I have a needy knee. Five months ago I found out that I have arthritis--bad.
After examining the x-ray the doctor repeatedly asked me how old I was. "Forty-five," I said, "Just 45."
It turns out that my knee is that of an old lady--a very old lady. The cartilage is completely worn away. When Brian saw the x-ray for the first time this week, he, in his most eloquent way, said, "Whoa! Your knee is toast!"
The irony is so rich. The number one reason I had chosen to be an active adult and exercise regularly is because I didn't want to be a crumpled up, slow moving, poorly-oxygenated old woman. The image I held on to was that of a vibrant, thin, gray-haired octogenarian who was still able to hike and walk and play--to be whomever and to go wherever I wanted.
Me have arthritis? How could this be? How did this ever happen?
I used to run for exercise, but then for some reason my knee started hurting. Maybe I needed new shoes? Maybe I needed to stretch my quads more?
Eventually, I decided to forgo running and try working out on an elliptical instead. It was great. No problems for a good long while.
Five months ago the achey-ness was enough to send me to an orthopedic specialist.
I was given a cortisone shot and promptly forgot about any discomfort. I denied its existence and hoped it would just go away.
Four months or so later (right on schedule) the cortisone shot gradually wore off.
I was really hurting. The pain was waking me up at night.
I WAS EVEN LIMPING!
My kids joked that we needed one of those electric chairs that the old man, Carl, in the movie UP used to descend his stairs.
I returned to the doctor.
I had an MRI (to check for a torn meniscus.) It was negative.
Second cortisone shot.
This time I will not forget. This time I KNOW it is real. It will not go away. I still feel the ache--the knee ache and the heart ache.
How will I cope with this needy knee?