I've had an eye appointment, then a follow-up and this Saturday is final-up for the other too. I saw my dentist a couple weeks ago for my bi-annual cleaning (very healthy teeth, by the way,) had a physical last week (very healthy person, but lose 11 lbs if you're that concerned about it,) and now this week in probably the most serious of the bunch I saw a specialist about my knee.
Many, many years ago (I believe the summer when the Dick Tracy movie hit the theaters) I was fishing on the locks in McFarland with my father and a friend. I was getting ready to move and was about to climb to an upper walkway that I couldn't easily reach. It was easy enough climbing down but it was at what I estimate now to be chest level and would be a challenge because below was flat without much for traction. I grabbed the lowest railing above me and scrambled up the wall with my feet, finally getting them to the walkway. Since I was on the outside of the railing I would have to swing a leg over the top to get to the other side. I crouched down with my butt to my ankles (probably a little lower considering the position I was in) and sprung upward like a ca.. POP!! AAAAOOOWW!!! . . . Ever crack your knuckle? It was like that x 1000. It hurt like hell and I had to just stand there for a couple minutes before I was sure I could move. I gingerly crawled over the railing, told Dad I was hurt and done for the day and limped back to the pickup to stow my tackle and wait.
It hurt for the rest of the day and I spent much of it laying down. I decided that if it hurt for more than a couple days I'd ask to see a doctor. (A bad habit I continue to this day.) The next day the pain had subsided to a dull ache and I was able to attend friends' family reunion the without major pain. Over the following months the pain subsided to an ache and eventually went away completely. (I remember that November being my first time deer hunting and having the knee bother me even then while sitting up in my tree stand.) It was forgotten for a long time after that but since then it has bothered me to ride my bicycle after a while (tho' in recent years it doesn't take as long,) and as late as this year it sometimes acts up when I'm walking. It's not something that bothers me every day so I don't think of it every day. It was at my physical last week when I finally remembered to mention it to my doctor. I figured I'd better do it now so I can use it for as long as possible. He poked and prodded it a bit and referred me to an orthopedic doctor.
I went in to see him this morning and he took three X-rays. I told him an abbreviated version of the above story, he examined and poked around at my knee and suggested I may have torn my meniscus, one of two pieces of shock-absorbing cartilage that sits beneath the shin bone. It's hard to be conclusive without a closer look so he ordered an MRI. It's similar to an X-ray in that it makes detailed images of the soft tissues but uses no radiation. After a bunch of phone calls regarding insurance and re-scheduling I am now set for next Tuesday.
It's more convenient for me to stay in town but since the hospital here isn't in the "network plan" for that service I'll have to go to the city. But it's a minor inconvenience to have my insurance to pay 90% instead of 60% of the cost (after the $250 deductible, of course.) Am I nervous? Yes, but more about the cost than my knee. It's too early to know if I'll need surgery or not so I won't worry about that for now. I'm not bothered by what they told me regarding the procedure either since I'm not very claustrophobic and I'll probably stick out of the tube anyway. It's just that it happens when I'm thinking about saving for my trip to Japan once work picks up again.
Anyway, wish me luck and don't worry. I wouldn't have been kicking asses this long if it was that much of a problem.
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