Friday, March 22, 2013
How Do You Spell Relief?
Meet my new best friend. Isn't he cute?
On Monday, March 11, I was getting ready to leave the house and as I was walking down the steps an invisible gremlin slammed my left knee with an invisible sledgehammer. I didn't go to work, of course, since the ability to walk is extremely necessary to my job. After the what felt like a sledgehammer incident, I wasn't walking too well.
Initially there didn't seem to be an explanation for the problem. No immediate swelling, just the inability to put ones heel on the floor and walk. I did what I'm supposed to do when faced with an injury. Well, almost what I'm supposed to do, I treated it myself instead of calling the doctor. Old habits die hard.
I did the usual Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation thing and actually got to the point where I could put the heel down and limp a little. Not ideal but that was OK. I have a compression cuff for my knees since I have arthritis, so I was going to be fine. For the whole first week I'd have times when it would feel almost normal, except for a feeling that the kneecap was being pulled to the outside of my knee. It was a little swollen, and there wasn't much pain, just that pulling and a feeling that the joint wouldn't work when I needed to stand up after sitting for a bit. Which I attributed to arthritis, since it tends to stiffen the joints.
Last weekend I took it easy and on Monday I was in much better shape. Nothing like lying to yourself is there?
Monday night the knee started to give me pain and by 8:15 PM I felt as if I was coming down with some sort of horrendous virus. My whole body was aching, I had cold chills and was exhausted. Hubby decided he was taking me to Urgent Care where I discovered I had a 2nd degree sprain of the Medial Collateral Ligament. Explains why the swelling was where it was and the pain was shooting down the shin. That ligament connects the thigh bone to the shin bone on the inside of the leg.
The doc there told me to get myself to the friendly neighborhood Rite Aid for the brace, take an NSAID like Aleve and don't be so stubborn next time. He did offer me a script for a small amount of the good stuff just to kill the pain, but he smiled quite broadly when I said I didn't need it. I wonder why?
The brace is a godsend. I can walk right while wearing it and it isn't uncomfortable at all until I've had it on for 7 or 8 hours. It stabilizes the sides of the knees which reduces the stress on the lateral collateral ligament which has been doing the work of both ligaments. I've got to wear it for at least 2 weeks and take the minimum dose of store brand Aleve for at least 10 days. All doctors now say the store brands are exactly the same as the good stuff and much friendlier on one's pocketbook. Since my problem is a sprain and not a tear I only need moderate stabilization while the sprain is healing and the anti-inflammatory does it's work.
Hubby asked me if I learned anything from my little adventure. I told him I sure did and I was going to stop at Rite Aid after next paycheck. Seems to me that with arthritis in both of the knees I have, I just might need two braces. Oh! And more Aleve.