The Bee’s Knees

Okay, technically, I am going to talk about my knees, not some random bee’s. In a nutshell, they have hurt. A lot. I’ve been dealing with knee pain for a few years now. I used to walk Lambeau a mile to a mile and a half most day, but lately, if we make a half mile round trip, that’s a good day. When we moved here, we bought a treadmill. (Yes, I know. Treadmill not the best for knees, but it’s the only piece of exercise equipment I actually like. We had an elliptical for years but I didn’t like it, so I didn’t use it.) But I found that even doing a light workout, it took a day or two for my knees to recover enough that I felt I could try again. Sure, I could slow the thing down to almost a standstill, but that’s not getting me a lot of exercise, is it? I finally decided it was time to do something about it.

Honestly, I was trying to do something before we moved, but there were out=of-network insurance issues with the orthopedic doctor I used before, and insurance tanglements, so not much progress there. And then we moved, so everything is new. I finally got to see a orthopedic here last week. He was very nice, and very much like the one I liked in New England. Try to treat as minimally as possible and not just jump to cut ’em up!

My problem is basically osteoarthritis, not unusual “at my age”. (Aside: I really hate when I hear that phrase! Geez, yeah, I know I’m old! Let’s not rub it in, okay?) There is some rubbing because the gap is so narrowed on the inside of both knees. The outsides are better. I saw the x-rays, and we talked about a few things. For now, we are going with cortisone injections in both knees (done while I was there), and some physical therapy to try to strengthen the muscles supporting the knees. With luck, that will hold me for a while. No way of knowing how long, but so far, so good. There is virtually no pain in my knees now. They did bother me a bit grocery shopping yesterday, and on the hill walking the dog today, but a bit of rest and ibuprofen got that straightened out. It’s almost like a miracle.

And that’s the other thing. If you have never lived with ongoing, persistent chronic pain, this may seem odd. If you have, I think you will understand exactly what I mean. After the cortisone, it was truly amazing to me to feel no pain in my knees. I was kind of hyper-aware of the fact that they didn’t hurt. It was something I consciously noticed. And that’s the trouble with chronic pain. When you have it for a long time, it becomes normal. Oh, you know it’s there, but it’s just another part of daily life. And when it’s gone? That’s almost like the abnormal because the pain has been there, so constantly, for so long. The abnormal becomes normal, and the normal becomes abnormal. I just hope this lasts long enough for me to start considering no or at least, easily managed pain to be normal.


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One thought on “The Bee’s Knees

  1. I have been very lucky that the maximum pain management I’ve needed is a foot brace for some ankle issues. And avoiding exercises that trigger my tennis elbow. Because yes, constant pain is dreadful.


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