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Author Topic: I just can't cope anymore  (Read 4555 times)

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Offline ineednewknees

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I just can't cope anymore
« on: January 24, 2014, 11:01:38 AM »
Hey everyone,

This is my first post and I'm sorry it's so long - but I need to get all of this off of my chest.


I had my first arthroscopy when I was only 15, and since then have had another two athroscopies. My knees were alright for a while, but my first year at uni while playing touch footy I managed to completely snap my ACL in half in my left leg (2012). I had the reconstruction, and physio and recovery were both going well. I woke up one morning and my left knee was the size of a watermelon, pulsating, very hot to touch and a creepy purpley/reddy colour. I was rushed to the hospital who just sent me home, saying nothing was wrong and it was just swollen after surgery... TWO MONTHS LATER! Anyway, I knew something wasn't right and went to my local doctor who immediately picked it as an infected wound - turns out it had 107x the normal amount of bacteria in it.

It was absolutely crushing to have come so far in my rehabilitation only to be told again that I'd need to start from scratch. They ended up opening my knee up again, cleaning the graft and flushing it out, in the hope that it wouldn't become infected. Long story short, that didn't work and I ended up getting very ill. I stayed in hospital for two weeks with a drip going directly into my heart to pump antibiotics into it twice a day. Eventually the bacteria left my system, and my knee was good once again.

Fast forward a few months, and I was absolutely smashing the gym. This was when I was the fittest I've ever been - I was squatting heavy and could run miles. I lost a whole heap of weight, and really adopted a new view to my life. I went back to uni the next year (2013) and got back into soccer. I was training two nights a week in first grade, and absolutely loving it. I'd made some fantastic friends and was so excited to be back into the game.

My first game came up, and I played a great first half. Second half came, and I kicked the ball in a funny way and ended up on the floor screaming and having a panic attack. I don't remember to much of it, but I know I couldn't breathe - not because of the pain, but because of the fear I'd need surgery again. I was rushed to the hospital and it was confirmed that I would now need a complete ACL reconstruction on my right knee.

I had that reconstruction (both hamstring by the way) but just haven't been the same person since. I have tried to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but I do sometimes think - what's the point? I recently found out that my left knee has rejected the supposedly 'biodegradable' screw in my knee, and I'm having surgery AGAIN in February to get it taken out.

I'm sorry the tone of this topic is so depressed, but I need to hear from similar people - how do you cope? I am just feeling so down and devastated at the moment, and every little thing gets to me.

Thanks so much in advance for any comments or pieces of advice.

Offline dm

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Re: I just can't cope anymore
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 02:49:23 AM »
Surgical infections and hardware rejections are sadly not uncommon. they suck, but happen. sorry to hear you've had to deal with both. Hardware removal surgery sounds like a fairly minor deal from what I've read from other posters on the board here. the infection sounds much more scary!

I'm on the other side of the pond (us) and my situation is nothing like yours, but I've been dealing with a bad knee since 2000. the short story is repeat injuries - they patch me up and I manage to hurt myself again, with stretches of time in between. Last major disaster was in 2010, and the MRI completely missed on most of the damage I did to myself just taking a fall on the wet deck of my porch... and because of this I walked on an increasingly painful knee for 3 months before they did surgery on it. It's not as relevant as it's not surgical, but I've also got other chronic issues I fight - I have severe migraines which also suck, but they're debilitating, which brings it's own mental stress to the other stuff I deal with.

back to the knee...waking up from surgery to find out you've been out for 3 times longer than the op was supposed to take, plus you're greeted with the news that you won't be walking for months, is not news you want to hear, on top of the existing damage one already has. You can imagine how this made me feel back then.

Fast forward 14 months... acl repair done in that surgery fails. microfracture done in that surgery had been deemed failure 6 months before as well. I later found out through subsequent exams that it took 18 months, not the expected 6months, for the damage to heal itself as much as it could.

presently I am having pain issues indicative of additional failures within my knee and am awaiting another MRI next week. I was told last summer by my OS that he's willing to do a TKR when I can't stand it anymore. Well, depending on what this MRI says, it may be crunch time, I may be forced to have to do it, as I can barely walk right now, and bending my knee is causing severe pain, like something is caught/broken off in there.

I have been dealing with this knee for going on 14 years, and I too am sick of it. The last 4 have been gradually increasing pain levels, worsening symptoms, and the knowledge that its inevitable that a TKR will happen sooner rather than later. The last 6 months have forced me into pain management because of the pain and doctors not wanting to regularly write prescriptions for narcotics if not a pain management doctor.

So, if nothing else, I can sympathize with how you feel, with wanting the misery to end. Doing everything I can to manage the pain is the best coping mechanism I have at the moment. I am also trying to keep my mind occupied, even if I am forced to be more sedentary than I'd like. Yeah, I'm sucking it up and working 50+ hours per week, because I have bills to pay, but I come home and park it. There are things I need to do around the house, and it sucks that I normally could, and just can't because of the pain.

I made the mistake of going for a walk a bit over a half mile last weekend. halfway there I was regretting it, and I sucked it up and made myself finish the walk to the store and took a break on a bench when I got there, then got my ingredients for my recipe, then went home. I spent the next day in bed in much worse pain because of it. It SUCKS I can't walk around long enough to manage something such as a theme park trip - I'd love to plan a trip over to bush gardens for the day.... but it's not worth paying a one day admission for an annual pass I can't enjoy. (resident deal)

I've been in bed more than I've been out of it the last two days in severe pain myself, and it sucks.... this is because of the above mentioned thing where something has caught or whatever and won't go back the way it was.... I have been making myself get up and hobble around and do the few things I really have to, and run a couple errands, but other than that parked in bed... so much for enjoying my days off.... :( Been up to my eyeballs in painkillers... so at least I am not in agony... which is a small favor... that and near constant icepacks.

If you want to chat, I'm willing to listen. I can certainly commiserate, and sympathize. You're welcome to pm me if you wish.

I spend a lot of time watching movies and shows on tv, or surfing the net, or reading, or listening to audiobooks while trying to let the drugs take me to sleep...pain makes it so hard for me to sleep and it stinks!
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.

Offline davebadknee

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Re: I just can't cope anymore
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2014, 07:16:35 PM »
Hi there,

i was very depressed and tearful after micro fracture. Realising things had changed and I'm no longer 'invincible'.

I'm impressed at how you recovered, but when you said football... I see so many injuries from football, it's safer to go boxing  ;D

As for your feelings of despair. A friend of 25 years and a gym buddy recently had a stroke and now can only communicate by moving his eyes at letters read from the alphabet. He has full mental awareness, it's called locked in syndrome. He won't recover any movement.

I look at him and realise how bad things could be, and it stops me going deeper into despair. I still feel down, but I think it helps to reflect on how good it is rather than on how good it was.

Finally, keep an eye on yourself and see the doctor if you begin seriously questioning your worth and reason to carry on.

Take care  :)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2014, 07:20:09 PM by davebadknee »

Offline dm

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Re: I just can't cope anymore
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2014, 05:47:10 AM »
I ended up finding out my knee was indeed shot and had surgery in march. I'm almost 8 wks out from having my knee replaced - total knee including kneecap resurface. Still have some pain and sensitivity but very good rom - at -3/+115 which is very good. I can walk farther now without sharp pains than I could before surgery, and it's slowly improving, a teensy bit at a time, so I'm hopeful that more time will result in more improvement, and eventually being able to get off the painkillers. I'll be taking them longer than the doc would like, but after 5 years of painkiller use, and more years than that of chronic pain... I'm not doing so bad!!
multiple arthroscopies 2/00,3/01,6/01,1/03, 12/07,10/10. chondromalacia, severe medial joint space narrowing following 3 partial menisectomies, chronic pain problems, kneecap problems, OCD lesion, failed mfx.