Dear Newsletter Readers (both regular, irregular and complete first timers),
I hope you have had a good week thus far and thank you kindly for clicking open my blog to continue to read about the saga of my knee problem. It seems that writing about my knee problem may have inadvertently prompted the development of another health related problem, this time I have a suspected epidermal cyst on the tip of my nose; it’s on the left side just above the nostril. According to my wife, the way I look at the moment I could easily give Rudolph a run for his money in whose got the reddest nose category. I’m on a 10 day course of antibiotics at present to see how things go and then back to the hospital in 2 weeks to get my nose measured again with a pair of internal/external vernier calipers, yes that’s what the nose doctor initially used to determine by how much the left side of my nose was swollen compared to the right side. According to the doctor, the antibiotics should do the trick so I don’t think I’m going to be regaling you with any nose related stories, but then again I should not speak too soon; I never imagined spending the best part of about 16 months with a synovial fluid filled knee, but that was the case. Speaking of my knee, I had better try to wrap up the story of my knee problem this week, so without further ado, I hope you have a good weekend and I’ll hopefully be back again with something for you to read next week.
My knee story continued ……
After removing the hospital bandage and looking with some amazement at my greatly improved knee, I must have stared down at it for at least 2/3 minutes, I noticed that some inflammation remained, so I decided to put on my elasticated sports supporter and over the top of the supporter I positioned my trusty bag of frozen edo mame (Japanese beans) and secured it in position. Every 20 minutes or so for the next 2/3 hours I applied the frozen bag of beans. My knee felt a bit sorer when compared to past aspirations, but I figured that was probably to do with the hydrocortisone injection I had had on top of the aspiration. I could not keep myself from thinking about my knee; on the one hand I was excited to think my knee looked like it was on the mend, but on the other hand, like so many times in the past, at the back of mind I kept thinking what if it hasn’t worked, what will I do then?
My usual routine before getting in to bed is to jump in to the shower, which I also intended to do on this particular day; however, at the point of removing the elastic sports supporter I could see that the knee was beginning to swell. Instinctively, I put the supporter back on and decided to forgo the shower. I went back downstairs and fastened the frozen bag of beans to my knee and waited for 20 minutes. I took off the bag of beans and also the elasticated supported and the swelling had gone down, but only by a bit and my knee felt very sore and painful. My heart literally sank, I didn’t know whether to laugh in frustration or cry in disappointment and sadness, I opted for neither and just stared out in to space wondering what on earth to do next. My elation was very short lived, a little over 4 hours, and I felt more miserable than ever, I was in despair, I was back to square one and my options seemed very limited indeed.
The following morning I awoke and low and behold my knee was more painful than it had felt in the past after a night’s sleep and feeling down to touch it I could feel that it was more swollen than usual. On getting up and looking at the knee head on it was more swollen and it looked puffier than usual. I went through my usual routine of bandaging up the knee and on top of the bandage I placed my elastic sports supporter; I then walked to work as I usually do. Based on all the research I had done up to that point I knew that sometimes it can take a few days for the hydrocortisone to reduce the inflammation, but judging by what had happened thus far I was not convinced this would happen in my case, I believed that the hydrocortisone had had some positive effect, but only a short lived one and that was that.
At work I continued to ice my knee throughout my working day when I was based in the office and when out and about on door-to-door sales duties I just kept the knee bandaged and supported with my elasticated sports supporter. Unfortunately, most of the door-to-door sales work I am involved in has me going up and down some very steep hills, so that was never ever going to help my knee situation, but what choice did I have, none really, as I had to work. I did spare a thought for people with the same problem as I had on more than one occasion and I wondered how for example carpet fitters or plumbers or people engaged in other professions that involve kneeling on the floor on a regular basis would get through their working days. Wearing knee pads is an obvious solution, but with bursitis issues it is not advisable to kneel down even with knee pads on as it just exacerbates the problem; although I did end up buying my own knee pads.
I kept my knee bandaged for a further two week period and I continued my routine of leg raises and stretches using a rolled up towel; I even used the staircase in my home as a means to support my leg during my leg stretches, but all to no avail. There was very little I felt confident doing, I used to go jogging a couple of times in the week and I never thought twice about getting down on my knees to scrub the floor or do jobs in the garden, but as my life did not involve any of these activities any more I was beginning to feel depressed and I was filled with a senses of hopelessness. After talking about my situation and the state of mind I was in at that time with my wife and also brother, I came to the conclusion that it was time to seek a second opinion; I then enlisted the help of my wife to do some research to try to find another hospital and doctor specializing in orthopedics that I could go to.
After conducting a fair bit of research my wife found a hospital quite near to where we live; my wife told me that apparently at this particular hospital there is one orthopedic doctor that seemingly had a good reputation based on comments left by previous patients. With this in mind, I asked my wife to do some further checking which she did and she found out that the doctor in question only worked two days in the work at the hospital in question, Tuesdays and Fridays. With a heart full of dismay, but armed with some knowledge that may just turn things around for me, with the help of my wife I made an appointment to visit the hospital. Before visiting the new hospital I made one last visit to the hospital I had been visiting to ask the doctor I had been seeing for a letter explaining how he had treated me thus far. In Japan doctors will do this willingly, so it does make sense to get such a letter as it is very helpful for any new doctor.
In the past I had built up false hopes of finding a cure for my knee problem and I was under no illusions whatsoever that by visiting another doctor in a different hospital would turn my fortunes around; however, as it turned out, I was in for a pleasant surprise and a rude awakening at the same time. To be continued next week.