Sunday, September 04, 2011

Almost a Week Later

So much for the plan to come back later the first day and write more about my experience.  Here it is on Sunday, just now coming back. Since Monday I have had 10 hours of physical and occupational therapy. All you exercise enthusiasts are snickering at the paltry sum. I know it doesn't seem like much but it occupies a full morning or afternoon each weekday and is far more than I did at home were I avoided any movement that would cause me pain.

I still have pain though I have learned to ask for medication before my sessions. I have increased the weights on my arms from 1 to 3 lbs and on my ankles from 1 to 2. My standing time has increased from under 30 seconds to 1 and 1/2 minutes supported by the walker. Long way to go, but it took a long while to get to this point.

I have had knee problems for years. Bad knees run in the family. All the members of my immediate family have had knee replacements. I am stuck with the original deteriorated components not for sentimental value but due to the need to lose weight first, a seemingly impossible task for me.

In February, though, I was inspired by a tv commercial to go get some shots for my feet. I have had numbness in my feet which paired with my knee glitchiness have made me wary of driving. This clinic promised improvement through their "breakthrough" treatment and I decided to give them a try. The decision surprised my sister. I am usually so wary of doctors. She'd been suggesting cortisone shots for my knees for years. I had never complained much about my feet.

Doing the treatment series for my feet involved twice weekly shots (5) in my ankles and some electrical stimulus on my shins. February and March went by. Mary drove me to my appointments.

After experiencing some success in the foot numbness, I learned the clinic also did knee injections. I signed on for that series. Too bad I never investigated the success or composite of either injection set.  The ankle injections were an NSAID combination of some kind. The knee injections were supposed to stimulate the regeneration of cartilage.  In the long run neither of them worked. My ankles were constantly swollen. My knee pain diminished but never stopped.

During the process, I discovered my back pain was becoming my primary concern. It went for occasional discomfort to almost constant aching. Only when I was sitting in certain positions did it abate.  Climbing up stairs was excruciating.  Going down them was a little better, but scary.

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