Just a few days after I wrote that I was going to put off seeing the doc as long as possible, I called her for an appointment. The pain level in the knee suddenly shot up to the top. My appointment was yesterday, and the knee hurt so bad I didn’t even feel her put that railroad spike under my kneecap to drain it again. This time she took out twice as much fluid as last time, but at least it was all clear. Last time it had blood and bits of cartilage in it.
I asked the doc if there was anything I could do to keep it from filling up with fluid so fast, and she said “no”. The cartilage, along with a small amount of fluid, is supposed to cushion the joint. When the cartilage goes away, the body compensates by increasing the fluid level. Unfortunately, it over-compensates and the tissues, ligaments, etc. get pushed apart, causing pain.
So I asked her to put in a faucet. She laughed and said, “You wouldn’t believe the number of patients that ask me that.” I rubbed my knee and told her I figured every patient did. Then she scheduled me for a MRI to make sure nothing was torn or broken that could be fixed.
The pain relief wasn’t as dramatic this time. In fact, when she finished it still hurt. But that was yesterday. Today it’s not quite as bad, and not all the time — but almost. I may have to get a brace to keep the knee from moving (it’s the rubbing of the internal parts that causes the fluid to build up), which, while inconvenient, will be worth it if it works. But I’ll wait until after the MRI to decide on that. Between a custom brace and the MRI, I guess I’ll be filling up the credit card again.
At least I finally got it empty so that there’s room for this ’emergency’. That’s me, always looking on the bright side!