On my 11-11-11 day, I chose to get cut into.
My knee starting hurting back in September 2010 when I ran the Dirty Dash. Not sure what happened - it just started hurting. I went to 9 doctors who diagnosed it as IT band syndrome, then a capsular strain, then a possibility that my bone was falling out of place. I even had an MRI that came back "clean". After getting SO fed up with these numerous doctors, I put on facebook that I needed the "Dr. House" of knee doctors, and was referred to Dr. Cooley at TOSH by more than one person.
I saw Dr. Cooley in August. I had just finished the Spudman Tri with a big FAIL on the run. I told Dr. Cooley what was going on and that I had already had an MRI. His team took an x-ray, and after looking at that and seeing that the x-ray was "clean", Dr. Cooley said I bet you it's a cartilage tear. He said they don't show up on MRI's or X-Rays and he sees runners come in with this ALL the time.
Well, that was something I hadn't heard yet, so I was definitely interested in this diagnosis. I showed him where my knee hurt (on the right side) and he said, oh no, it hurts over here...
He grabbed the left side of my knee and I could have punched him for hurting me that bad. At this point, I was feeling like, hey, this guy might actually know what he is talking about. What other doctor picks a totally different place, than the place that hurts, to tell me I'm really hurt somewhere else? haha
So the next step was to get a shot, and see if I could run over a mile. I could run a mile before it started hurting, so I needed to run over that distance. If I could run past a mile, then I had a cartilage tear. The shot could last a few weeks, months, a year, but when it starts to hurt again, I would need surgery.
For three weeks, I could run one, two, even three miles, and then BAM. It hurt all over again.
So, I met with Dr. Cooley again, and surgery was the next step. He also told me that this probably happened because my knee cap might not be tracking right - and if that's the case, then he would need to "stretch" my ligament - called a lateral release. They go in and cut your ligament, then cauterize it so it doesn't bleed any more. Gross? lol
So... here I am in my pretty gown
And beautiful socks.
PS - see my pretty friendship bracelet above made by my awesome niece Addi?
They had to take it off... Addi, can you make me a new one?
Waking up from surgery - in the recovery room
Still very tired from the drugs
The doctor told Eric it was exactly what he thought, and he DID have to cut my ligament. :( He also said that if my knee cap wasn't off in the first place, I probably wouldn't have torn my cartilage. Good to know. Hopefully he is completely right, and I'll be running without pain next year!
Finally get to my car with this nice honkin' thing on.
Yellow toes from the iodine solution - or whatever cleans my entire leg. I still have a dark tint to my leg from this stuff. It's like self-tanner.
Flowers from my friend Awbrey - Thanks dude! Loved them!
(Between this couch, my bed and the living room floor is where I stayed for the next five days - BORING)
This blue pad is connected to my ice machine - coolest part of my knee surgery.
On Saturday, I received this edible arrangement from my co-workers. It was very yummy! Thanks!
Apparently, resting my leg was really for the dogs to have a more cushy place to lay down.
Sunday, Ethan, Natalie, Kade and Addi visited me and brought Eric this thing of Martinelli's (Ethan didn't want to leave Eric out of all the love. hehe)
And these cards in the first picture... big heart by Addi, little hearts by Kade, and get well card by Natalie...
AND the flowers in the second picture. Thanks guys! Loved them all!
(And another pic of flowers from Awbs, and my edible arrangement)
Here is my ice machine!
Monday, Eric's work sent me this peace lilly. It is my favorite flower. Thanks again!
On Wednesday, I was full of excitement! It was time for my follow-up appointment.
Waiting for the doctor to come in
The nurse started taking everything off...
EWWWWWWWWWWW (it looks like my knee/thigh gained 1000 lbs)
But so amazing. Three little holes - that's all.
She had to remove three little staples holding the slits shut - that was disgusting. And then they put these steri-strips on the holes so they can continue to heal.
The marker says "yes" so they operated on the right leg. :)
And I left there with this nice sock.
I will have a swollen knee for about four weeks. By the end of one month, I should feel 70- 80% better, and have a full recovery - meaning I can run again - by three months. I have to wear this compression sock until December 14th and then I go in for another folllow-up appointment.
Thank you to all the people who came to visit me. It was so boring by myself. A special thanks to my husband for taking care of me through this whole thing. I still can't do a TON by myself - and he's been such a trooper. Also, another huge thanks to the people in my ward and Sally, who brought me dinner on a few different days.
And a HUGE HUGE HUGE thanks to everyone else for the cards, flowers, fruit, etc! It definitely made my surgery 1000 times better.
Hopefully I'll be running soon without pain! That would be amazing! :)