Thursday, April 28, 2016

What a stupid difference a stupid year makes





I have to have another total knee replacement. My right knee has now decided to say "fuck you" to the world and give up.


I was not expecting this today. I thought I'd get another shot or something. Anything. But no. Total goddamn replacement in my right knee. It has been a long time coming, that's for sure. I injured it the first time when I was 18 years old (in a snowball fight, no less). I subsequently injured it eight more times over twenty years- the most recent time being March 3, 2006. That was what led up to the left total knee replacement in 2009.

So, last year... last year, I had knee pain and went to see my knee surgeon. And, I wrote a blog post about it- "Life is funny sometimes, but life is also a jerk sometimes"- and I included helpful photos. After I got over my initial shock- because believe me, there was shock and MASSIVE self-control to not blurt out the word "FUCK" repeatedly- I said, "I don't know what to do... I have so much stuff- I have plans." and inside my head, I'm going over the ren faire dates- like Janesville Ren Faire on May 14 and 15. Bristol starts on July 9th this year. Then Stronghold and a week later, A Gathering of Rogues & Ruffians. And let's not forget TeslaCon in November.


My right knee is MUCH worse than my left knee was when I had it replaced seven years ago. But, I had to ask, why doesn't the right one hurt as much as the left one did seven years ago?

Turns out- Fibrofuckingmyalgia.

Undiagnosed, untreated fibro caused my recovery to be a nightmare the first time. Every time I took two steps forward, I'd fall back one. It was a battle. A long, boring, painful battle. But I eventually got through it (especially after they started treating me for fibro).

This time around, I'm on three different drugs to live with the fibro. I take Hydrocodone (Vicodin), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, a muscle relaxer), and Duloxetine (Cymbalta). My body does not process pain properly anymore. Partially due to fibro, partially due to all the drugs I take for fibro. So, my body and brain weren't perceiving this pain as bad as it is, but if someone else had this knee, well, they'd be crying and swearing more than I was while I was driving home today.

There are some differences between my first total knee replacement and now. One, both my parents are gone now and I really just want my mommy. Two, despite still being fat (yes, I'm fat; don't sugarcoat it for me, I'll just eat it), I am in way better shape than I was then. Back then, I'd spent three years as a sedentary human. I did as little as possible for activity. And while I'm not running marathons and lifting all the weights at the gym, I am doing more and of course- ren faire walking (that's the same as regular walking, but you look fabulous doing it). Part of that is that I've been using my left leg exclusively to go up and down the stairs. When I had my first knee replaced, my right leg was still weirdly injured and not as strong as it should have been. I had a lot of trouble with stairs. Third, I am way, way, way more motivated than I've ever been in my life. I have approximately seven weeks between surgery day and opening weekend of Bristol. And I am not going to miss faire. I will not miss Bristol. Ever. My parents always said they wouldn't die during my faire season and goddammit, if they could schedule their deaths during the winter just so I wouldn't have to miss faire or photo editing time, then I will be goddamned ready to go to Bristol when it happens. I don't care if I have to drag my ass around with my walker. I WILL NOT MISS BRISTOL!

*deep breath*

What was my point? I don't even know if I had one. I have to get my goddamned knee replaced. I have to recover from that in seven weeks. It was such a shock because I was honestly not expecting him to say I'd need surgery. At the very least, not total knee replacement. In just over two weeks, my knees will be fully cyborg. I expect to be a full android by the time I'm 65. I wonder if I still have to go to the doctor then or if I just get my oil changed at Jiffy Lube.

Here are some photos of my X-rays. The dates are on them, from 2009 to today. You can see how quickly my knee deteriorated in the past year.

I was at the doctor to get checked out because I slipped on the ice and wanted to make sure I wasn't further damaged (he did an X-ray on my cyborg knee too). But this was my right knee then... it still had some cartilage in it.

May 5th, 2015... last year, when I got a cortisone shot in it. (I added that text last year, I added the May 5th part today. Don't judge me!).

And, here we have today...

Yeah. Quite a shock, isn't it? It looks like my leg bone is sliding off my shinbone.

Just a year... this definitely explains why I had so much trouble walking around at the faire, the other faire, that other faire too, Teslacon, and the Midwest Horse Fair two weeks ago.

Here's a zoom-in on all three X-rays.