After Sandy

PT on Monday got cancelled due to the storm and so did my knee injection that I was supposed to have today. Between this and cancelling PT last Wednesday because I was sick, it has been a full week since I have had an appointment of any type!

PT is open tomorrow so even though I have no school I have to get up an hour earlier than I would for school since it was supposed to be a before school appointment. I will reschedule my Monday appointment then, I also am waiting on a call from HSS for a new appointment for my Euflexxa injection.

I did not lose power until 10 this morning...after the storm, I am pretty sure this was the world's way of playing a cruel joke on me. Worse yet though is I have no cell service, I feel like I have been cut off from the world! I am currently posting from a Barns & Noble, so it might be awhile until the next post.

Frankenstorm is Coming!

Last week went from bad to worse, as Tuesday night I got sick, and stayed home from school sick on Wednesday (and missed PT) but went to school sick Thursday. I called the OS's office to see if it had to due with the euflexxa injection, since there was no localized reaction it was probably just a coincidence. Now I feel better and my knee is still status quo, so we will see what happens after the next injection.

I don't think I mentioned it in the last post, but the OS doesn't really want to operate on my hips at all currently, because the cortisone shot only gave about 50% relief. The final opinion won't come until after the Rheumatologist appointment, which seems like so far away.

At sometime Monday Hurricane Sandy is supposed to hit CT and collide with a cold air front coming from the north as well as another storm coming from the west and crate "Frankenstorm." I keep hoping if I ignore it it will go away. While I have my college applications done, so at least that is one less thing I need to worry about, I really don't want to miss another PT appointment or my next injection on Tuesday.

MRI Number Five and Euflexxa Injection Number One

Last night I had an MRI on my right hip. This was not one of the more pleasant MRI experience I have had but hopefully I am done with MRIs for a while. The OS told me the results today since I was already there. Basicly the everything he had thought was confirmed and I have a labral tear on the right and it is bigger than the one on the left.

Today I had the first of three Euflexxa injections in my left knee. The injection itself was a lot more painful than any of the cortisone injections I had, which took my by surprise. At least there has not been a ton of pain since the actual injection. My hip actually feels a lot worse but I think that is because my knee is not quite bending as much as before the injection, so the hip is protesting the extra slack.

On the surgery front everything is still on pause until I see a Rheumatologist. The OS did say that after seeing my right hip MRI he would be more incline to operate on my right hip than any other joint, since it is the worst structurally. I just don't think my left leg could hold up on crutches so the thought of my right hip being non weight bearing for three to four weeks without fixing the left side first scares me as it is struggling with the knee injection. No point in worrying about that now.

At this point I am really I am just really exhausted by physically and mentally. I have been getting up early or getting home late a lot lately for different appointments and I can feel the toll it is having on me. I had thought I was doing better today than yesterday, but according to my friends I was really off, so I guess I was just so out of it I didn't even realize it.

So Many Appointments!!

Next week I have 1 MRI, 1 injection, 2 PT appointments. YIKES!

This is kind of insane. Although just as I thought progress was finally being made I could not get a pediatric rheumatologist appointment until the end of November, hopefully someone will cancel so I can get their appointment.

I am kind of nervous for the Euflexxa injection after the hip injection hurt so much. I also am missing two test in school for it, so I am not happy about that. Then I have to go a week later for the next injection and again a week after that for the last one.

Off to a Rheumatologist!

Today at my OS appointment many things happened. I will break it down by joint. Also it was decided I need to see a pediatric rheumatologist, because it is not normal for a sixteen year old to have so many joint problems.

Left Knee
The MRI showed the kneecap is too high (which was known), general swelling of the joint, and cartilage thinning/damage (aka arthritis but no OS wants to diagnose a 16 year old with arthritis). The plan as of now is three injections of Euflexxa a week apart and see if that helps before investigating surgery further.

Left Hip
The MRI showed FAI (which I have already discussed) and a torn labrum. The labrum is a piece of cartilage that is in the hip (similar to a meniscus in a knee). The cortisone is working but no surgery will be discussed until after I see a rheumatologist, so just continuing the PT for now.

Right Hip
The OS thinks that my other hip has FAI as well as a labral tear, which he thinks is bigger than the tear in the left side. An MRI was ordered to confirm the diagnoses, so I will go to HSS for that on Monday. I should have the MRI results by next Wednesday, if/when they confirm I will get a cortisone injection in my right hip. 

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now with all this. Looks like I will be spending a lot of time at HSS in the next few weeks. 

College Visit and Other Shenanigans of a 4 Day Weekend

This weekend was a 4 day weekend for me, I had Monday off for Columbus day and Tuesday off for a teacher development day. The weekend was filled by a cycle of fun activities during which I pushed my legs followed by lying in bed because of pain. I try not to get in these cycle but I still think it is better than not doing anything at all.

Saturday I had PT in the morning which was fine, but it was that night I first got in trouble. I was at one of my best friend's little sister's Bat Mitzvah, and my friend was DJing and the kids were struggling with the Hora  This is when I stepped in to try to help them, however in the end I didn't help too much and was in a good amount of pain by the end.

Sunday I babysat for two hours and spent a lot of time on the floor and getting up. I probably would have been fine if it was not for the fact that I was still paying for my attempt at dancing the night before. It was worth it though because the kids were really cute and a lot of fun.

Monday I was still in pain. I had PT that day in the afternoon, and after explaining why I was in pain I was reprimanded for my dancing attempt. Of course after PT I had to go to Shul for Simchas Torah (which is a holiday that is celebrated by dancing with Torahs), this time I stayed away from dancing, but I can not say no to playing with a three year old who is tugging on my skirt.

Today I went on a college visit. I loved the college I saw. The only problem is it took three and a half hours to get there which meant lots of sitting and then lots of walking during the tour, both activities kill my legs. So now once again my hips and knees kill.

It has also been rainy since Saturday which never helps the situation.

Cortisone Doesn't Fix Everything

Homecoming is coming up. Last year I got the cortisone injection the Monday before the dance. I literally went from being on crutches to dancing for over two hours in a week. Yes, most of my friends dance longer than I did, but I was happy since I did not expect to dance at all.

Now a week from my senior Homecoming dance I know dancing is out of the question, even with a recent cortisone shot. Even though I have felt pretty good this week (I can sit through class without pain!), tonight I found the limit of the cortisone. I attempted to dance at my best friend's little sister's Bat Mitzvah. I was prepared for right hip pain and knee pain galore, but my left hip did not hold up as well as I would have hoped.

Even though I have had chronic pain for years and it has really affected my life for the past three years I don't think I will ever stopped getting upset when it controls my life.

1st Hip PT

Today I went to PT for my hip for the first time. It was kinda like dejavu being at PT again. At least everyone is nice and I got to catch up with my PT.

Thankfully my dad made the appointment with Joe, who rehabbed my knee last year. The evaluation was slightly more complicated than usual because he did not want to stress my knees to much. I did not have to go through that much testing since I already have the diagnoses of FAI. After the evaluation it was decided that it is my flexibility that needs to be worked on, not exactly shocking news to me. Something exciting was when he did all the impingement test that have always killed when my OS does them I was pain free, which means the cortisone is working for sure!

I was given two rules for what I can and cannot do. If it hurts my hips don't do it and if it makes my hips click don't do it. The cortisone helps with the first, but the second is near impossible. When I walk my hip clicks, so that is kinda hard to avoid. Also the whole clicking thing has really limited what PT exercises I am allowed to do. So far there is I have only done about four things. One I am not allowed to do a lot because of clicking and two I need PT equipment to do, leaving me with one stretch I can complete at home.

I asked Joe what he thought the chance of avoiding surgery was. He also said only about 15% of people get better with conservative treatment but the people who did where usually young so I have age on my side. What my chances are really depends on what other damage I have in my hip, so Joe is going to request a copy of the MRI report for me. Very excited but kind of scared to see it, and now I don't have to wait until I see the OS on the 16th.

The last thing my PT suggested is orthodics . So next appointment he is fitting me for some.

First Hip PT Session Tomorrow

I have a PT appointment scheduled! It will be weird going for my hip instead of my knee.

It is in the morning, and I really hate before school PT but at least it is something. Also my dad has no idea which PT he made it with. I really hope it is Joe, who rehabbed my knee last year post knee surgery. Right now I am slightly afraid of how my "good" hip and knees will react to PT. Before this summer the only issue I remember ever having with my hips is they would click every time I did any type of bridge exercise, guess that was life's way of foreshadowing. 

Another thing that I have started to notice is a shrinking range of motion in my hips. I have been struggling to tie my shoes and pick things up from the ground. The solution is me bending my knees more and putting more stress on them and they are not taking that nicely. So hopefully PT can help some with ROM.

I will try o post tomorrow about PT, but probably will not get to since I won't get home until 9 and then it is strait to watching the presidential debate.

1 Week Post Cortisone

Right now I am rather frustrated.

While the cortisone is helping it is not doing as much as I hoped it would. After my knee injection last year I was just about completely pain free for 4ish weeks, there was also no initial pain (even the actual injection was hardly a pinch). My hip however has still had a little pain. I am defiantly walking better with is encouraging, but also means the muscles that haven't been working up to par have to get back into shape.

The biggest difference between my knee injection and my hip injection does not have to do with the injected joint though. When I had a cortisone injection in my knee I only had one bad joint, which the injection fixed. So all the sudden I had all this physical ability I had been missing out on. This time I am still left with joints that haven't been touched, so I still can not do things like jump. The only difference now is I don't limp as often (but sometimes my knee still causes me to limp) and I can sit for a little longer.

Even with those problems my biggest issue is my parents. They are not making me a PT appointment  My mom says to talk to my dad, and he says he is working on it. There has been a whole week to work on it, I am officially pissed. I need to do six weeks of PT, and since these injection tend to work for about 4-6 weeks in my experience and I am already a week in, the cortisone will have completely worn off before I finish enough PT to have surgery. Besides for that I am also going back to the OS in two weeks, which will be pretty pointless if I haven't done any PT yet. This issue has inspired many screaming matches in my house today. Also every time I bring it up my parents tell me to ice or take an anti-inflammatory. They also said when I refused to load/unload the dishwasher until they made me a PT appointment that it was a job that doesn't involve moving a lot so it wouldn't hurt (it is actually really painful for my hip as I need to constantly bent over to get dish or put them in plus walking around to put things away). Everyone seems to be missing the point. The cortisone is controlling pain better than anything else has but I need to go to PT as cortisone is not a permanent solution and after the cortisone wears off PT will become near impossible due to pain!

Sorry for rambling, I just really needed to vent. I also know this post is probably really scattered, my thoughts tend to go all over the place when I am upset.