Thursday, February 18, 2010

And the diagnosis is...

The verdict is in. A complex tear of the right knee medial meniscus. Poo. I'm not surprised because this injury is more painful than the left one ever was, so I knew that there had to be something REAL and acute going on. Next Friday, the 26th, I'll be having another arthroscopy to clean up the shredded mess that is floating about my patella and related parts. I'm okay with it - mainly glad that it's fixable, and that I'm not imagining this knee pain. Also I have the recent experience of the December arthroscopy that, despite a dicey recovery for a few weeks, has ultimately yielded a good result. That will go a long way to reassure me this time and keep me optimistic.

One difference this go 'round is I'm not going back to work until at least 2 weeks after the procedure. For the left knee, because it wasn't too painful before the surgery, I worked up to the day before. There is no way, given the physical nature of my job, that I could do it this time because the knee really hurts, and compromises my walking a lot. I know that if I push it, I will be putting the newly healed left side at risk, and I'm not feeling like playing alternating knee scopes for the remainder of my days, of which I hope there will be MANY. Days full of physical strength, activity and well being.

So I'm officially out, per doctor's note, through at least March 12. Knowing my tendency towards activity junkie-hood, this will be a challenge for me. I love down time, but also recognize my need for structure in each day. The universe is telling me it's time to sl-o-o-o-o-o-w down for a sustained period. That 15 minutes of meditation 3x/wk that is one of my Perfect 10 goals - should be easy. The stacks of books and magazines piled on most horizontal surfaces in my house - time to be read. Knitting projects - bring 'em on. Movies - perhaps I can become a small scale critic 'cuz I'll have time to watch plenty. 4th step inventory to explore my eating behaviors and reticence to lose more weight - I'll be all over it. It all sounds so good and appealing right now. But I know myself and that my internal itchiness will be impulsively urging me to go and do, rather than just be. And I need and want to just be.

Interesting that simply writing of my need and desire to "just be" causes my throat to constrict, my eyes to fill. I'm not sure what those visceral responses are telling me, but I know that I'm going to have time find out...if I will. Feels a little scary, like falling softly over a cliff, hoping for buoyancy but fearing free fall into abyss.

That's all I have right now. Maybe feeling a little somber, but I'm not upset about needing the arthroscopy. Actually I have no clue what I'm feeling now, but I do know that my absence of feelings is not because I've eaten them down. Have had a clean day - only had lunch because of the morning appointments.

Numb. That's where I am for the moment. But the capillaries will refill and feelings will return. And since I'm sort of down for the count, I'll be here to recognize those feelings as they manifest if I don't stuff them away with food. I can and will abstain from crazy consumption of crap for the rest of the day, thereby giving myself a shot at what's going on in my head and heart.


  1. Oh no! That sounds painful but like you said at least you know now what you are dealing with. Sending positive thoughts your way Leslie.

  2. Hi Leslie. Sorry you're in so much pain but at least you're getting it fixed very quickly.

    Time off is a double edged sword. But maybe you can really get to grips with that inventory? And I'm looking forward to more pics of beautiful socks! (Or whatever you'll be working on.)

    Hope you're able to keep your spirits up,
    Bearfriend xx

  3. So sorry about your good knee or is it the bad knee now. Good luck and prayers coming your way.
    When you get bored get on here and talk to us.

  4. I am super glad you can get this taken care of. Also having knowledge of the procedure does help I would guess. I dread having my left knee actually checked out someday. I hope your recovery time goes well.... Lean on us, if you need. We hear what you have to say and care.

  5. What a vivid and lovely word picture!

    "...falling softly over a cliff, hoping for bouyancy, but fearing free fall into abyss..."

    I read that and knew the feeling you were describing...KNEW it.

    Taking the time... it is a gift. Perhaps you can gently walk down the path to your discovery rather than taking the cliff? Not saying that the path won't have a pothole or little drop off on the way...

    Glad you got time off of work.


  6. I'm sorry that you had to have the knee problems to have this time to do these things for yourself. But you've been given "permission" to do all the great things that you outlined. Just live in the moment and use the opportunity.

  7. Geez. . .you make recovering from surgery sound like a sabbatical. . .something to be envious of--now that's a gift, Girl!

    But seriously, it's no wonder you're feeling a bit vulnerable. Hang in there.

  8. so sorry about your knee, but glad it's getting fixed. Re the scary unknown of going within yourself in your 'down time'....there is nothing there that is so awful you can't handle it, once you face it. Honestly. and it will help SO much with your food health journey, you won't believe it. Take this time to do some work on inner baggage; we all carry it to one degree or another, and it's directly involved with your weight. Really and truly. :: hugs ::

  9. I'm sorry it's so painful, but I'm glad it is something fixable!

    I know it can feel uncomfortable to explore deep feelings... but you've done it before, and I know you can navigate them again in regards to this weight thing.

    We are here to listen, anytime you feel like thinking out loud.
    Take care,

  10. Aw, man! Stinky old knee! But I'm glad you're getting it taken care of. We will be here for you! Take it easy.

  11. ugh...
    bright side says perpetually pollyanna...
    you only have two knees...
    No more will be heading south, that's for sure.
    Boy o...hope you heal well and quickly.
    Hang in there.

  12. For someone who is used to being active and working it can definitely throw you off to have down time. I think your plans are great though. Here's to a speedy recovery!

  13. Well, at least you know what you're dealing with now... You definitely need to take an appropriate amount of time out to recover, and I'll be seriously nagging you if I so much as hear a mention of going back to work earlier than scheduled!

  14. I totally understand about being off schedule and having it sink you. My suggestion is to plan your days and your food out in a WRITTEN form.

    You can do a lot of free weights and pilates flat on your back with no weight on either knee. Call the reference librarian at your library - explain - have them pull stuff for you and then send your hubby to retrieve it.

    It might be hard to sit with just yourself (emotionally). That is often a very hard part of beginning yoga or meditation. People often find themselves sitting on their yoga mats BAWLING and have no idea why.

    Many people are running as fast as they can - keeping themselves busy and surrounded by people their entire lives.

    I am not saying to avoid meditation. I am saying what might surface. I am saying that you might need to start out tiny. And be prepared for the fact that it will be an adjustment. I guess be prepared to embrace 'being you' and 'being alone with you'.

    You might want to use soft music. You might ask librarian about relaxation DVD's or CD's.

  15. I'm glad you have some answers at last. You need structure for sure so put it in place before you are too far into your medical sabbatical. Try to enjoy and, of course, keep blogging!

  16. You sound like I feel after a big deal news. I unplug the emotion and I process what has to happen. I can do this for over a week in a pinch. You're right, the capillaries will fill again.

    You will float Leslie. Do you hear me? You are buoyant. Buoyancy=Staying on the Surface. You go under, we're coming after you babe!

  17. I'm hoping your second surgery goes as well as your first. SOmetimes I want to throw my hands up and ask when it will be that all the testing is over. You can get through this. Just keep rolling on.