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Thread: Feeling Discouraged

  1. #1
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    Feeling Discouraged

    My simple arthroscopic knee surgery was last Halloween and I am still in physical therapy for it (I had re-injured it a week and a half after surgery). I have been basically working on strengthening and my apparently bad walking bio-mechanics and muscle imbalances. I have worked very hard at home to always do my exercises and was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Last week I decided to go to the Tucson Gem Shows and made arrangements to camp using a website called Hipcamp (like AirBnb for campers). I was so excited to go on a road trip and to set up my tent, though I was a little nervous about my ability to crawl in and out of the tent. That part of the trip went very well, camping proved to be easier than I thought and my knee did very well, considering how much walking I did around Tucson. After I left Tucson, I made a side trip to Bisbee but realized as I was walking around the hilly streets that my knee was getting a little sore. So I continued driving on, heading north and east to make my way home. Spent the night in a funky little motel room in Rodeo, NM (in the middle of nowhere but BEAUTIFUL). I would have camped but it was getting down into the 30's at night and that is just too cold for me.

    That night I kind of felt like I was getting sick; thinking maybe I caught the flu while among the hordes at the gem shows. The next day I was somewhat better but I needed to get back to Madrid so I continued on my way. By the time I got to Truth or Consequences I was feeling pretty yukky again; even though I was only three hours from home I decided to get a cheap motel room and just rest for the remainder of the day and night. I remember thinking when I woke up at around 4am to use the bathroom that I was surprised at how comfortable the bed was in this cheap, ugly $50 room. I then fell back asleep...

    When I awoke around 7am to get up for the day I rolled out of this bed and immediately knew something was wrong, VERY, VERY wrong. I literally could not move, at all. My back was in a major, major spasm attack, the kind that leaves you gasping and crying because you literally CANNOT move in any direction. It was horrible but I had no choice but to somehow get up. It took me ten minutes to get out of my pj's and into fresh underwear and leggings. I could not bend over and I could not get my socks and shoes on because I couldn't lift my legs either. Somehow I managed because I was not going to spend another night in this place!

    I somehow got my stuff into the car and got on the road. I had to stop and get gas and coffee on the way out of town; I could barely get in and out of the car.

    Thank god for cruise control and empty New Mexican highways. I drove the three hours back home in a state of excruciating pain but I made it. I got home and immediately took a leftover pain killer from my knee surgery and some Ibuprofin. Nothing was really helping so the next day I had my boyfriend take me to Urgent Care where I had to wait over an hour with all these sick people and kids with the flu (I made sure to wear a face mask and not touch anything). Sitting hurts, standing hurts and walking hurts - I finally saw the doctor (who seemed like he was getting sick himself) and he of course prescribed a major pain killer, high doses of Ibuprofin and a muscle relaxer, all of which I took as directed for about three and a half days. Yes, they work but I can't stand that drugged up feeling after a while and I am scared of getting hooked on narcotics.

    So here I am on day six. Things are slowly improving, the spasms have alleviated but my sacroiliac joint and right hip are EXTREMELY sore and it is very difficult to get in and out of bed and to change positions. Walking is affected too as I can not take my normal-sized steps.

    I have my second to last PT appointment for my knee on Tuesday and have a chiropractor appointment on Wednesday from someone who highly recommended this guy. So on I go, I'm feeling mentally better now that I am not taking the narcotics (it is easy to see how one can get mentally, let alone physically addicted to this stuff). I am able to do some VERY gentle stretching and am about to go on a simple morning walk before I open the gallery for today.

    I am feeling very discouraged though; after the whole torn meniscus and knee surgery debacle (which started almost a whole year ago) I was finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and super happy that I was getting my old active self back and looking forward to camping and hiking when the weather changes. Now I have this set back and it is PISSING ME OFF! I want my life back! I am sick of all these pains....

  2. #2
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    I'm sorry you're going through this. I had a back spasm once and it just came out of nowhere. I was hunched over and could not straighten up. It's scary. But it did resolve within a few days with muscle relaxants. Hopefully yours is short lived also.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear that, SQ. Tough enough to climb the mountain without dodging the boulders scrabbling down the path....
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #4
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Hmmm.....I'm really sorry SiouzQ. Just curious about your knee surgery. What all was done? Has your lower leg on that side bowed out a little? Have you had any foot problems? I had a meniscus "repair" a number of years ago, and it was a really bad thing for my lower leg and foot. It really has seemed to worsen my fibromyalgia. Maybe you need to see a doctor about all your other symptoms? How we walk can really affect a number of other areas in our bodies. How are your feet? Is it possible you need some orthotics, since bad foot alignment can cause lots of knee/hip/back problems too. You said your knee surgery was a debacle. What happened?

  5. #5
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this. Sometimes, one needs to just give oneself some time off and relax for a bit. Would that help?
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #6
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    The knee surgery itself was not a debacle; I guess what I meant is that it took me 5 months to even see a doctor about the knee, then another couple of months to get the surgery. The debacle was when I re-injured the knee a week and a half after surgery by walking up the road, then I further re-injured it a few days later by having a small role in our local production and going to the cast party after and having too many White Russians, to the point I couldn't feel anything but the joy of dancing. I overdid everything about recovery from surgery because I felt so good to not have that piece of cartilage poking into my knee joint every step I took.

    I do have a lot of muscullo-skeletal difficulties. My skeleton is strange with some congenital anomalies - I have two small extra cervical ribs at the top of my neck that can cause Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (nerve compression all the way down the arms into the hands) if I am not careful, and just found out my ulna bone on both sides is longer than the radius (which over a life time causes the joint to grind away, hence my wrist and hand pain). I've had back problems in the past and some arthritis in both the knees and lower back. I don't know how much the back arthritis has progressed; it is something my 86 year old mom has been dealing with for a very long time. She has a lot of pain from it. I am only 56 though, I have a long time to go but all this crap feels like it is aging me. This too shall pass, I hope. I just hate that my boyfriend had to tie my shoes this past week - I HATE feeling helpless but super-glad here is here to help.
    Last edited by SiouzQ.; 2-11-18 at 2:37pm.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, SiouzQ. I was getting around acceptably well on my gimpy knees until I wasn't. It seemed to happen overnight.
    Aging in general is one loss after another, and the adjustment to the loss. And then it starts all over again. I hope you make a full recovery.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    I can tell you from the perspective of someone with three ruptured discs, bone spurs in my neck and a meniscus that is temperamental, these are the things I have learned....and I am not much older than you.

    Your body is changing and needs to make adjustments. It will take time and some of the range of motion you won’t get back, some of the strengths and weaknesses will change, and you will get impatient with the slow passage of time.

    i wear a knee brace when I work out to keep from reinjuring. I did not have surgery yet. My back spasms have reduced in frequency because I know better what causes them and can mitigate the impact sooner. I have muscle relaxers that help as needed. The initial pain with my back could not have been managed without opiods. I truly wished to be unconscious at times. I now use over the counter stuff for pain but it is constant. In the back of my mind, I wonder, if I have the type of pain I used to...will I be able to get the medicine I need.....what with the opiod war going on.

    But anyway, you will adjust and life will be enjoyable. That is the miracle of our self healing bodies. Things will get better. I love my life.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry. That 2 steps forward,1 step back kind of healing is torture - especially when sometimes it feels like 2 steps forward, 4 steps back, WTH? I can only hope for you that you are on the right healing path.

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