Dear Regular Readers (and those not so regular),
I hope this edition of our weekly newsletter finds most of you at peace with yourselves and those around you.
As promised, below is what I thought would be the conclusion to my knee story; however, it looks like it may well overspill into next week, so I had better change that to the continuing saga of my knee problem. I hope you enjoy the read.
Until next week, keep safe, remain strong in mind and body and the next time you take a bath try popping a bunch of rosemary, a bit of sage and some garlic powder (it really has to be garlic powder and not fresh cloves) into the water as apparently such a concoction acts as a preventative measure if you are unknowingly around others that happen to be carrying something that’s contagious like the Covid-19 virus.
Within a week of returning to Japan, after spending about 3 weeks in the UK during the time my mum was in hospital and after she had passed away, my knee had swollen a lot and it was difficult to bend my knee. At first, I didn’t think it was anything to particularly worry about, I thought it would go away on its own accord, so I continued to basically carry on as normal, which included gardening and going out for the occasional jog around the block. This was a huge mistake as I later learned because it just exacerbated the problem. If I think back now at what I did, I could kick myself (no pun intended). At first, I knelt down directly on the ground without any knee pads, just knee to ground, I suppose I had this hope at the back of my mind that somehow by putting pressure on the knee the fluid would return to where it had come from, how wrong I was. All the kneeling down achieved was a puffier looking red knee due to the bursa (small fluid filled sacks all over the body that prevent friction between bones and soft tissues – muscles, tendons, skin and ligaments) filling up with synovial fluid.
I then decided that it was time to go to the hospital and opted for a big general one quite near to my home. On my first visit to the hospital, after being evaluated by knee specialist, I learned that I had what is called a ‘Prepatellar bursitis’, otherwise known as housemaids knee or carpet layer’s knee and I was given some tablets to take, some sort of Japanese version of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDS) which I took religiously for a period of about 3 weeks; however, my situation did not improve at all, if anything it just became worse. Before going back to the hospital, I did a bit of research to try to educate myself on my “Prepatellar bursitis’” issue and found out that aspiration was another course of action that could be taken to try to cure my problem; aspiration is basically a procedure carried out by the doctor in which he inserts syringe into the bursa to remove the build-up of synovial fluid from the knee.
On my second visit to the hospital, the doctor was ready to prescribe and provide me with further NSAIDS, but I told him that I didn’t think they were working and they made me feel a little nauseous, I asked him if there were any other options open to me. At that point I showed him some information that I had downloaded from the internet based on aspiration. He looked over the information and told me that aspiration was indeed an option, but it was something that he didn’t like to do as he was more the type of doctor that was inclined to take the conservative and less invasive approach of prescribing NSAIDS and continuing on with them based on a wait-and-see approach. The doctor then asked me if I wanted him to aspirate my knee and after thinking about it for a few moments, I told him yes if it would solve the problem, but he told me that there were no guarantees it would solve the problem and it may make matters worse. I pondered over what he’d said for a few moments and then feeling as frustrated as I did at that time, I decided to give it a shot (no pun intended).
The procedure itself was pretty painless, a lot of people seem to think it’s a bit of an ordeal, but for me it was just a relief to think that I could possibly be free of the fluid in my knee. First, the doctor asked me to roll up my trouser leg and then lay down on the hospital bed; he then asked me to raise my knee and proceed to clean the area around the knee before performing the aspiration. To be continued next week.