trying to hang on till 50

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Went to my ortho doctor again today. We discussed my "case" Basically I am a mess. I am riddled with arthritis but since he is a knife guy, all he does is well...cut. Or well...he also does things to limp you along until you need to be ...cut. He is an excellent knife guy. When I need a knife guy...I want him.

    We know I have arthritis in my knees, hips, lower back, and now my ankles. We strongly suspect my hands are affected but we arent even dealing with such small stuff now. Bigger fish to fry.

    I have had both knees scoped in 04 and 05. Supartz shot series done twice before. Numerous steroid injections in knees, hips and lower lumbar area.

    Today we decided to do the Supartz again in my knees one more time and see how long it lasts. Outward limit is 6 months. The longest I got relief was 4 months. I will take it. 5 weekly shots in my knee for another 3 months of relief is ok. Maybe. Sigh. I can do it once a year I think.

    I also got steroid shots in my ankle and two in my lumbar spine area. We may have to look at some sort of surgical intervention on my ankle if it doesnt get any better soon.

    My knees we are trying to baby along until I am 50. No one wants to replace them until I am at least 50. Really they want to shoot for 65 but there is no way on this earth I am gonna last that long. I am dreading it with everything I have in me because I just learned to walk again and I really dont want to do it a second time! If I have to, I want to do both at the same time because I know I can do it. I know I can!!!! I have done it! I will just get sent back to me favorite

    Ugh...I can already feel the steroid shots kicking in on my brain I have already taken a klonopin. I know I will be taking extra's for a few days while this works its way through my system. Hypomania here it comes!
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know how you do it. Hang in there though- your family needs you to be able to chase those babies around! LOL!
  3. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Janet, I know that you struggle with your weight. What has your doctor advised in terms of that? I know that since I put on 45lbs due to the APs that my arthritic knees are really complaining.

    According to my ortho, each pound of excess weight puts up to 10 lbs of additional stress on the knees and more than that on the lumbar spine.

    I know you mentioned checking into weight loss surgery in the past. Medicaid/Medicare will cover weight loss surgery if you have accompanying comorbidities. Joints breaking down from arthritis qualifies.

    The problem is that they also require (I think) at least six months of medically supervised dieting before they will consider coverage.

    Did you have problems with your joints before you gained the weight? Old injuries?

    I know in my case that (I'm your age) I started with arthritis in my knees and back in my twenties due to injuries and knee surgeries due to injuries.

    I am struggling to get my weight down so I can exercise more and so I can put off the knee replacements for as long as possible.

    I have mild fibro as well, and that can make it even harder to exercise.

    I am sorry you are going through this. I hope you can find a solution, especially one that allows you to avoid the steroid shots. Steroid shots help short term for inflammation in joints, but in the long run they destroy the cartilage and other joint tissues.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont know how I do it either K, but I really wasnt given a big

    Tony annoyed the HELL out of me this morning when I called him to tell him how my doctor appointment went. I told him he really wouldnt have wanted to have been in my shoes at this particular appointment because I got all those nasty shots in all those nasty places. He is a really big wuss about needles and shots. He thinks I just go do it for fun or something. He remarked that maybe I would have liked to have traded places with him and gone down and worked in his place....HUH?

    I I would give my right arm to be able to go work in MY profession again. I dont go get needle after needle and shot after shot into parts of my body that most normal people really dont want to get needles in. I dont ENJOY this stuff. I do it because I want to attempt to have some semblance of a live without resorting to extremely strong narcotic painkillers. I could just go down and beg and cajole my GP into increasing my pain medications until I was back on oxycontin or morphine which Im sure I could do. However, I am trying everything under the sun to do anything I can to keep myself on the lowest amount of pain pills I can. I do things that HURT me in order to do this.

  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I have looked into the WLS. I really would consider it. Hell I would do it tomorrow.

    I should be considered to have done a medically supervised weight loss because in 2003/2004 I dieted under my GP's care and checked in monthly and charted my weight loss. I actually did lose almost 90 pounds but I lost insurance, county mental health stopped my lamictal and topamax, through me on lithium and zyprexa for a few months and there went the weight loss. By the time I convinced them they were crazy...topamax didnt work for weight loss properties anymore at all.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Janet, I think the medically supervised diet has to be done as a direct leadup to the WLS. In other words, several years ago wouldn't "count". You would have to do it over again to qualify.

    The usual deal seems to be that you first do the diet and then once you 'pass' that phase, they schedule the surgery and put you on a liquid protein sort of fast. This gets even more weight off and also shrinks the liver which makes it easier for the surgeon.

    WLS is NOT a surgery to be considered lightly. It can have a LOT of side effects and takes a total committment to a new lifestyle. I think you also have to commit to followup classes and stuff as well.

    I guess it wouldn't hurt to look into it again. AP weight is awful to lose as the APs don't just make you eat more, they also alter your carb metabolism as well.

    I take Depakote and that's not too bad for weight gain in my case. It's the darned APs that are horrible.

    Add in that due to intestinal strictures I have to eat a low fiber/low residue diet (can't have raw fruits or veggies or lots of whole grains, legumes, etc.) and it is just awful.

    I can't safely eat the sort of foods I have to eat in order to eat a healthy diet.

    Do you have access to a 'Y' or something that offers water exercise classes? I don't up here, but my mother does and she's found them to be very helpful (she has spinal stenosis and bad hips)
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We dont have a Y or anything like that. There are several Health Clubs but they cost money...LOTS OF MONEY! LOL. One I cant go back to because I reneged on a membership back in the 90s. Im sure they still remember. I did pay out my membership at the other one here locally but they dont have a pool and I really didnt like their whole system. They claimed to be able to work with disabled people but they never even had someone there to help me when I went. I went for two months and then stopped going but paid the monthly membership for the next ten months and then canceled it. I have tried to see if a hotel here has an indoor pool but so far no luck but Im still calling around. I do know that next summer I am buying one of those 4 foot above ground Walmart pools.

    If I had to do something like Curves or WW or something like that, it is simply not an option.
  8. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Janet. Yeah. The problem with the "health clubs" is that you are signing a loan and contract to make monthly payments. If you don't fulfill your end, they can not only refuse to sign you up in the future, but it can go on your credit reports as well.

    I don't know if it is reasonable to expect a commercial 'retail' health club to have physical therapists specializing in working with the disabled.

    I think there is a way to do WW online without spending a fortune. I know we have/have had at least one person on line who works for WW. May a posting in the Healthy Living forum would help?

    Are you in an area where you have access to bariatric specialists? It is possible that medicare will cover that.

    I haven't looked into that because I am too fat for my bones and joints and not fat enough to be considered a bariatric case.

    I am getting really concerned about the number of steroid joint injections you have had. Are you able to get a second opinion from another ortho? There's a weird thing with Medicare/Medicaid where the surgeons actually get MORE money from a course of injections than they do from surgery.

    Also, some orthos will not do a joint replacement in a morbidly obese patient. There are a lot of risks of blood clots and other complications.

    It really turns into a Catch-22 situation.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I could do that GN. I think we have a bariatric center that just opened up here. Our hospital is enlarging. There is only one other ortho here and I do not like them. Bad episode dealing with one of the kids years ago. They missed a fracture then were very rude to me about it. I could understand missing the fracture but being rude to me and yelling at my way.

    I just get so tired of the doctor-go - round. Im trying to get a referral to a rhuemy now. If I can do that maybe I can try and get on methotrexate and avoid the steroids for a while. Im trying desperately to find a way to slow down, if not fix, this arthritis stuff. I would really like to have a joint that isnt turning into gravel at an alarming rate!
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Boy Janet. Do I hear you! It's really weird how as this progresses, you sort of suppress the pain so you can go about your business (I try to avoid the narcotic pain medications as I have horrible problems with dizziness and nausea when I take them)

    Back in March, after a change in my dosage of APs, I got so dizzy that I basically folded up and fell in my kitchen.

    I knew right away that I'd broken several toes and possibly a bone in my foot. The ER xrayed my ankle as well because of how swollen and bruised it was. Luckily it wasn't broken, but the doctor and I were both stunned at the amount of bone spurs and loss of joint space.

    He outright asked me how I was walking on the thing! I told him that it seemed okay once I got the stiffness worked out of it when I got up in the AM or stood up after sitting for a while.

    I seem to have some weird ability to suppress the pain and just get stiffer and stiffer. My gait is really bad. I almost waddle when I walk due to the legs and the back (I have spinal stenosis as well--it runs in my family and I suffered a compression fracture in my back years ago when I fell off a horse).

    Of course, the great thing with the back is they tell you in one breath that they can hopefully fix it with surgery, but in the next breath they tell you there's a big chance it will recur in a few years. Sort of like 'why bother?'
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hate when people say....but how do you handle it? OMG! Am I supposed to go to a corner and just die? The doctors actually thought they hadnt stuck me hard enough on my arterial blood gas because I didnt scream loud enough! Not only was I just coming out of a coma but I was just too done for to work up a good fit! I just kept saying over and over again...oh god oh god oh hurts it hurts it hurts...tony tony tony. Now if anyone really knows me...that is bad for me! I suppose if you do surgery on me without anesthesia you might get screams. I think I did grab the surgeons arm when I came out of surgury from my hysterectomy and I was not medicated! I think I yelled...I feel that! They put me back
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet I used to work on the orthopedic floor waaaaaay back when. Knee surgery took alot of rehab. And I don't recall them ever doing both at once even if both needed it. Most likely cuz it's so darn painful.

    I wonder why he wants to wait though. We had patients younger than you getting them done when they needed it. Worst case senerio is the prosthetic wears out over a period of time, then just has to be replaced again. (I know I said that like it was nothing) But gee, at least you'd walk better and not have the pain there, which also might help the pain levels in the hips and ankles.

    If he's going to want you to wait I'd make sure he has a reallly good plan for pain management.

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Knee replacements last an average of 10 to 15 years if they do a good one and Medicare/medicaid patients dont tend to get the very best-high end models. My weight may cause me to have to get a more luxury

    As far as pain control and ortho docs...ha! They dont do no stinkin pain pills! Not for long term pain control. After surgery, sure. They think celebrex is a miracle drug. It doesnt do a thing for me. I wont even take it because of the heart attack/stroke risk.

    Now I am a bit worried about the knee replacement deal because of the PE risks. After already having both a PE and a DVT, I dont know if I am such a good risk. Yeah I know they can put the lil filters in but...yuck. They have to go in from up top and fish them out! I watch too much tv!
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    husband lost hip joint due to a fall that destroyed the blood supply to the joint. Unfortunately, he went back to running and biking and the implant failed. This can be a nightmare, especially if by then you are sick with something else.

    I have heard the same thing about knee replacements which is why I am so leery of going there.

    I don't use a pain control clinic because I quite simply will NOT take pain medications several times a day like they insist upon.

    I am very lucky in that my PCP writes my pain medications for me. She figures that I don't use enough to be abusing them and there is no problem
  15. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Janet, I think some of us are just predisposed to join issues. I am facing knee replacement. I won't go back to my ortho because that, at this point, is my only option. My knees are shot. So, I try to keep my weight down. We just got a new Y so I am going to join so I can do water aerobics because I know I can do the regular without much pain. I moved furniture this summer, and I could not walk on my right knee for over a week because of the swelling and the pain. I am holding off as long as I can. It hoovers having knee problems. I can't clean under my bed because I can't bend down. I rearranged my closet yesterday, and trying to arrange the shoes was a nightmare. Picture me bending over, rump in the air, reaching into the recesses of my closet without bending my knees too much because they will go out on me.
  16. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    After having my right knee operated on in August, I went to the orthopedist today for my left knee. I've already had two surgeries on it. I know my weight has a lot to do with it, but how do you exercise when you can't walk without pain?

    I've been walking laps in the pool at the gym. Yes, it's expensive, but I didn't need physical therapy after my knee surgery.