Thursday, September 5, 2013

80 cc's

I called to get a doctor's appointment today because my left knee was swollen.  I did everything I knew how to do on my own: interferential current therapy unit, ice, elevating my leg, and compression sleeve.  Leg still in a bad way.

"We'll see you today at 10:15 today."  I hadn't realized that it was 9:45 already, and I hadn't even gotten dressed or eaten breakfast.    I can get ready in a hurry.  And I did.  I might have been on time, but then it rained like it was a hurricane.  Still, I was only 10 minutes late.  Of course, all the handicapped parking places were taken, and I had to park in the parking garage, and that is a long walk when only one leg is really working well.

I should never worry that I'll be late for a doctor's appointment.  When was the last time you made a doctor's appointment and the doctor actually saw you at that time?  Right.

I waited until almost noon before the physician's assistant came into the exam room.  I knew what she was going to tell me.  "We should drain your knee."  Yep.

So I told her, "You should ask for someone to come in here and hold down my leg while you're draining it because it's going to come off the table."

She heeded my warning, but the person she came back with was a tiny woman.  I looked at her doubtfully, and she must have read my mind (or known from the look on my face), and she said, "I'm stronger than I look."

The P.A. was good, and she told me she wouldn't do anything without letting me know ahead of time.  I appreciate that.  She sprayed my knee with ethyl chlorhydrate, at least, I think that's what it was, to make my knee cold and kind of numb.  Then she told me when she was injecting the knee.

The tiny woman held tight to my leg, pressing down with a death grip.  She was right.  She was stronger than she looked.

OK, not too bad.  And then it was bad.  I had forewarned them that I wouldn't curse or scream, but I would probably yell.  I did yell, but not too much.  The tiny woman asked me  questions about where I swam, and I knew she was trying to distract me, and again, I appreciated that.

I asked if it was finished, and the P.A. said, "No, not yet.  Don't sit up yet."  The tiny woman asked if she could let go of my leg.  I told her, "No, you better not let go yet."  She held firm.

It started hurting a lot (understatement), and I yelled a bit ("ow, ow, ow, ow!!!!).  The P.A. said, "Almost done."  And then it was over.  I asked how much fluid she pulled off, and she said about 80 cc's.  The I sat up and saw that there were two full syringes.  One was yellow, and I asked if that was pus.  She said that was just the fluid around the knee.  The other syringe had blood in it, and she said that was because they'd drained the Baker's cyst in my knee.  She said, "You didn't even know that I put another syringe on the needle.  That's why I said for you not to sit up yet."  I said, "No, I didn't even realize it." (Good thing!)

So I caught my breath, and the P. A. said she'd send in the man who'd fit me for a knee brace - which is a stop gap measure until I decide to go through with knee replacement surgery.  He came in, measured my poor knee, and said he'd contact me in about two weeks.

Walking very slowly back to my car in the parking garage, I marveled at the people walking so easily past me.  I told one woman in a tan uniform, "You are so lucky that you can walk so well."  She laughed, but watching my painstaking gait, she understood.

I'm sitting here with Walter at my feet and a huge ice pack on my knee.  I've cancelled all my activities for the next few days.  I'm taking it easy.

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