Friday, March 14, 2008

Latest Knee info - although probably TMI

Although anyone who reads this probably is used to TMI from me.

Official word is that I tore the ACL tendon into to pieces, and have less serious tears on the both of the other tendons. Even if the ACL tear was less, they don't tend to have good luck 'mending' them. So, I'm going to have whats called an ACL reconstruction. Apparently, they take a tendon from your shin that you can walk without; but to ensure it 'fuses' properly, they also take a segment of the bone from each end - so its one piece and the places where it's attached to the bone remain intact. Then using long screws they attach this tendon in the places where the ACL used to be. I assume they do some 'digging' out of the bone where the new bits are placed, according to the web site I checked out, it appears so. Once the bones fuse together, they could remove the screws if there's issues with them. The other two tendons can get 'sewed' together to see if they mend on their own. (we hope).

The freaky thing is that if I'm not wearing the 'immobilizer' (think leg brace)... if I try to move my leg or turn my leg; the bone in the front - I'll call it the shin bone for lack of knowledge... the top part is no longer secured well, so it moves freely - painfully freely. If I attempt to put any weight whatsover on this leg (by accident or to try to stop from falling) even with the immobilizer on, the knee totally folds (or caves)... so we try not to do that either.

Surgery for the knee is scheduled for the 27th. In part because they want the swelling down. In part because they need to switch me to new blood thinners so that the current medicine is out of my system ... one thing you WANT when you have surgery is to clot. So anti-clotting meds that stay in your system too long is BAD. The new meds only last about 12 hours instead of five days, so if I take the last dose the day before surgery and none the day of surgery, it should be safer. There are issues however. Good news is I have awesome insurance, bad news is this stuff is INCREDIBLY expensive. I haven't talked to the pharmacy directly about it yet, but the usual cost of this is between $300 to $350 per DAY.... yes. PER DAY. I need a week before surgery, and at minimum 5 days after surgery, if NOT LONGER. ugh. Second negative? It's injection only. Which means I have to inject it myself. I have to admit, I've lost a LOT of my needle phobia over the past three years with all these million blood tests. But, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to do it myself just yet. I already asked "A" if he thought he could help - HAHA. He's even more needle-phobic than I ever was. He doesn't want to be in the apartment when I do it! He doesn't think he can handle being in the next room if he knows what I'm doing.

The good news is that I've met a lot of people online who have to do this all the time. So I've gotten good hints on how to make it hurt less. By hurt less, I'm not talking about the poke. I'm talking about the horrible burning sensation that lasts over an hour after each one of these injections. Reducing the horrible bruising and swelling that comes from these injections. Oh, joy! But I am armed to the teeth with suggestions, so I'm as prepared as I can be.

I did hint to my Internist that I was looking towards doing a hysterectomy; and wanted some advice. I was wary of even asking if I could do it shortly after the knee surgery in hopes of not having to go through this process of doing the shots a second time... but he squished that thought before I had it out. He wants to wait at minimum three months after knee surgery before having the other. He'll want to do another pre-surgery physical then... and then I can ask him about taking one ovary or two. He already admitted he doesn't know much about gyno issues - not sure he knows much about menopause symptoms either. So, we'll see.

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