Monday, July 22, 2013

Synvisc One

I didn't cry.  I didn't scream.  But I did yell - I couldn't help it.  At least, I didn't curse...

Today, I had both knees injected with Synvisc One.  It's a gel made of hyaluronic acid, which is the substance that lubricates your joints and is especially helpful when your cartilage is deteriorating.  The gel is made from rooster combs.  (Cue the jokes about getting up early and crowing...)

I joked with the doctor that I would try not to scream.  I didn't think I would actually be loud when he injected my knees.  First he did the right knee, and a loud, "Ouch!" escaped from my lips.  Then he did the left side, and wow, did that hurt!  He removed about one cc of fluid, and then he injected 6 cc's of the gel.  The removal of fluid hurt more than the injection itself.

The doctor said, "Relax your leg," like that's something I could really do when he's sticking a needle between the kneecap and the bones!  "Don't bend your leg!" Oy vey!  His assistant pressed down on my leg to keep me from bending it, which was a good thing, because I could not keep it straight by myself.

I was so relieved to have that procedure finished.  I'd heard they were painful.  I'm here to tell you, "Yes, absolutely!"

I'd also heard that people get a series of three shots for each knee.  Fortunately for me, my doctor used Synvisc One, and I won't need three injections.  I can't get another Synvisc injection for 6 months.  I can't imagine going back next week and the week after that for two more injections, especially with the pain so fresh in my memory.

I'm not supposed to do any exercise for about two days, so I will listen to him and sit with my legs propped up, ice pack on each knee.

This was not on my list of things I wanted to do before I died, but now I know one more thing that I didn't want to know!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Swimming Outside

I used to swim inside.  It was fine.

But today, I swam outside.  It's so much better.

I didn't know about the Masters program at the country club nearby.  It only costs $5 each time I swim.  But there's a catch.  It's very early in the morning.

I decided to change my lifestyle, and instead of staying up until 2, 3, or 4 in the morning, I go to bed early, and get up early, so I can swim before the sun comes up.

There's something exhilarating about it.  We swam for almost an hour.  I swim with fins, mask, and snorkel to make it easier on myself.  Still, what a workout!

There was new terminology to learn: swimming, 200's, 75's, 50's, and 25's.  I'm still not sure what that means, but I just did what the other swimmers did (a lot more slowly).  I loved looking at the sky and seeing the colors change as the sun started coming up.  And the clouds were a wonder to me as I swam on my back.

The water was warm, not freezing like it is when I swim inside.  And they told me that when it gets cooler, they heat the pool, so we can swim year round.

There's just something about swimming, gliding through the water and not even thinking about anything.

I thought the Masters program was for old people, but it turns out, it's for anyone over 18.  There were two other people in the pool with me, a 19-year-old guy and a 22-year-old girl.  The swim coach was young, too.

The young swimmers were really good - they swam faster than I was swimming, and I had fins on!  I swam steadily for about 45 minutes.  I am exhausted, but in a good way.

I asked the swim coach what they did when it was raining.  She said they didn't swim if there was lightning or thunder.  Good policy.

I came home and drank a half bottle of Gatorade to prevent leg spasms.  Then I took my shower and used a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated to get the chlorine out and keep your hair from turning green.

Now that I'm up so early, I have to figure out what to do for the rest of the day!  Maybe I need a nap....