“No lunch for me today,” I announced to my lunch buddies. “I have a doctor’s appointment. It’s time to fill my knees again. I want to make sure their solid before Autoimmune Walk NYC on 9/16.”
As I stood up, I could feel pain surge around my knees and lower back. I leaned on my cane in a stance that appeared to me as if I were hovering over a toilet seat. I still walked over to my friend Jenna.
“Are you going to be okay?” Jenna asked. “You need a ride? I have my car. I can drive you over there.”
“No, no!” I declared. “I’m taking a cab to the Hospital For Special Surgery. I’ll be fine.”
“Let me know if you need a ride back” Jenna continued. “Will it hurt?”
“Yes,” I replied. “The doctor stabs me with needle filled with a local anesthetic. Then, he uses a 22 gauge needle to inject Synvisc. If I’m lucky, my body won’t react to this procedure. Last time I got fever, chills and a headache.”
After a fifteen minute cab ride to the east side, I was on a table with gel on my knee as my doctor used an ultrasound machine to figure out where to inject the fluid. He made a couple of marks then he began.
The sharp pain of the first needle was replaced by discomfort, a burning sensation then numbness. My knee wasn’t completely numb. I learned that when the doctor began rooting around with the needle while releasing fluid. Moments later, the blood spots on my leg, puffiness and bandage were the only evidence of the procedure.
On my way back to work, Jenna sent a text to check on me. I was feeling very little pain. But 20 minutes later, I was fighting back the pain in my knee, a pounding headache and fatigue.
This was still worth it, I thought as the stiffness in my leg made me walk with a pronounced limp. Once I fill the left knee next week and complete steroid shots and radiofrequency ablation on my back in October I’ll be able to walk cane and pain free for months. Freedom is worth fighting through this pain.
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