I truly have had a challenging few weeks. It started with a failed mammogram, where I was recalled for further tests. Wait mammogram? Yep, mammogram, my very first, which apparently are free and offered to all women from the age of 45, I joked at first it was my old lady test.
Then they told me it was abnormal and I was being recalled. More tests, a possible specialist appointment and this went on for another 2-3 weeks before finally, I got those magic words.
There is no cancer present.
I never in a million years thought I would be waiting to hear those words. It brought my mums whole battle right back to the foreground, and yes, my life truly did flash before my eyes.
Thankful doesn’t even describe it.
Then there’s the leg.
I have been putting this off for a wee while. A slip / fall while tramping several months ago created one really unhappy knee (and ankle, but it turns out that wee problem isn’t so bad, but it does mean special shoes and custom orthotics). I eventually went to the doc (you know me, ignore the pain..)
Ultrasound, X-ray and an MRI later I’m driving 400km round trip to see a consultant in Queenstown and get the results.
Apparently on the medial side I have no meniscus at all. I also have very little cartilage. What does this mean?
In reality, for me it means constant pain. More recently it means I sometimes struggle to walk, definitely struggling more to cover up the pain, can’t sit for long, stand for long, codeine doesn’t even help, but anything stronger makes me sick. I struggle to even cycle on some days, it’s starting to affect my work, although my bloody mindedness is preventing me from letting it stop me (for now).
I rarely complain, you may not even know it’s this much of an issue. What’s the point it won’t help will it?
So what to do about it? Here’s what the consultant said. To be frank I had, before I walked in the door, convinced myself that a new knee would be the answer. Seems its not quite so.
1) steroid injection then wait 6-12 weeks and see if it helps.
2) possible PDP injection (something to do with blood platelets – my own blood) but I would have to pay private rates for this.
3) they split my tibia and remove a wedge to try and change the load of my leg off the affected part of my knee
4) partial knee replacement. This option isn’t available till I’m at least 55, because the second and subsequent knee replacements that are needed every ten years are much more major an operation than the first.
Wow. I have to say I was pretty bowled over. Let’s face it, none of these options are too flash and they all involve a lot more time coping with the current pain level (which probably will increase) then potentially even more pain. I’m even dreading the steroid injection.
I sat and wept, outside for a long long time before I was able to get in the car and do the 200km drive home.
So I’m now off back to my cave to find my positive pants and wash them off, whilst making a plan for how to cope with this new news.
One small request..
I know it’s human nature and all but if you can see my pain more than normal, please don’t point it out or ask as I alright. I’m probably not alright but I’m doing my best to ignore my current challenge and carry on rocking.
Wish me luck.