Saturday, May 4, 2013

Walking Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

I hate to bore you with more details about my skeletal woes and trips to the doctor, but after all, I am at that age where the topics of conversations at happy hour are colonoscopies and gall bladder surgeries.

I’m a walker, and walking can be hazardous to your health. Most of the time, I power walk, which is quite a feat (pardon the play on words) when you have short, stubby little legs like I do. After one of my walks about 6 weeks ago, the back of my knee started to hurt. Then, as I was stepping down from a stepladder, the nauseating pain riveted down the back of my calf.

Mentally preparing myself for the big one…knee surgery…I visited orthopedic surgeon number one. After two wimpy x-rays, his prognosis was a torn meniscus…no surgery…physical therapy. Ten minutes and $300 later, along with his best guess, I was home icing my knee.

Orthopedic surgeon number two guessed bursitis. After a very painful cortisone injection, a prescription for an anti-inflammatory, and more physical therapy, I went home and wrapped a heating pad around my leg.

The cortisone shot did nothing except form a black, bruised hole on my leg (where the Physical Therapist drew a happy face), and I might as well swallow candy because the anti-inflammatory pills are worthless.

What I really want is an accurate diagnosis, and the ability to walk, free of pain, without shuffling and dragging my leg like Frankenstein. So I made my list of things to do today:

1. Wash the sheets
2. Go to Costco
3. Go to the Emergency Room for an MRI

Me: “I want an MRI on my knee, please.”

ER Nurse: “The Emergency Room doesn’t give MRI’s.”

Me: “But I had one last year when I had my emergency hernia surgery.”

ER Nurse: “You had a CAT Scan.”

Me: “Oh.”

After probably having a good chuckle with the nurse out in the hallway, doctor number three told me it’s probably a torn meniscus, and I will need surgery to repair it

ER Doctor: “In the meantime, here is a leg brace and crutches until your doctor orders an MRI. Oh, and…continue your physical therapy.”

So, back to square one – if only I could find a doctor who will order an MRI for me because right now I can’t walk at all – and the physical therapy is becoming hazardous to my health.