.  It was the exact same sound and feeling that my left knee made when I tore my right meniscus the first time.  
The exact same.

I called the doctor's office and told them what had happened and that I would need an MRI.  The nurse treated me like I didn't have a brain in my head.  So, I told the doctor the next time I saw him.  He told me it was probably fine.  It probably had just started hurting because of my left knee.  I said, "Ok." but inside I was thinking, "You're wrong.  It hurts because I tore the meniscus."  Then every time after telling me it was fine, he would say, "and besides, I'm going to do surgery until the very end of December- probably December 30th so there'll be no problem getting it in before the end of the year."  (I've met my deductible and out of pocket expenses for this year for myself and probably quite a few other people which is why I kept pushing to get it looked into now.)  After being told repeatedly that my knee was probably fine, by the doctor, the nurse, and the physical therapist who tried to kill me, I finally got them to do that MRI at the end of November that I had said I needed in September.  Guess what it showed?

I had torn the meniscus in my right knee.  

Wouldn't you think by now they'd know that I have enough experience with this stuff to listen when I try to tell them something?

I would, but I'd be wrong.  We scheduled surgery for December 14th.  He wanted to wait longer.  I did not.  On Thursday the 10th, I got a call to tell me that the doctor was in the hospital and we would need to change my surgery.  Then I was told it probably wouldn't get done that year.  I got tough and reminded them that I had told them in September that this was a problem and they ignored me.  I had been assured every time I had been put off that if there was a problem it would get taken care of this year.  I reminded her that I needed surgery and somehow I had better have this surgery this year.  Suddenly, the doctor's associate who wouldn't possibly see me because "I didn't have cancer" could fit me in for an appointment.  I saw him last week and I'm having my 3rd surgery of 2015 tomorrow.  Unless you read your email early, I'll hopefully be done by the time most of you read this.  No matter what time, please keep me in your prayers.  I'm not worried about the surgery as much as I just don't want to be having it, again.  

I had kept waiting to write until I had good news.  I realized I might never be able to post again if I kept waiting for that to happen.  :)

Hopefully, 2016 will be The Year of The Recovery since 2015 has been the Year of the Surgeries.

I will be back in bed for a while since I never have been able to build up any strength in my arms to be able to use the walker to get around after surgery.  I'll be dreaming of sugarplums, wiener dogs, and being able to be mobile.  That would be one Merry Christmas for me.

Frank and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Frank, at age 14 1/2 is in much better shape than I am!  He continues to enjoy being spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa while I'm laid up most of the time.  

Stamp some cards in my honor, please!

Happy Stamping to all of you!


Nancy said...

I am so very sorry you are having such a hard time. Everything you have listed is why I will not go out to PT. i had a knee replacement on 7/7/14 and opted for home care for all post-op services. The surgeon almost changed his mind about doing my knee because of the severity of my fibromyalgia. However, he went ahead and later told me that I did better with Home Care than most people do going out to a PT center. On 1/8 I am having a total shoulder replacement and will use the same Home Care group. The PT is much more specific to the patient's needs. For the few visits I had with the PT department while still in the hospital after my knee, it was me and 30 other people so the PT people got around to me maybe twice in the hour I was there. Totally useless.

Call a hospital you trust completely and ask what Home Care group the hospital recommends. Then, see if there are patient reviews of the group. If I had been treated as you were, I would be looking for another surgeon.

I do hope things improve for you.

Anonymous said...

OMG! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family! Nancy has some good advice. I gotta keep this short, more later...You need to be back on the road to recovery - so HAVE A BETTER NEW YEAR!!!!!!

Chris R. from Iowa

Teresa Doyle said...

Hi Angela, I have been thinking about you a lot lately and wondering how you are. I guess, now I KNOW! Very sorry to hear your year has been fraught with surgeries but I will pray for a great outcome and that recovery will come in the next few weeks for you!
Please know, we ARE praying for you and we are thinking of you. Best wishes to you and your family during this holiday season!

Kim Heggins said... was such a wonderful surprise to see your post today but I am so sorry you are still having more than your share of medical issues. Wish I lived closer to be able to help you out. Sending lots of good thoughts and prayers your way!
Merry Christmas

Unknown said...

I was wondering how you were doing and was so afraid things weren't going so well since you haven't posted in quite a while. I am so sorry it has been quite a struggle for you this year. I will certainly be praying for you to heal and recover fully and that the healthcare workers will listen to you and not hinder your progress. Wishing you and Frank a blessed Christmas!!

Leigh Penner said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this! Hugs!

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