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Author Topic: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...  (Read 7920 times)

Offline Brambledog

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Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« on: August 29, 2011, 11:47:05 PM »
Hi everyone,

Apologies if this has already been done, I couldn't find a topic on it, but read a few posts alluding to this that really struck a chord with me, so thought it would be good to talk about how all this pain, frustration, feelings of being alone with it all, and (on bad days) just being a moody nightmare of misery affect relationships.

Sometimes I think I'm going mad in a small, private way, and i can't afford to see a therapist, so it would be great to know I'm not the only one! I know a positive frame of mind is what we all strive for, and normally I'm pretty good at it - but this is about the not so good bits. I'm not advocating it as a way of life, just admitting that it happens. It's the bit that makes me feel alone, even when I'm not really.

My husband has been great through it all - but I know that he's finding it difficult. He works full time, takes me to appointments, does most of the housework at the moment (he still dyes the odd white wash, bless), cooks most of the meals (he hardly cooked before), and tries to take the children out sometimes. I don't know what I would do without him.  I do as much as I can, but I can still only stand for about 10 minutes before I have to RICE, so it's a drop in the ocean.

But oh the guilt. In the evenings, he virtually collapses on the sofa (after bringing me a cup of tea) and I know he's worried about it all but doesn't want to burden me with it so I know he's bottling it all up.  On bad days when my knee just hurts, the painkillers seem a cruel joke, and my mood is the equivalent of a rainy bank holiday, I can't seem to stop myself from criticizing sometimes. I feel awful immediately and apologise (and sometimes burst into tears, oh dear), and feel even worse and more useless than ever.

I was always the driving force, you see - it was me that made decisions, allocated tasks, decided what we were having for tea, dashed about between work taking the children to clubs and stuff, etc etc etc.  And at the moment I'm spending most of my time sat somewhere with my leg up, going 'ow' if I have to get up, do some physio, go to the loo...  Its just so frustrating.

I've been writing a novel for years, so I've decided I'll do more to that now I have time, but somehow I struggle to find the motivation. Ditto with my old OU Geology course which I got out of storage to keep my mind active. Funny how I still end up watching too much daytime (awful) TV.

But that's just on a bad day! Honest.
 ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline anna82marie

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 09:33:27 AM »
I think this post will be relevant to a lot of us! We all strive for the good days and resent the bad. It's a bit of a vicious circle I think; we have a good day and are so pleased that we 'over do' it and bring on a couple of bad days which send us spiraling into self pity. Then of course the self pity makes us feel awful because there are people so much worse off than ourselves!

You are lucky that you have great support from your husband. Having read a few posts on the subject I have come to realise that many knee geeks struggle with their loved ones not understanding, while at the same time hoping they never go through anything similar that would bring clear understanding! We often forget that it's not just out worlds that are turned upside down, but also that of our loved ones. It must be horrendous for them to watch us constantly battle with pain yet be unable to do anything to make it better.

Thank goodness for fellow knee geeks who understand all too well that it's the bad days and the small things we can no longer do that makes us descend into despair. What we would all give to be able to run up the stairs or get a good nights sleep!

Offline Brambledog

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 10:21:02 AM »
Hi Anna82Marie. Funny how your reply has made me smile and feel a bit better! Thanks.

All of what you say is true, true, and more true. LOL at the stairs thing - just yesterday I was hauling my sorry self up the stairs and my daughter was patiently waiting behind me. I paused for breath and said 'I used to run up these stairs every day, sometimes two at a time!' - seems like a different life now. How I wish I had appreciated more the knees that I had even just a couple of years ago... ::)

I re-read the bit i wrote about my husband and realised I'd made him out to be some paragon of perfection, which of course is impossible. He is brilliant, but unfortunately on occasion he has cracked and said things I wish he hadn't. Stuff about being expected to do everything, working his *^*^*^^ off running around, can't do anything right, etc. He apologises afterwards and tries to take it all back, but of course once it's said it's out there, like opening Pandoras box...  But I just have to be grateful that even though I realise he doesn't quite 'get' it, he's trying really hard to.  I suppose that's the bit that makes you feel lonely - sometimes I can't bear the thought of going out to the kitchen (wimpy I know), but no-one has offered to do me some lunch and I'm really hungry. So off I go, even though I know if I called him he would make me some, but he's busy doing the jobs I should be doing and I don't want to push my luck...

Of course there the whole awkward can of worms in the bedroom (sorry!). I don't feel exactly great about myself anyway, what with the pain, the limp, the one skinny leg, etc, and the bedroom activities have really taken a nose dive. There's only one position I can tolerate, and that involves propping cushions up! Very alluring! You've got to laugh... ;D

One thing I've really noticed is that spending so much time not doing stuff gives your brain leeway to really go into overdrive on interpreting people's behaviour and attitudes!

I suppose in principle it's a bit like when someone has a cold - initially you're very caring and sympathetic, getting them drinks and food, checking if they need anything every half hour. Then after a couple of days you start to get a bit bored and wonder if they're really that Ill now...  Maybe with our type of KG issues, lasting a lot longer, they just can't maintain those initial levels of sympathy. It obviously gets a bit much at times as he gets the Hoover out while I'm on the sofa...sigh.

Hey ho.  It's good to air these feelings actually. I don't feel as though I can say this sort of stuff to people generally... Probably a good thing...

 ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline anna82marie

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 04:28:57 PM »
I was trying to explain the kinship I feel towards fellow KG's to a friend. No one pitys you on here, there's just complete understanding (even about the cans of worms and elephants in the room!). I find I don't have to explain myself, try to be brave or analyse my feelings; I can just be me. It's a very refreshing feeling as I'm sure we all have masks that we wear day to day for everyone else!

Things I used to take for granted:
Stairs, tying my shoe laces, putting on socks, kneeling down, walking my dog ( actually just walking in general!), climbing ladders, playing football with my step son, running, driving... Gosh the list goes on and on!

Things I can do now that I couldn't before:
Touch my toes, balance on one leg... is that really it?!

Still, small mercies; I get to park at the hospital for free - in fact I'm here right now, but for an unrelated issue with my God son!

Anna xx
 

Offline Brambledog

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 03:26:00 PM »
Ah, 'tis true indeed...

Stepping stones? - saw some the other day and suddenly realised I could never take the risk again.

Horse riding (had horses for years, then didn't ride for 20 years, had one lesson early last year, meant to start up again when my knees were better...HA!)

Not driving is particularly hard. These days driving = independence.

As you say, the list could go on and on, but I think that this time of being able to do hardly anything will make me appreciate the simple things if and when I can do them again. Right now my goals are much much smaller.

One (painful) step at a time!
 ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 09:45:44 PM »
What a great thread - I share so much of what has been written. I spent over 12 months with my knees dictating so much of what I (and consequently what me and my hubby could do). By some miracle they settled down (Euflexxa? luck? time? PT? who knows!!) but then I had foot surgery in April this year. I got CRPS in my foot and suddenly my world was dictated to by what my foot could cope with.

Poor husband. We only married in 2009 and after 6 months he suddenly found a 40 year old with the joints of an 80 year old who still wanted to hike, spin, exercise in boot camps, kneel, run, garden, do DIY, bounce, dance, etc etc. He has never complained. He has given me some moments of straight talking - when I was obsessed with my foot and the "what ifs" he told me if I let CRPS take over my life then it would win. If I decided I would still be me, with or without a painful foot and restrictions then I am in control. It was hard to listen to. I was scared, nay terrified. But I listened and gradually life has returned to some semblance of control. Adjusting to a new normal is a long and painful process. It is a balance between never giving up that hope that life will return to the full one that was before, but also accepting that it can be just as rewarding and inspirational in the new way it is. Takes a big mind leap and I am only about 20% of the way there. When I have a good day I sing from the rooftops! I dance, box, eat cake, phone friends and admire the countryside I live in. On a bad day I make myself get up, I do my hair and make sure I do my make up, I take it easy to a point then make myself go to the gym even if only to stretch, wobble on the Power plate and come home to a hot bath. I often cry on bad days.

I hate taking the pills I need. I hate the fact I have a pill organiser at the age of 42! I hate my red blotchy scar that stabs when it gets annoyed - for no reason! I hate the fact my knees won't walk downhilll without protesting yet my friend of the same age is about to cycle 850 miles across the UK! I am scared of how things might be in 5 years time. Having got CRPS in one bit means I could get it again - not something to relish when probably you'll need bionic knee bits at some stage.

But. I love my husband. I love my three mad cats. I love my house and the views and birds and the peace. I love my Mum (of course!). I love my car and driving fast with some loud music on (irresponsible... ;D). I love good days. I love music. I love reading. I love sweating after exercise (even if it is now different sorts). I'm lucky in so many ways, although I often feel unlucky to have been dealt these cards. But gradually over time luck and bad luck blend. I guess i am saying that time, cliche as it is, is a healer. It might not mend your knees but it does allow your spirit to mend. Slowly.

And never underestimate the power of KG. I have made a friend for life from this site. She understands me and never judges. I love her to bits. We have great fun, lots of laughs, cake and paddled in the sea two weeks after her ACLr on crutches. She took me, my poorly foot and Jesus sandals and socks out when I was still limping. Alongside here I have some wonderful virtual friends across the world. I had a parcel sent via another good real life KG friend containing a talisman that was simply perfect for how I was feeling at that time. All the way from Canada. Only this morning I had an international text from another KGer travelling across the States for a 2nd opinion! Many many more facebook friends are from KG and we all understand. Its a special community.

I appear to have written War & Peace so will stop. But to both of you, you're doing more than you ever know. For yourselves and all of us on here. Sharing feelings is just vital. Good luck Brambledog - you'll get there.

Lottie x
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline Brambledog

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2011, 10:50:05 PM »
There isn't a suitable emoticon for me after reading your post! Smiley and shiny-eyed about covers it...

LOL at your Jesus sandals and socks - I have that picture in my head now.

KGs are a great bunch. Me and my husbands iPad are finding a lot of comfort and reassurance and info from here. Don't know what state of mind I'd be in now without you all.

Xx.  ;)
2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline Arity

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 12:16:41 AM »
What great posts!!   

I echo the sentiment!  My poor husband - my knee injury happened two months before our wedding!  We got married in Cuba and I even limped down the aisle after a stupid attempt at dancing (I blame the free drinks!) two nights before causing my knee to go out! 

We have been dealing with my knee our entire marriage..and we have a 6 year old son who he has been primarily responsible for for the past two years.  I thank him every day for putting up with me!

This board has been a lifesaver too!

I am nowhere near as good with words as you guys so I will leave it at that for now except to say how grateful I am for him, and to have this board to be able to draw so much knowledge from :)

Cheers
Lori

Offline tez27

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 03:58:15 AM »
Lottie always seems to put into words what we are all feeling about all this stuff she is a wise woman and always someone to turn to for advice and understanding, shes one of the many stars on KG who have helped me so much over the last couple of years, like the rest of you the knee stuff starts to take over your life and there is only so much the family can understand but the wonderful crowd on here just get how things are.
I am luckier than most on here as although my knee problem is ongoing and I have another scope booked for the end of Sept i can still go about my normal life, I go to work though I have dropped to 4 days a week rather than 5 and I live on pain killers just to get me through the day, but most folk think because I can still work etc that everything must be fine with the knee now, so I like the fact people on here understand and know what I'm feeling, right now its 4am and I have to be up in 3 hours for work but yet again the knee pain has me up in the middle of the night, so I come on line and have a wee moan and feel better afterwords ;)
Take care all Tez   
L K injured 25th June 2008
scope Jan 5th 10
diagnosis ACL rupture
fiberous band excised from acl
ACLr July 19th 2010  scope on 24th Sept 2011
ACL has failed incorrect tunnel placement
23rd July 2012 1st stage of a 2 stage ACL revision
10th May 2013 2nd stage ACL revision

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 07:11:50 AM »
Awwww Tez, what a sweetheart you are. I am all choked up! And Brambledog, glad it made some sense.

Just to echo a sentiment....Tez is "doing down" her own journey.....being told nowt was wrong, having a scope, then going through an ACLr and now facing another surgery where she isn't sure what they'll find....and yet she always supports us all on here, always has a smile, and is one of the people on here I know genuinely cares. I wish she was wasn't 500 miles away so she could also do my hair!!  ;D  I know what you mean about when you're back in some semblance of normality people forget you've got a problem. No one asks after my foot now (apart from really good friends, hubby and Mum) as I am working, driving, gym etc. But only because I too chow down the pills and smile through the pain! Hey ho. I think sometimes though if you can present a "normal" face to the world a bit of you starts believing it.

Arity - I smiled at your limping down the aisle! I managed to dance like a wild thing last year on our holiday - the effect of many vodka and cranberries in Spain. No pain AT ALL but OMG my head didn't appreciate it the next day. I now manage the odd bop on good days around the lounge but I have to say Zumba classes probably won't ever be for me!  8)

Hugs to all knees on this sunny Autumn morning....

Lottie xx
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline Brambledog

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 08:37:54 AM »
Isn't it lovely? All of a sudden the shadows are just that bit longer and there's a faint crispness in the air. I love autumn - although I always feel sorry for my kids having to go back to school just as it seems the weather decides to give us all a break!

My 'dancing' (using the term advisedly) at the moment consists of a very vigorous arm punching and and stretching extravaganza, combined with some bizarre looking torso twists and accompanied by imagined 'boxing' breathing. Something I do alone, you understand... Definitely NOT for public consumption! Only way I can get my heart rate elevated for now. LOL.  ;D

Got my hydro today, looking forward to getting out and feeling that warm water!

;)


2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline anna82marie

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2011, 08:49:57 AM »
How did your hydro go? I found it really beneficial the first time I had it! Helped me gain some flexion and I feel 'normal' when I'm in a pool!

I had my accident 7 months before I got married and also hobbled down the aisle; I  walked in to the theme from Forrest Gump and out to run Forrest run!! No one else knew what the beautiful piano piece was, but it gave me and hubby a big giggle! Well if you can't take the Mick out of yourself every now and again! I also had trainers on under my wedding dress; heels don't work so well when you're on crutches with a dodgy knee! I had my pre op for my first surgery 2 days after our wedding (and one day before I turned 27) and had my lateral release done on hubby's 40th!

Must find some motivation to go and do some Physio. After two and a half years it's a bit boring and repetitive, so I mix it up by throwing in a bit of static bike work and some sit ups. Trying to shift the stone that I've put on since my accident but finding it's a bit difficult when I can't exercise properly!!

Love x x x


This thread makes me smile daily. Thank you!!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2011, 11:25:21 AM by anna82marie »

Offline Brambledog

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2011, 11:54:42 AM »
Lorii, I did smile at your post about your wedding, and although there are the negatives, just think what lessons of patience and perseverance your son is learning from you every day.  :)

Anna-Marie, your mention of trying to shift the stone you've put on really struck a chord with me this morning! As I was going to bed last night I made the awful mistake of catching a glance of myself. Aargh! I knew I had started to put a bit on, and last time I tried to wear anything other than trackies it felt tight, but it's an entirely different thing to see it and accept it... I'd been doing quite well considering I haven't exercised since before Christmas, but I knew it couldn't last.  I'll have to accept that the comfort eating will have to stop - calories in are far higher than calories out!

I told my husband that he has to stop buying me those big bags of minstrels as a treat, and just give me an extra big hug and an apple instead...

 ;)


2009 - diagnosed coeliac
Aug 2011 - L knee arthroscopy
Aug 2011 - diagnosed PF arthritis L knee
Nov 2011 - diagnosed CRPS L knee
Dec 2011 - MRI R knee, PFOA is worse than L!
June 2012 - no surgery 'til TKR's
Nov 2012 - CRPS spread to L foot/thigh, increasing pain
- Worsening pain/symptoms R knee
;-)

Offline anna82marie

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2011, 02:05:02 PM »
Feeling the call of chocolate today, so instead have been looking at slimming world online!

I too live in my 'comfies' and came unstuck when I had a recent christening to attend but none of my clothes fit!

Mmmmm.....minstrels. Somehow an apple doesn't have quite the same appeal.

A x

Offline elliottl73

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Re: Knee pain - the third party in my relationship...
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2011, 02:37:46 PM »
 I too can totally get this as the rest of you good days and bad on good days or bad days that I try to push through because I feel more like a burden than wife and mother I do to much which only consists of vacuuming the living room floor.  We have stairs they are the worst so I mostly sit upstairs and watch the same bad daytime tv.
  I am scheduled for yet another surgery for 1 Nov 2011 to reimplant cartlige in my left knee this will be my 3rd this year.
I too have a great husband that takes up the slack we are lucky our only child is 18 and takes her self where she needs to go. But the stress is getting to everyone my husband doesn't say to much but is getting cranky which makes me feel even worse.  I want my life back and am willing to do whatever it takes to get there.
  It does feel good to know I am not alone thanks everyone for opening up it really helps someone really gets it.
9/2010 fell broke nose and injured L knee
10/2010 MRI  negetive
1/21/2011 diagnostic arhtroscopy woke up with MFX
8/11/2011 new MRI showed failed MFX
9/1/2011 Biopsy for carticel
11/1/2011 ACI
5/31/12 scope and microfracture again 1/2 ACI failed
9/2/12 Scheduled OATS,Osteotomy
 
Laurie

 















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