Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Elton John In A Stroller, Luca In A Box, and The Joints Ain’t What They Used To Be

My garden is popping out plants like the Duggers birthing children, the weather has been crazy warm, and I’ve been wrapping my head around a few new physical glitches – all in the course of a week.

Let’s break it down.

Easter

Had a fabulous time with the kids. (How old do your children have to be before you stop calling them kids?) Cassie, Matt, the g-babies, Carlene and Ben were here all day. Here’s what we did:
We played on the playground at Cook Forest, had an Easter egg hunt, played hopscotch, drank wine and Guinness, and learned gangsta gestures from my son-in-law from the ‘hood in New Castle *eyeroll*.

I made Cornish game hens (I added some rosemary), my favorite rice pilaf recipe ever (I added zucchini and used a cup of frozen peas instead of broccoli because I wasn’t in the mood to clean up broccoli specks off the counter), steamed asparagus, spicy carrots and tried a new roll recipe that would have been spectacular instead of merely really good if I’d added the butter instead of forgetting it after melting it in the microwave and finding it five hours later.

So where’s Luca, you ask? We didn’t get many photos of the little dude on Easter (for which my mother chastised me mercilessly), but check him out in the next segment.

Playing at Grammy’s

Cassie had a haircut appointment Monday so Claire stayed overnight on Easter and Cassie and Luca returned the next day. We went to the stadium for powerwalking/running/soccer-playing/ab-work-in-the-grass/stair-climbing fun. That’s Claire and me on the right. I was teaching her the finer points of speed walking. She chose to run.

Claire calls her sunglasses her movie star glasses. So fancy. I think Elton John would approve of the shades.

Luca started walking last weekend. He’s not quite 11 months old and he’s a tiny little bugger, but he gets around. Loves to crawl in boxes. Here he is in Grammy’s toy box (yes, I know it’s a diaper box, but it gets the job done).

It Takes a Village

My left knee and left shoulder have been giving me a few problems lately. I went to see my doctor Tuesday and she sent me for x-rays. I also had appointments with my chiropractor and physical therapist, so I got everyone up to speed.

At x-ray, a student intern was working with the x-ray tech. The tech was instructing her on the best way to take my knee films. Apparently I am unique. Not unique in that my knees are all screwed up. Unique in that I’m not overweight.

“Most of our patients are larger,” she told the intern. “This lady is very flexible so she’s easier to move around.” She instructed her for 10 minutes, using the words “most patients” so many times I lost count. God, I really hope this trend turns around soon.

This morning, my PT went to the hospital and read the x-rays with the radiologist (they play racquetball together) and he called me with some preliminary results.

(Quick side story: A year ago when I met PT Seth, he took one look at my right knee and said, “Wow, I’d LOVE to see that in an x-ray.” (I guess the way to a PT’s heart is through a funky looking joint.) Yesterday, the techs took a film of both my knees for comparison, so afterwards I went back to the PT building and wrote Seth a note: “You’re gonna love this. They took a film of my right knee. When you read my shoulder film tomorrow, give the knee a look-see.” He was (sadly) impressed.)

The radiologist was all “Oh. My. God!” about my right knee, just as Seth suspected he would be. Radiologist said I was looking at a knee replacement “in the very near future.” Seth told him nope, that I was hanging on to it because nothing had changed in it for a very long time. Anyway, it’s the left knee I’m having the problem with at the moment, namely due to the enlargement of a cyst on the upper outside part of the knee. It’s called an intra-articular cyst and the radiologist said it could probably be excised, although it could be tricky given it’s under my quads and IT band. Tricky shmicky. I’m pumped to know that at least something can be done short of knee replacement.

I’ll take my film (and probably MRI results) to a new knee doctor in Pittsburgh in three weeks. I’ll let you know what the doc says and if (most likely “when”) surgery is scheduled.

On to my shoulder. I’ll probably need an MRI to know more, but the x-ray shows chronic inflammation of the tendons. The radiologist told Seth that PT will help with that. Seth will dig out his magic box of tricks and said my doctor will most likely recommend iontophorosis with dexamethasone . I’ll have to go to PT 3x a week for 3 weeks, but if it will reduce the inflammation and pain, I’m there. Hopefully I’ll start treatment next week.

It takes a village to keep my joints working, but most importantly, it takes ME. I need to keep being proactive with my care, educated in what’s going on and what every course of treatment means, and – especially – eat responsibly and exercise. I get accused often of being “too rigid” with my diet. But you know what? Every pound added to your frame adds six pounds of pressure to your knees. I need to give my body its best shot at recovery and good health, and so even though I indulge a little once in awhile, more than ever I’m dedicated to maintaining my weight.

All in all, I’m on top of the world. Just like the first part of the Cheap Trick song, which happened to play on my way home from all the appointments yesterday. I’m adopting it as my theme song. Remind me of this when I’m bitching and moaning in a month after I’ve had surgery, OK?

But seriously. I have a great family and a cadre of awesome medical professionals to help me through this. I especially love that I have this space to write in and communicate with people who get it. You get weight and weight loss and all the stuff that goes with it. Thank you for reading and listening.

I dedicate this song to all of you who are losing and maintaining weight. Never forget how hard you are working.

You’re on top of the world
On top of the world and you can’t get any higher
You’re on top of the world, on top of the world tonight


It wasn’t easy, it was hard as hell
You didn’t get luck in a wishin’ well
Never worked so hard, had so much pain
Wouldn’t change for anything

9 comments:

Margie M. said...

You have a great looking family! I'm glad you enjoyed your Easter with them. Cute kids!

Good luck with the upcoming surgery.

Margie M. writes at:
www.myhealthylivingthruweightcontrol.blogspot.com

Ali said...

Love the pictures of the grandkids! Love them! And the one of Luca in the box is so darn cute.

Please do keep us apprised of your appointments with doctors and how you fare. And I think it is great that you can keep the weight off yourself even if it means being rigid.

I hope your appointments go well.

Shelley said...

Look at how tiny you are in that tire swing!!! Looks like Easter was loads of fun - your family is just gorgeous!

Too funny and kind of sad that your size was so remarkable to the Xray techs. Says a lot about our large society. Glad you could make your PT's day by giving him some knee Xray porn, lol!

If they have to do surgery, think of what great shape you are in and how much easier of a recovery you will have. Not to mention how much better you will feel when you are all fixed up!

Oh, and I vote for your post title as this year's winner!

Lyn said...

Ahhh. Knees are a tough thing to fix I guess (without surgery). I haven't seen my ortho since I weighed 278 so I don't know yet if knee replacements are STILL in the plan but I hope not.

Good luck getting your joint stuff fixed!

debby said...

Lynn! I guess I'll be glad for you since you are so happy about all your joint news?

The carrot recipe looks yummy--thanks for sharing.

My favorite part? That it only takes a cardboard box to make a human being that supremely happy. Thanks for sharing your family with us.

Lynn P. said...

Wonderful family time, Easter and Spring time is the best time to renew and re-energize.

Reading your personal life journey always helps me stay focused and I appreciate you sharing!

Best of luck with your appointments and treatments.

Vickie said...

I am beginning to think that one of the number one signs of being successful at maintenance is having people think one is rigid about food (and exercise and keeping one’s life on an even keel).

I think it is 'lottery' or 'wishing for magic' to think one is going to get all the way down to goal and then hold there – without being what these people see as rigid.

I don’t see myself as rigid. I see myself as really understanding and being able to APPLY reality. That is exactly how I see you too.

val said...

Too rigid about what you eat??? Puh-leeze. They can kiss your (size 6) ass. You have the right to weigh what you want and to eat what you want. That's basic autonomy. love you and sending your knees good wishes... Val

Lori said...

Adorable photos!

Can you imagine how you would be feeling today if you had not lost the weight? It's mind boggling, isn't it?