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Author Topic: Stressing out about knees  (Read 971 times)

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Offline bookworm16_2000

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Stressing out about knees
« on: September 08, 2005, 03:15:48 AM »
I'm new to posting at this site, but not new to knee pain :'( I have had knee problems since I was young, unfortunately genetics messed with me, and my knees do not track properly and sublax and dislocate at their own will. This led to grade III chondromalacia in my right knee, when the doctor did a LR in 2002, it's probably worse now. Now, after 3 years the right knee pain is back with a vengance along with the left knee deciding to join in. Because of all the damage the doctor is now beginning to strongly recommend TTT's.

Here lies the problem, I am one semester away from graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I will be student teaching in the spring. Right now I can barely walk, stand, or sit for long periods of time without changing positions frequently. I wear knee braces (one on each leg) daily and still sublax. I am afraid what I will do when I student teach. I have to be on my feet most of the day. My teachers are worried about me and where to place me because of this. I don't want to delay student teaching because I have worked so hard to get here but I'm beginning to have my doubts!

My questions are what are my options besides TTT? Any advice on how to cope with this, words of encouragement...? I'm at my wits end dealing with this and am ready to accept outside help!

Thanks for listenting,
Elizabeth  :)
21 year old college student
5-4-02 LR on right knee
Grade III chondromalacia
Pain is back with a vengence in both knees

Offline Sharon

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Re: Stressing out about knees
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2005, 05:09:27 AM »
Elizabeth,

I have my Masters in Elementary Education and I was also having serious problems with my knee when I did my student teaching. My knee wasn't subluxing but I was having major pain and popping going on in my knee. I was very nervous about having to be on my feet all day with my knee the way it was. I was very concerned that I wasn't going to be able to stand as much as I had to or that my cooperating teacher was going to think less of me because I had to restrict myself because of my knee in terms of standing or walking around the classroom as much as other student teachers could. My first experience was in a 4th grade class and the teacher couldn't have been more understanding about my problem. She had a little stool kind of thing that she would sit on while she taught and she actually made me use it. The way she had the tables set up I could just put it in the middle of the room and all of the kids could see and hear me. That was really useful when I was doing something like reading or when we were doing social studies or science readings from their textbooks. I did have to stand and walk around but it was good to have the seat there and to know that she didn't expect or want me to be on my feet all the time. My second experience was a little harder as it was in first grade and I was definitely on my feet more. I had to walk around constantly while the kids worked and really the only opportunity I had to sit was when we did something as a group on the rug and I sat in the rocking chair. That was really hard on my knee but I knew I had to just get through it so I would be finished and get my degree. Talk to your teachers and see what they can do about your placement and just make sure that you're honest with the teacher you'll be in the classroom with. Don't be afraid of teliing them the truth about your knee. I tried to make things sound better when I first told my 1st grade cooperating teacher about my knee because I didn't want her to think that I wouldn't be able to do a good job or really be able to do what I had to with the kids well. But then I found out a few weeks after I started in her room that I was going to need a revision of my TTT when I graduated and when I told her about it she actually was more understanding because she realized what I was dealing with.

I just wanted to let you know that I understand what you're going through. I know it's scary thinking about having to student teach like this. Just don't let your knee stop you. I don't have my own classroom yet as teaching jobs here in NY are virtually impossible to come by, especially this year but I am going to be a permanent substitute and am really looking forward to it. It's a wonderful and rewarding career! Talk to your OS and see what can be done to help your knee as much as possible so you can get through and finish your degree. Maybe a different brace would help-it's something to ask your doctor about. Hope this helps a little and if there's anything else I can do or if you just want to talk or need someone to listen, I'm here.

:)
Sharon
Left knee:
LR-5/99 & 9/01
Distal realignment and LR 7/02
TTT revision 6/03
screw removal/MUA 10/03
d/x with severe patella baja
7/05 patellar tendon replacement w/piece of quad tendon
4/07 OATS

Offline bookworm16_2000

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Re: Stressing out about knees
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2005, 07:01:44 AM »
Sharon,

Thank you for replying! It helps to have someone out there that has gone through this before. I now know it can be done. It's not a theory in some textbook for me. I am hopefully headed to the middle school, as a math teacher, so not being on my feet as much is a better possibility than if I was in the primary grades.

I think most of my stress came from the teacher who sets up our student teaching talking to me today about what I was going to do about my knees. Usually I wear pants or long skirts that cover the braces and get to class before she does and I was running late this morning and recently it has been too hot in Arizona to wear anything but shorts or shorter skirts. She knew I have knee problems but it wasn't until this summer that I had to start wearing both braces full time. For the last year it has been choose which leg is the worst that morning and wear the brace on that leg, now they are equally as bad and I need both!

I have an appointment with my OS on Friday, to discuss what can be done non-surgically and how to cope for at least the next year. So I should have some good advice coming from him too.

As the final semester of classes coninues I may take you up on getting some advice. My classes are full of overachieving women coming back to school to have a second career. I am a typical college age student, 21, at a small campus that is part of the larger university, and not quite as worried about getting an A on everything!

Good luck on the school year and thanks again!

Elizabeth
21 year old college student
5-4-02 LR on right knee
Grade III chondromalacia
Pain is back with a vengence in both knees

Offline Jacko1975

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Re: Stressing out about knees
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2005, 07:20:02 AM »
Hi,

My secondary school maths teacher was a paralysed from the lower chest down and was in a wheelchair (of course). The school just changed the layout of the class to cater for him and he was a great teacher. Everyone accepted it fine.

If you worried school boards  will think you cant do a good job because you wear knee braces or whatever then there not the sort of schools you should be teaching at as they are teaching ignorance and discrimination.

You can do whatever you choose to so keep on going.  ;)

Paul

Offline annaliese

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Re: Stressing out about knees
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2005, 11:08:00 AM »
Paul,

Totally agree with you - at the end of the day, it's what you teach, how you teach and the way you teach that matter - not whether or not you are able bodied.  I had a science teacher with two prosthetic legs (and often he just wore one and swung around on crutches!) in secondary school and he was fantastic - probably the best teacher I ever had!

At the end of the day, your knee problems will only make you more compassionate and understanding towards others, particularly those with physical disabilities. 

Elizabeth, hang in there and keep your chin up.  Believe in yourself and everyone else will too.

AnnaLiese :-)
Patellofemoral reallignment, chondroplasty, LR and TTT (L) knee 07/13/2005. 
Currently post-op, down to single crutch and no more brace!!  Screws are named Sid and Nancy :-)
Meniscal tear repair by arthroscopy/menisectomy (r) knee 08/02/2002
Recurrent subluxations of (L) kneecap since 1989