Do you remember that song from childhood? I'm probably dating myself, but "Merrily We Roll Along" was one of those nursery rhyme, sing-songy little ditties that my mother and I sang during a long walk to pass the time or during a long car ride. Sometimes, that song is stuck on a loop in my head. I'm not sure why. It happens at the oddest time: When I'm limping along down a long hallway at school. Seriously?! My knee journey has been such a NOT merry sort of ride. Understand that I realize I'm healthy. I can walk. My pain isn't from illness. I'm grateful for all those things and more. However, I can't run (STRESS RELIEVER!). The pain wakes me throughout the night (I"M TIRED!). Limping around all day is exhausting, makes me feel clumsy, inspires crabbiness, and makes me feel a little hopeless that it'll get better. This all started two weeks after my mother died in January too. Insult to injury, anyone? I just want to heal. Everywhere.
This time (because this is a recurring little thing for me.....just about annually with a few months each year wasted to pain and anti-activity), so this time, I decided that enough was f$%&*!g enough. Here's my usual: Pain begins after a tweek while running or after wearing sky-high heels (all of which I've now thrown away, btw); I fight it out, stretch, and ice; I bite the bullet and call the doctor; and two weeks of increasing pain later I see the doctor; I pay for imaging tests and get a cortisone shot sometimes; every few years I go to PT; pain subsides and rebuilding of muscle and running stamina begin. Again. 9 months later, repeat. Sometimes the limping causes psoas problems or low back pain. It's a huge inter-connected network of one injury leading to another. Aarrgghh!!!!
Well. This time after the cortisone shot didn't work for the first time ever, I said, "No more!" I went to my awesome massage therapist. She spent one entire hour on my right leg, making appalled and sympathetic sounds over how tight my quads and hamstrings and calve muscles were. After that, I was pain-free for three wonderful days. Then the pain and stiffness all came back. I went back to the doctor and told him his cortisone shot was a massive fail for me this time. He suggested I try synvisc shots. What they do is help the area surrounding the knee to create more lubricant cells around the knee. I read that the active ingredient comes from rooster combs! Anyway, I went with it. Sadly, the synvisc takes up to a month to work once the shot is done. I am six days in and will keep you posted...... I'm sure you are all waiting with baited breath......:)
Another new things for me that I decided to try is acupuncture. I went for my first appointment today. First of all, I am just fascinated with this form of medicine. The acupuncturist took her time to explain the ideas behind the practice. She asked me a million questions about my health. She was fascinated and excited to see that I have a rather large old scar above and just off center from my bad knee. She explained that not only did the damage of the fascia quite possibly have something to do with my current, chronic knee issues, but that the area of the scar is also perfectly in line with a major meridian of energy that is now quite possibly blocked. Isn't that interesting?
I was a little nervous about the needles, but it was fine. After they were inserted around both knees and feet, she also placed one on my forehead, at the top of my head, and at sinus points (to help with my allergies and sinus problems while I was there). She hooked up two knee needles to a little machine that used electrical stimulation to aid healing in that area. Then she left the room. I wouldn't say that I was skeptical, but I was just giving this a shot without devoting too much at the time. However, while I lay there, I became so relaxed that I felt medicated. In a good way. After 30 minutes, she removed the needles, and I went about my day. I feel a little more sore than usual today, as the acupuncturist said I would, but a relaxed feeling is still with me (even now as my son continues to slam an indoor basketball through the hoop on his bedroom door, creating a jarring noise each time......). I go back in two days and then three times next week. After about four visits, my knee should start to really feel better, and after twelve, I'm hoping to go into maintenance in order to be and remain pain-free. I'm excited to track this and see how it goes. Sadly, my insurance doesn't cover this, so it's an investment. I'm willing to try it though. Feeling cautiously optimistic about my chances to heal and hoping to be running and practicing yoga more comfortably soon!