Dec 5, 2016

A Pain in the Knee, Part I (aka The BackStory)

For as long as I can remember I have had knee problems. When I was in elementary my knees always hurt and I was told it was because I grew so fast that my knees couldn't keep up. I dealt with it and quite honestly got used to the dull constant achy pain. Luckily eventually the pain stopped and it was out of sight, out of mind.

Until 8th grade P.E.

I wasn't a fan of P.E. to begin with but then we had to run the 50 yard dash. I have never been much of a runner but my thought was basically that I had to do it then I could move on with my day. I watched several meets go before it was my turn. I start running and the next thing know I'm on the ground, bleeding from pretty much everywhere and with intense knee pain. Honestly I still don't remember much. I remember my knee giving out and I landed on my left knee first, put my hands over my face (my palms were raw), and rolling. Everyone thought I was have a seizure but I just had a bum knee that gave out on me.

I ended up getting patched up - I wasn't kidding when I said I had blood everywhere - and I was on crutches for about a week then in a knee brace for a few months. I was told to do some rehab at home - squats against the wall - to help strengthen my knees. But that was basically it. I was sent on my way.

I didn't have another thought about my knee until high school when I was jacking around in the kitchen and my knee gave out of my again. I felt it slip then intense pain. But a couple days later it was back to normal. And I was back to no more knee problems.

It wasn't until I was a freshmen in college that I had my next big problem. It was Easter weekend, and we were getting ready to head down to the lake. My mom, sister, and I went shopping at Walmart (if you know me at all then you know I hate Walmart and you're about to learn why). My dad was at my sister's apartment and my brother-in-law was at work. We had just checked out. My mom and sister were walking a little ahead of me and I was pushing the cart. Again the next thing I know I'm sitting on the floor holding my knee the cart rolling away and I'm sobbing. I don't mean a little crying - I mean serious attention-catching crying. And my butt is wet. I didn't catch a lot that was around me but I do remember my mom snapping at one of the employees who swore she saw me with my feet on the bar while she was trying to clean up the wet spot on the floor. My mom basically body blocked her and said I didn't have my foot up and that she wanted pictures of the wet spot on the floor (that wasn't marked by the way). There was a bit of an argument on my side since you could see the wet spot on my pants as I slid through it when I fell.

Long story short, I sat there for about an hour before I could finally get up. We ended up heading to urgent care to get it checked out. A lot of weird things went on there including giving me strong pain killers then grabbing my knee and asking if anything hurt. After what they gave me, nothing hurt. So that was definitely bad. But I ended up in a full leg brace for a couple days then told to follow up.

Again I moved on with my knee aching off and on but never enough for me to have it looked at again. But then it started slipping out of place. Over and over when I hit my knee or sometimes when I just bent down, it would slip out. It would cause me some pain for a few days then I was back to normal. Now I know what you're thinking - a knee cap slipping out of place is anything but normal but it was becoming a normal and I didn't like to think about it when it hadn't just happened. It still makes me shudder.

But just recently that has changed. At the end of October, I had just put Connor into his exersaucer when I turned and smacked my knee on the bar of it. Apparently I hit it hard because it felt my knee cap slip. But as is my normal reaction I grabbed for my knee but realized my kneecap wasn't in place. Instinct had me pushing it back in. Then immediately my body got cold and my hands started to shake. I lowered myself to the ground and called Rob. It wasn't until he was on his way home that the adrenaline finally slowed down and it started to hurt. It was definitely the worst yet since this was the first time it had stayed out but I thought it would be like the rest.

I took some pain killer and iced it and hoped for the best. Especially since I was going to Mother-Daughter Weekend the next day and Silver Dollar City to walk around all day the next. But by the next day it was feeling a little better and I was sure I would be fine. I made it through the weekend but I noticed it wasn't feeling better. In fact it was getting worse.

So finally I decided to take Rob's advice and have it looked at. So I got an appointment with my doctor . She asked me about it, felt it, then ordered x-rays and said she would call me with the results and what would come next.

The x-rays were hard to do since squatting and putting all my weight on my bad knee was required. It was something I was barely able to do but I made it through. And the next day I got a call. They had indeed seen something - or not seen something. It seemed that I had - simply put - a chunk of cartilage missing. So now I would be needing a MRI and to see Ortho. So that was the next steps for me. It was finally time to have my knee dealt with. And there was finally something that could be done about my knee.

So I got my MRI, which let me just say how much MRIs suck. Not to mention I have a terrible cold going on and I had to hold perfectly still without coughing for 30 minutes - basically impossible. But I made it through and didn't expect to hear anything back until the next week, but later that day I actually got a call with the results. My MRI was normal. They still suggested I see the knee specialist but it was normal. I could write about all the emotions that went on with that news but I'll keep it short.

On one hand it was good that there was no serious damage. But at the same time I was upset that everything was normal because a knee slipping out often isn't normal.

So now it was time to meet with the knee specialist.

Come back tomorrow, to check out Part II of this story...

xo, B

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