Third Time’s a Charm

Even though my surgeon has given up on me for the time being, he did not leave me completely in the lurch and I left his office grasping a final referral for a cortisone injection, like Charlie with the golden ticket to the chocolate factory.

In a week’s time I will be tramping up and down and generally around Melbourne so although my knee was not experencing peak pain, I thought if I could slam the beginnings of the inflammation as it starts up again, it might knock the response on the head for once and all.

So in keeping with this largely unqualified decision to play medical whack-a-mole with my knee, I booked an appointment to get a third injection since my ill-fated operation in the hope that it will carry me though Melbourne and onwards to Christmas.

The last treatment I had was early July, so it has been nearly three months and my knee is nowhere as near as bad as it was. I was even wondering if they would be able to get any fluid out at all.

The answer was yes, but not nearly as much and from a different side. July’s extract was 20mls – which I had been telling everyone had been 50 – and this time only 7mls had built up in between visits, a definite improvement. It was once again a different doctor who performed the procedure and she went in from the other side of the joint, as that is where the most fluid was hovering.

Once she had got most of it out, she massaged the knee, presumably to milk my tissue of any further fluid and get it out while the needle was in. It was painful, but in a different way to normal. I mentioned this through gritted teeth.

‘Oh that is because I am hitting the bone with the needle,’ she explained cheerfully.

‘TMI, doc,’ I thought.

She also injected the cortisone in the opposite side to normal but explained that it did not matter where it went in as it will work throughout the joint, regardless of entry point. It was also a different brand of cortisone and I am not sure what signified as my doctor did not mention why he was changing treatment – here’s hoping he went for a stronger one, if such a thing exists.

We have a long weekend in WA this weekend – the last one of the year until Xmas – so I have plenty of time to rest it and made a commitment with my couch for today to keep the moving about to a minimum. So no 6km walk for the dogs, but a couple of trips to the park and actually longer down there than usual as I compensated for the lack of touring around the pitch by sitting on the bench for a while and letting other dogs come to them for a play.

Tomorrow lunchtime my 48 hours enforced rest will be over, but rain is due so we may have to celebrate with a modest dance around the living room to test the knee out, rather than the walk along the river I had hoped for. Then I guess it will be a waiting game to see if this third time has been a charm, or whether I will have to dip into the last trick I have up my sleeve – the green referral slip for Synvisc.

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