I actually ended up getting a little more sleep since I was hopped up on pain meds in the hospital! (Read about why I was there here)
Next morning the orthopedic surgeon came in to check out my knee. Everyone’s reaction to my knee was “woaahhhh”. It was still incredibly swollen. My cultures had come back negative indicating that there wasn’t an infection, but the doctors still weren’t convinced. They decided that immediate surgery may make the problem 10 times worse and we should wait a few more days for the cultures to develop completely. It was agreed that I should stay in the hospital, continue the antibiotics and start to do some light physical therapy to get my knee moving.
Doctor after doctor would come in to see me. Some were extremely nice, others not so much. One orthopedic doctor basically told me I was over reacting and I just needed to get it moving. I broke down in tears. This doctor wasn’t believing that I had tried everything. He didn’t understand the months of pain I had been in, that I continued physical therapy until I literally couldn’t move, that I was taking extra strength pain meds because I had tried everything else and nothing would even take the edge off of it. I remember I had a break down after he walked out of the room. Calling my parents I told them I wanted a different doctor and did not want him. He continued to come and ‘check on me’ most days when I was in the hospital. When his bill came I literally put it off for a good 2-3 months before I paid it… I didn’t want to give him a cent. I’m sorry. You can be the absolute smartest, brilliant, most skilled surgeon BUT if you do not have bedside manner than how are you supposed to help your patients? If your doctor believes in you then I truly think you have a 100% better chance of recovery over someone who just dismisses you. This doctor did have some pretty good looks, but that wasn’t enough to overshadow his horrible attitude.
Heading down to physical therapy I was so afraid because I FINALLY “sort of” had my pain under control. (Even if it was through IV every 2 hours) I didn’t want it to come back. As they wheeled me down I prayed that this would help, rather than hurt, my knee. That first day of therapy was intense. It hurt like hell and I had 80 year old grandma’s passing me up on their walkers. I was 27 going on 96. I mean, my 92 year old Grandpa could get around 10 times better than I could.
As they were wheeling me back to my room all I wanted to do was get a shot of dilaudid and maybe take a nap? When I arrived back in my room my parents were talking to a new doctor. She was a rheumatologist and I think that God sent her to me. She had talked to them and had gotten my back history. Since many of the orthopedic doctors were stumped because my cultures kept saying there was no infection they started us down a new path.
Back when I was younger a rheumatologist had mentioned that they thought I had psoriatic arthritis, but at the time didn’t want me to start on any medication since I was so young. After asking tons of questions, a joint exam and hearing my medical history it was decided that I would under go an x-ray and different blood tests to see if I tested positive for Lupus, RA or any other autoimmune disease.
Later on that night the nursing staff came in and said I was being moved to my own room. After I asked them why they said that since infectious disease had been called to help on my case (since no one was sure what the heck was going on with my knee) that it was better if I was on my own. Fine with me! My new room had a shower in it and they actually allowed me to use it.
I checked into the ER in the wee morning hours of December 26th and was discharged the afternoon of December 30th. During that time no real questions were answered. The best part of my stay was the exposure to new doctors and the possibility that something may come from it. One thing was blatantly obvious… I needed to keep my weight off my leg until whatever the heck was going on settled down!
My parents luckily had kept my small twin bed (which was my first big girl bed!) in the attic and set it up in our basement. Our basement is finished and has pretty much everything I could need in it. I could live on one floor and not have to worry about steps and getting around the whole house. I left the hospital headed for my new ‘pad’ in the basement in less pain, with stronger drugs, with a direction in where to head and future doctor appointment follow ups. The only thing I knew for certain was that my knee was not infected!
The next few months I spent A LOTTTTT of time in bed. Click here to continue reading the story!
Wishing You A Pain Free Day!