A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Meta: Gimpy Gams

Image copyright The Yorkshire Knee Clinic

Well, we're back from viewing MRIs of the troubled knee and off to court tomorrow to fight once more for the (naked-eye-obviously-needed) replacement. It will be a full replacement, titanium, both upper and lower. Looking at the MRIs was interesting. There is absolutely no, zero, zilch, cartilage left between the femoral head and the tibial head, and none behind the patella. So they'll have to take out all the gritty bits that are floating around in whatever's left by way of synovial fluid. Hopefully it'll stop looking like a cantaloupe afterwards.

A little anecdote about pain medications. Our dear Dad, a gentle if somewhat confused soul, was on the battlefield in WW II. For reasons I've never been able to fathom, he didn't care much for pain medicine and was always quite stoic about pain. For example, when he fell through the roof, landing on the car on his head, scalping himself quite significantly (he had 22 stitches holding his scalp to his face, afterwards) he insisted on driving himself to the hospital (not much choice there since Mother was screaming hysterically and having quite the pother, and we young'uns were much too young to drive). He insisted on having the stitches without any pain medication because he wanted to "drive the family home, you know." The doctor was simply scandalized but since Mother was still screaming, and quite loudly at that, he did the necessary and handed Dad a bottle of pain medication to be taken later. Dad threw it away the minute he got home. Didn't want to throw it away in the hospital, you know, might hurt the doctor's feelings.

He suffered many accidents over the 90 years of his life, being a dedicated gardener and also the kind of husband who believes that men are good for a few tasks, carrying heavy things being at the top of the list. Never took anything stronger than the occasional (very occasional) aspirin.

When he had a hernia in his 80s, he simply didn't complain until things were so bad he could no longer get up. Then he told Mother to call an ambulance. Mother, as is her wont, decided to cut his hair instead. (The woman's batshit raving insane, as everyone has always known.)

In the event, she was finally persuaded by some decidedly ungentle and ungenteel words from me to get the fucking ambulance already and quit mincing around worrying about cleaning the house before the ambulance guys got there. Like Emergency Med Techs haven't seen it all before from corpulent corpses to maggot-infested wounds, fer Chrisake.

Before the surgery, he asked the doctor if he could please have "some aspirin for the pain." The doctor, a geriatric surgeon in a hospital that caters only to geriatric patients, was nonplussed, but only for a minute. Then he said, in Dad's good ear (the other has a perforated eardrum from shrapnel during the war), "Mr. X, the war is over, you know. These days we use anesthesia." Poor Dad.

This is by way of letting y'all know that I am decidedly NOT stoic. However, like Dad, I prefer not to take medication, especially pain medication. Like Dad, in all my life before I injured my knee, I took only aspirin for pain. 80 mg enteric coated, one pill every 8 hours, two at the most. So when I injured my knee, initially I tried to keep going with the aspirin. Over the years, the pain has become so goddamned fucking awful that I have been forced to take stronger medication.

I'm currently taking an opioid that serves for post-surgical and "mild to moderate" pain. It's starting to lose its effectiveness, and I might need something stronger soon. Of course, this medication (which I try to limit to one pill a day when I can no longer stand the pain) makes me feel like somebody rammed through my skull with a potato masher. I can't talk, and when I do, I make no sense. I can't remember words. I repeat things, over and over. It's quite tiresome. It's hard to read because I can't concentrate.

Seeing the MRI kinda absolved me of my guilt about the pain meds, though. It's obvious that I do need them. I have given myself permission to take them every 4-6 hours, as recommended, instead of waiting until I'm ready to saw my leg off myself.

Dad would probably think I was being a godawful wuss, and he's probably right. Sorry Dad. I can't live up to your high standards. The first surgery was painful enough. I'm determined that this time around will be better. I'll take my pain meds. I really need them. The bone's grinding on bone and splintering little bits off. And that fucking hurts.

So it's off to court tomorrow (at eight fucking am, these people are clearly both insane and uncivilized), and hopefully a new knee in March! (That's not as far away as y'all might think - barely two months now.)

All those years of watching The Bionic Man decades ago. Did we ever think we'd end up being part-metal?

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At 10:43 PM, Blogger Ms. Manitoba said...

PolCat, you didn't explain about the cyst. Important component, non?

Once you get that new knee, you'll be on the road to healing. (The Voice of Experience)

At 5:37 AM, Blogger school for the girls said...

Hi Political cat,
it is too bad for me sory the year is almost ending and I have not said hi. happy new year!!!!!
What is happening in Israel and Palestina is so sad.
I wish I had that pwer to stop....but once again it is too bad for me since I cannot stop.
have a blessed day

At 7:10 AM, Blogger sgtg said...

hang in pcat - and take those meds - u will soon be better! spring is a wonderful time for a new part. maybe we should start calling u Seven Of Nine!!

At 3:38 PM, Blogger zoe said...

May the goddesses smile down on you on Moday, and may your healing be rapid and uneventful. We will be thinking of you.

At 2:27 AM, Blogger Chuck Butcher said...

hey kitty, here's the deal - everybody has a different threashold of pain and attempting to go outside it creates havoc on the body. You have to stop and think of all the ways the body itself deals with pain, while they are survival methods, they are not good you. Check some sites for physiological response to pain and you'll see what I'm getting at.

I have a high threashold, it doesn't mean anything other than that I'm just not as sensitive to it. I am, however, damn near immune to pain killers of any sort, aspirin is about the only thing that works short of lobotomizing me.

Take care, I'm pulling for you.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

Thanks, everyone, and a special hey to Chuck for being so supportive. Thanks again. I can hardly wait for it to happen.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Anesha said...

Hi Nice Blog .The detailed Knee, for example, of the bronchial tree as seen through the bronchoscope is now of great importance. The introduction of laparoscopic and thoracoscopic instruments to explore and operate in the abdomen and thorax respectively has also opened new vistas as surgeons require to learn their anatomical landmarks through these approaches.


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