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As expected, my knee guy didn’t have any more miracles stashed up his sleeve, so total knee replacement surgery is scheduled for mid-July — the guiding time elements being that I have to be off Orencia two weeks before surgery and I have to be recovered from surgery enough for our trip to London in mid-September.

Even though I expected this outcome, once we made the decision to move forward with the surgery I felt sad. I thought that was a strange emotion as I know the surgery will greatly improve my quality of life and how I feel on a daily basis. I don’t know. Maybe I felt like RA had won yet another round. I’m starting to look and feel a bit like Sylvester Stallone at the end of a Rocky movie where’s he’s been beaten to a bloody pulp.

I really like my doctor and, since we’ve been through so much already, we’ve developed a good relationship. I try to ask intelligent questions and he’s more than happy to take time to explain things without talking down to me or sugar coating anything.

He showed my latest X-ray that revealed even more joint damage than the X-rays just a few months ago. There was also a large area of “effusion” (i.e., swelling) that showed up clearly on the X-ray. And when he examined my knee he said that I have a large Baker’s cyst in back. My doctor says that knees are dumb and that when they don’t know what to do with something, they make a cyst. A Baker’s cyst is basically an overflow reservoir of synovial fluid from the knee. As much as my knee hurts, I’ve expected it to be swollen to the size of a grapefruit. Apparently instead of swelling, the extra fluid has apparently been shunted off to this cyst.

If I have any concern it’s that this will be the fourth time I’ve gone off Orencia. For some reason, some people find their RA meds don’t work as well after they’ve gone off of them, then back on again. It’s strange that I’m not concerned about the surgery or recovery. I guess I have confidence in my surgeon and I’ve been through so many surgeries, I know what to expect. But I have about a month to get nervous about the actual surgery, so I’m sure those fears will come in due time. I’ll deal with them then but I don’t plan on wasting any time on them in the near future. :-)

I hope any news that you get is what you expect. Thanks for checking in.