Repairs: Human and Trailer

Repairs: Human and Trailer

I am sitting in Delaware at the moment, Sylvia stayed home in Colorado. We are both having repairs done.

Someone, not pointing fingers, maybe rolled over a curb in a Home Depot parking lot. Or at least that could have been one time, there may have been others… and so she’s in for new axels, and new tires. I am pretty excited for the repair, and all in all it’s not too bad expense wise. (Don’t get me wrong, it’s an expense, and I am not planning on making that mistake again.)

The original plan was to come back to the east coast for some RnR, and prepping work pieces for the upcoming trip to Yellowstone. My business was selected for the Pathways Program with Delaware North, a concessionaire for the National Parks; they operate the General Stores in Yellowstone and I will be setting up twice this summer to sell my pieces with them. Most notably will be for the 4th of July; I am utterly excited.

Included on my trip east was to be a jaunt up to New Hampshire and Vermont for more visits and White and Green Mountain time, plus more celebrating the milestone birthdays with friends.

But, timelines shifted, as I had a different deadline come up. I retired from down hill skiing, just as I moved to Colorado in 2013. That’s one way I coped with knee issues. Two years ago, I finally went to see an orthopedist after a harrowing downhill hike where I was so afraid my knees would go out, and have been getting cortisone shots since and regarding topo maps to make sure elevation gains weren’t too great on trails. Wonderful stuff the cortisone is, except for the major downside of joint damage the longer you use it. Over the past two months, I went down a rabbit hole of investigating alternatives, including PRP. My potential PRP doc had me get an MRI on my “worst” knee – which is my right knee. Worst by the most marginal of increments.

Two years ago, when I began my shots, Ortho doc said we should talk about surgery in 10 years… when I took my MRI to him as a follow up from PRP doc, he said that we should have been talking about surgery 10 years ago. Talk about a disappointment. I was also “cut-off” from getting any more cortisone for relief, time step it up a notch.

Denver Ortho suggested three surgical options, and was leaning towards a kneecap replacement, as I asked his opinion what the “best bank for the buck” would be.

My deadline though, leaving for my trip and, the end of my insurance. I ended my employment with Metro State University of Denver to pursue my art, as well as a new position teaching online. I won’t be getting insurance with the new school, so I wanted to see what more I could squeeze in.

I made an appointment with a Baltimore Ortho to get his second opinion and see if there were any openings in his schedule. My parents, urged me to do so since I have the time now, the insurance, as well as their help with care-taking and support.

Low and behold, it all fell into place, and I am sitting here two days after surgery. Balto Ortho suggested another option, which I warmed to. Instead of putting in new parts, which will have to happen down the road, he suggested arthroscopy (cleaning out bad cartilage); it should buy me 5 or so years as his opinion was I was too young for the new parts. Along with the arthroscopy, my full issue is patella tracking disorder, where my kneecap doesn’t sit in the proper groove (more-so a lady issue due to wider hips) and biology. So while he was in there, he lengthened the tendon that keeps the kneecap in place so that it may go back into proper tracking place, and removed a bone spur. We’re also talking minimal to no cartilage on my femur and kneecap. Technical term: patella chondroplasty with lateral reticulation on the right knee,

My hope is to go in for the second knee in 2 weeks; I just had PT, and PT doc thinks that is an ambitious goal, so cross your fingers that I can bounce back soon. I had just the right knee done for the first round, and maybe with the left being slightly less painful there’s less work for Balto Ortho to do in there.

I am not the best patient, the “vasovagals” gets me. I almost fainted in pre-op after the IV was inserted. I am reluctant to find out what’s under the bandages tomorrow; I keep thinking “what have I done,” but thrilled to be able to shower then, as my right leg is a lovely oompa loompa color.

#thisis40 Throughout this process, with all the doctors, they ask how long has this been going on. Well, I did start to see someone two years ago, but the pain has been there much longer. Maybe 10 years? I do have this random memory in elementary school grade gym class, I don’t know, maybe it was after my grandmother had a knee replaced, and I just had that gut feeling back then that was my future. I had to laugh, the one receptionist could only put up to 12 months in the “how long have you been in pain” box.

Really looking forward to an improvement, and I am much better off knowing what’s coming for the future of my joints.

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