I learned this week that my consultants request for a knee operation was turned down and I have now been referred to the public health system.
Frustratingly, because my original accident / injury occurred in another country, legislation says it cannot be covered here in New Zealand. Even if I went back to that other country, the NHS has stopped all routine and non routine knee replacements, my dad being one of the last to be granted the surgery. Even a new health insurance policy wouldn't cover it because they exclude all pre-existing conditions, so this leaves me in no mans land.
What to do?
I have been put on massive doses of Brufen: 2 x 1600mg a day plus anti sickness pills. This doesn't sit well with me, because I know full well this dose is massive and will do damage to my stomach in the long term. Codeine wasn't working, the other alternative was tramadol: which I refuse to take. So I have decided to try an alternative therapy. Prolotherapy.
Prolotherapy: trying alternative medicine
It's literally a glucose injection, directly into the knee joint. The theory is that it causes low grade inflammation into the site, which activates collagen production. Medical articles on this therapy suggest it's a good alternative treatment for chronic pain. It's also been shown in scientific trials to improve knee stability, swelling, flexion and pain. So, hell, why not! Mark has nicknamed it 'sugar knee'! Surely it has to be better than all that Brufen.
It's something that seems to improve with repeated therapies so the podiatrist and I have decided we will keep repeating it every three weeks until such a time that either nothing improves any more or it stops working. I'm on no 2, so early days.
It doesn't take away all of the symptoms but it significantly controls the pain and I have been
How to rehab without loading the knee.
This is next little mystery project. How on earth to keep the leg strong when you struggle to:
- Walk any distance
- Kneel / stand
- Sit / stand from low platforms
- Sit with knee flexed
It sort of limits an awful lot of exercise and the biggest battle for me right now is to keep quads and hamstrings strong and stay mobile for as long as I can (and working, for as long as I can).
So I'm back on doctor google trying to workout a plan for this, while I wait infinitely for the next signal from the public health system.