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Author Topic: I have had an improvement!!  (Read 16992 times)

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Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #180 on: December 20, 2007, 03:05:50 PM »
I'VE FINISHED!!! All my Xmas shopping is now done. HOORAY!! It was a loooooong day but worthwhile. I am sore but happy. I found everything I wanted and the kids are none the wiser. The only downfall of the day was my PT appointment...

...I am not progressing. My PT said it looks like my current exercises will be as far as I'll ever get and will pretty much be to maintain things rather than improve things. He certainly didn't have the optimism he has had during the previous visits ("I treated one man who had destroyed knees and was going to have a TKR but we tried physio first and is now pain free"). I showed him the diagrams (from my OS) that show where the damage is and he said that I have a "significant amount of damage" to my kneecaps. He also said that one concern is that, now the LRs have altered the position of my patellae, I am at risk of extending the damage further. He seems to think I should have more surgery sooner rather than later. But he is not an OS. His opinion is that I have hit the end of the road, pretty much, and my current level of functioning isn't real good. I am in two minds. I hated not knowing where I'd end up. Now that I'm pretty well there, I can start with the coping strategies. I ache on and off most of the time, but it's not bad unless I overdo things. I last about 2 hours max (usually less) on my feet before I have to rest, and then I feel it the next day with increased aching. I am sort of OK with that, as I don't often have to spend ages on my feet, and I can plan rest stops into my activities. My quad strength is a bit of a pain though. My right quads still tremble when I hold them in a contraction - I can't even get a strong, steady contraction for a second! No wonder I have problems with buckling in that knee. My left is passable but lacks endurance. I think it has the potential to improve a bit more, if I can avoid setbacks (ie - don't overdo things too often!). I will see how things go and try not to stress too much about my options until I see the OS mid-Feb. I see the PT the week before, as he wants to write a note for the OS. I am curious about what he wants to say. It sound weird, but I am happy the PT visits are tapering off and this part of the saga is coming to an end. I can just live my life without having to remember the details of my progress so I can inform the PT when I see him next, or wonder if he'll be annoyed that I didn't make it to the pool (he wasn't, but he wants me to try whenever I can).

Enough about knees.

Joanne - what's happening in your part of the world? Hope all is well, both knees and the rest of your life! Did you finally shake that flu? How's your Dad? I hope he's improved.

Tanya - great to hear you're nearly up to an hour standing. How does the knee feel afterwards? You make your own mince pies?! Wow!! I wish I enjoyed cooking. It would make life so much easier. It's hard to cook when you don't feel like eating much.

Well, it's 1.30am here, so I'd better get some sleep. I hope I can. My knees are reminding me I did too much today. I might take a second dose of pain killers and read until they start to work. Some chocolate might get those endorphins going too!!  ;D

Bye for now,

Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #181 on: December 20, 2007, 03:52:54 PM »
Well done Kathy!!! I bet you are thrilled with finishing the shopping!!!

Kathy what about e-stim to help with those lazy muscles? Cos its not weight bearing - you can do SLRs with the contractions, might encourage your right leg to contract a bit harder? It doesnt build bulk - but it encourages the bulk thats there to work properly.
Its really your OS who is gonna have the last word but its always possible that he may have some new ideas for conservative treatment before deciding to pick up the knife again.
Dont worry about it - you have done as much as you can to help yourself. Enjoy christmas and forget your knees. We'll go for another virtual holiday in January and have some more fun. Considering I dont even remember coming home from the last one - must have been very drunk to forget that?!

Joanne - how are you doing? Are those quads behaving any better? Hope you feel better and your Dad is improved.

Kathy - my boyfriend says me and him make a perfect match - i like cooking and he likes eating :) Mind you there isnt a pick on him and i put weight on when I even say the words mince pies!!!

plenty of chocolate for you - and a large glass of wine too!!
xx
Tanya







1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #182 on: December 21, 2007, 12:18:05 AM »
I figure if my PT though e-stim would work then he'd try it. It might be worth a mention when I see him next though. Hubby has an e-stim type unit that I could try in the meantime. I'll have to look up my anatomy books to work out where I should try putting it though! I am not going to worry too much about my knees, especially over Christmas.

We had a thunder storm move in overnight. Lovely. I love storms, as long as they're not so violent that they're scary. I didn't sleep properly until 4.30am! The pain killers helped my knees but, as they sometimes do, they caused my body to feel tired but my brain to go into hyperdrive! Even the few dreams I had (when I did manage to doze off before 4.30) were fast paced and rushed. Once the meds wore off a bit I slept okay, except for waking at the odd crack of thunder. It'll be an early night for me tonight! I've got a good friend coming over today, with her kids, so the day will go quick and it'll be easy to stop myself sneaking off for a nap.

I look forward to our next VH. I'll bring the chocolate and wine (in real life I am suspecting I have developed an allergy to the preservative 220 that's in wine  :'( )

Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #183 on: December 21, 2007, 10:25:03 AM »
Anything new is worth a try Kathy - and definitely try to forget those knees over christmas!!!

You Aussies make me jealous with your weather systems, fancy storms, and sunshine most of the time!! Im stuck with dreary winter weather, its dark when I leave for work, its dark when I come home :) Car didnt even defrost this morning in the time it took me to drive to work!!

That is weird about the painkillers waking your mind up so much. I use self hypnosis to go to sleep - never fails, I can conk out anywhere anytime. I didnt even know it was self hypnosis until I read up on it a few years ago cos Ive been doing it since I was a kid. Ive 2 favourite techniques, one is I imagine myself on a swing going back and forth and back and forth........(i even feel sleepy talking about it!!) and the other is I imagine myself on a long rope thats twisted and its untwisting slowly so Im just slowly spinning in a circle. I actually get the feeling of both of those things when I imagine hard enough and it knocks me right out.

What happens with that allergy???? I get terrible sneezes and runny nose on some wines, my sinuses just go bananas - but not on others and Im positive that some chemical is in the ones that it happens me with. The only way to stop it is to drink LOTS more wine!!

Did an hour long stand at my desk this morning and I also have a new improvement to report. Remember before I told you when I sloghtly squatted my quads just sat there slack and my kneecap was freely moving around? Well now the quads are working!! If I slightly squat I no longer have to 'think' about contracting the quads. They just pull in. I can really feel it in bed now, if I move around I no longer have to move my whole leg as one entity with the quads slack - they just tighten up and I can move much more freely. So you CAN re-educate muscles!!

Ive had a lot of pain th epast two days though - but sometimes thats a signal Ive made a breakthrough and the correct usage makes me sore for a few days til my knee gets used to it. I think its happening from my step downs which are from a higher step now and have only started 'feeling' right (as in not like bending an elbow backwards) in the past few days.
On a brighter note other aches and pains I had a few weeks ago have stopped happening :)

yeeaa - last day of work before xmas today!!! whoopee!!

xx
Tanya
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #184 on: December 22, 2007, 12:38:44 AM »
I have suspected that something in wine (and beer) has been disagreeing with me for a while. Every time I have some I feel crappy and get a bad headache. I tried avoiding red wine as I thought it may have been the tannins in it, but it's worse on white. One day when I had more than usual, I felt like my chest was being crushed in a vice and it seriously crossed my mine that I might have been having a heart attack - it felt that bad. A friend suggested an allergy to the preservative 220, as it is more prominent in white wine, less in red, and even less in beer, which matches with my experiences. There is also none in vodka (which I drink in the form of Cruisers and don't have any problem with - I did think it may have been alcohol in general causing my problems for a while). I haven't been game to test things out too much and I've limited myself to one glass of wine now.

Great to hear you've had another step forward! I'm really happy for you. It's an early Christmas present for you from your quads!! With my PT appointment so far off I am really relaxing and enjoying the Christmas period. I will get my mind back in the PT mode after New Year. I still do my exercises but I'm not thinking of all the things I need to report back to my PT. I have mentally given myself a week off from all that brainwork.

I hope you enjoy your Christmas break (whatever break you get). I am working the nights of the 23rd and 24th, but two nights in a row is nothing much, and we don't have many patients over Christmas on our ward. We have a little party at work too, on Christmas Eve, and I enjoy catching up with other staff from other wards, who we don't see often.

Have a good one!

Kathy

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #185 on: December 24, 2007, 10:10:28 PM »
Hi guys,

MERRY CHRISTMAS!![/size][/color]

Hope you have a great day. The kids liked their presents. Phew!! They were waiting for me when I got home from work. Talk about excited!!! I hope your day is just as great as ours is turning out to be. Best wishes.

Kathy
xx

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #186 on: December 31, 2007, 09:44:32 AM »
Happy New Year!!!!

Christmas was good, pretty quiet, but nice. My leg has been soooo weak around the hip - but I think Im only noticing cos my kneecap is so much more stable!!!! so really its good news!!

Back in work here with a shell shocked expression on my face :)
xx
Tanya
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #187 on: December 31, 2007, 09:58:03 AM »
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I am working tonight (New Year's Eve), which is a bummer. We wll have a little party, but it won't be the same as being with family. My daughter is really upset that I'm going to work. I wonder if hormones have started circulating, as she has been tearful at the drop of a hat. She's only nine though, so I doubt it. I think it's just all the excitement getting a bit much at this time of year. Well, have fun and stay safe!

Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #188 on: January 03, 2008, 12:41:01 PM »
HI Kathy and Joanne,
How are you two these days?

Im not getting along well with the knee at the moment - its hurting me a lot and my hip is KILLING me!!! I can really feel weakness in the hip area. I dont feel like Ive had any improvement or change since early December. Im quite unstable walking the past few days - probably from pain. I made an appointment with my physio for next monday to review my exercise program. You can SEE my VMO getting bigger but its like there is no practical change you know?

Im starting to wonder if there is ever going to be some normality ahead for me at all. Im just sick of feeling unstable and not being able to walk anywhere comfortably.

Sorry for the moaning - I need another Virtual Holiday :)

Kathy - how is your knee behaving?

Joanne - are your quads moving at all?
xx
Tanya
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #189 on: January 03, 2008, 01:16:05 PM »
Hey Tanya!! Nice to hear from you again. Sorry to hear things have hit a bump in the road. Maybe we've hit the same bump, because my knees just don't seem to be getting anywhere either. I have worked out how to keep the aching to a minimum, but it leaves me very restricted in what I can do, which sucks!! I am hoping that the PT can give me ideas of how to manage "day trips" (sports days and fetes at school, trips to the zoo etc) without killing my knees in the process. If I can keep the aching at bay then I may stand a chance of building up my quads. Well, I can only hope.

Joanne - where have you disappeared to?? I hope you have been doing okay. Long time, no hear.

I reckon a virtual holiday is what I need too!! Where shall we go next time? I still have virtual sand everywhere from the beach, so maybe we can try something new. Any ideas?!

Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #190 on: January 03, 2008, 02:00:57 PM »
Hi Kathy,
have you tried glucosamine? wonder if itd be any help to your knees? Im having so much aching that like you Im finding the quad building difficult too. I do have a very small improvement to report - i can 'hunker' again - you know when you squat to the ground balancing on your feet with your bum touching your heels? Like you would if you were playing with a small child. I havent hunkered in years!! It hurts me when Im down there and I need to put my hand on something to support myself going up and down (more for balance), but the hurt is like tight tendons - its bearable.
Im still advocating e-stim for you to help with the quads cos its non weight bearing and you can just sit there and let the electric currents do their thing.

Maybe we should go and experience a new culture? Like Thailand or somewhere like that? We could have a look at the Buddhist temples and see the wildlife? Ooooohhh - what about a safari in Kenya????
xx
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #191 on: January 04, 2008, 09:22:22 AM »
Hi Tanya,

No I haven't tried glucosamine. From what I have read it is most effective for early stages of cartilage damage, though it may help keep my undamaged cartilage healthy. I'd love to be able to "hunker"!! It's so funny to watch me clean the kids' rooms - I pick up the big stuff by bending over and doing a very mini-squat, then I sit on the bed and use my arms to lower myself onto my butt on the ground. Then I bum-shuffle around the floor to pick up all the little bits and reach under the beds! What a sight!! Oh to be able to squat again!! I'll have to ask about e-stim. I have heard contradictory things about it, but I guess anything is worth a try.

A safari in Kenya sounds great. Really different too. I'd love to see elephants in their real habitat.

Kathy

Offline tanyap

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #192 on: January 04, 2008, 09:49:26 AM »
Hi Kathy,
you make me laugh so much - when I read 'bum shuffle' I suddenly had visions of myself hoovering under the bed - cos thats what I do too!!!
I cant get straight to the ground from standing unless Ive something like a wall to touch for balance/support. I get to a point and then just fall to the ground. Although the new hunkering trick might help that!!! Apparently humans are supposed to be able to hunker cos thats how toileting was performed before we got nice civilised porcelain loos :) Also its not pleasant to sit on the jungle floor cos of insects so hunkering minimised the amount of flesh touching the ground. So humans in western society have lost the ability for a nice hunker because of modern conveniences. Ive decided Im going to hunker a few times a day at my desk in work (who cares what people think - ill pretend im looking for a dropped pen or something!!)

Yes you should try the glucosamine - ive a friend who is a dietician and at the last conference she was at there was a discussion on the effects and one of her collegues said that her own father would be in a elderly folks home if not for glucosamine cos his arthritis was so bad that he couldnt do anything for himself, then he started on it and made enough improvements to be able to wash, use the loo, prepare simple meals etc.... The important think is that you get it in a form that the body can absorb it - there was one I got off the internet for my friends dog (its the magic bullet for animals) in liquid form - ill see can I find you a link, the dog went from not being able to put any weight through her back legs, and having awful trouble trying to get up to dashing around like a puppy after taking it - she hated the taste though and and used to try and eat her food round the teaspoon of glucosamine :) I used it too, but I didnt really notice much difference.  Below is the link for the actual brand I used - I didnt buy from that site, I bought it off ebay, it wasnt expensive. But theres a lot of info in the link.

http://www.syn-flex-usa.com/

Do ask about e-stim, Ill annoy you about it periodically and eventually you'll get sick of me asking so you'll try it :)

Kenya here we come!!!! how are we gonna climb up on the elephants??? perhaps we can get big strong men to carry us up!!
xx
Tanya
1986 - recurrent dislocations of right patella began
1988 - Modified Hauser Procedure
1991 - dislocations started again
2005 to 2007 - 150 dislocations in 2 years - OUCH!!!
June 2007 - new OS, new physio
Oct 2007 - VMO woke up
Mar 2008 - big quads, still dislocating
Apr 2008 - next OS app

Offline kathat

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #193 on: January 04, 2008, 01:15:18 PM »
Golly, what funny things we do to cope! The only way I can get onto the ground is to lower myself from sitting, or to bend over and touch the ground with my hands and walk my feet away until I am in a push-up position, then I roll over onto my butt. Getting up involves the opposite, and is much harder - I always regret getting down there when it comes time to get up again. Using a chair to get up is much easier!

Hubby wanted to go away to a particular camping spot we have eyed off before, but there are no loos and I cannot squat, so what did he expect me to do??!! Hold it in?!?! There went that idea!

I plan to get some glucosamine next pay day. All these medications are getting expensive. I take several pain killers, multivitamins, a liquid supplement to increase protein intake, and fibre powder to counteract the painkillers' side effects  :P

Well, it's late and I must get to bed. I am praying for sleep, after several sleepless nights. Good night.

Kathy

PS. Good strong men will come in handy for plenty of things, so we'd better make sure there are some on this virtual holiday.

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Re: I have had an improvement!!
« Reply #194 on: May 13, 2009, 07:04:53 AM »
Hi Tanya: Hope your doing better. I had a vmo as well and it was god awfull. Once i got into to physio and they hooked me up to electrictal stimulation and got my muscle firing i was off to the races. I took 2 months of sweat and tears but i was able to lift my leg and bend my knee. then i had to retrain my brain on how much to bend my knee to walk down the stairs and how to lock it to raise it. It was so fustrating. I wouldn't wish that surgery on my worst enemy.  It will all come back, just give it time.  Keep up the hard work, you'll get back to normal. Wishing you a speedy recovery. All the best Irene