Tuesday, May 24, 2011

X-Ray, MRI, Orthopedic Doctor ... Oh My!

Nearly 8 weeks ago I injured my knee in kick boxing class - always fun right?  Right.

Yesterday morning at 11:40am I received my results from the MRI that I was finally approved to have.

Allow me to start there ---- Friday, May 20th, I had an appointment at Seacoast Orthopedic and Sports Therapy.  I arrived, 10 minutes early, just as I was instructed.  Now, I don't know if you've ever had an MRI before - I personally had not - but it's not as much fun as it seems.   There is nothing fun about lying completely still, for 45 minutes, in a freezing cold trailer, in a freezing cold tube - with a freezing cold fan blowing freezing cold air on you.  Not even when they allow you to listen to music to block out the knocks, bangs, tics and other . noises . not even sounds, NOISES - that the machine makes.

Forty Five Minutes.  Completely still.  In the event that you've never had the pleasure of laying in an MRI tube, allow me to set the scene.

At Seacoast Orthopedics - on 108 in Somersworth, you pull around the side of the building - past 2 entrances, park, and enter in a small, side door with "MRI TESTING FACILITY" or something equally foreboding, scrawled above the door.  Ominous.   Through 2 sets of automatic doors, there is a large desk, in a large empty room.

Sitting at this desk is Diane - an incredibly kind and soft spoken woman, whom I had the pleasure of speaking with - 12 times while scheduling my 1 appointment (truth).  She checked me in, and then led me into a small hallway, through another set of doors, and into a small, cubicle sized waiting room.  Equipped with four chairs, and a sink.  On one end of the room is the door I came through, on the other, a glass door, that leads through a glass hallway - and then into a space ship type room.  No joke.

There is a slight ramp, steel - like the diamond plated stuff you see on pick up trucks (and what not?) - with a small step, and another set of glass doors.  Now you're in a small room, the size of a shoebox.  Where (in this case) 3 technicians are lined up, with different computers, and other electronic components, and then through yet ANOTHER set of glass doors is "the Tube" ... loaded into the back of a Semi-Trailer's . Trailer - is the MRI machine.  It's a long, large tube, with a bed that sticks out the end.  No joke, it looks like something out of a science fiction movie.   I laid on the bed, had my right knee placed into some sort of contraption, and I was set to go.

I was lucky enough to choose some music, I chose Jack Johnson -- relaxing, fun and easy to deal with for the 40 minutes I was to lay there - perfectly still ... the more I moved, the longer it would take.  I stayed as rigid as I could, and prayed for time to speed up.  Watching the countdowns on the digital clocks for each "piece" of the pictures the MRI was taking.  Thankfully, nearly 45 minutes in, I was done.  Now the waiting game through the weekend was to begin.  I thanked my technicians, asked if they'd seen anything nasty I should be concerned with - after which I received the polite smile and shake of the head, with the shrugged shoulders - no, they couldn't tell me anything.  Awesome.

Monday morning finally arrived, and the clock continued to tick ... slowly ... towards 1140am.  When the time finally came to head to the office, my mom and I got into the MomVan and headed out.

We arrived a few minutes before my appointment, and waited.  A little more.  Then More.   Then, a little more.   Finally we were called back, and Dr. Thut (pronounced TOOT - heh) arrived in the room and pulled up my "pictures" ... after looking them over, and feeling my knee again (swelling was completely evident) the diagnosis.

"I don't see any - *any* - reason for you to be having pain, or swelling in your knee, after 8 weeks of this.  There is no evidence of damage.  To the cartilage, to the tendons, the muscles, the bones, the mensici - nothing.  There is no damage here.  Right now, my instinct is to send you for some therapy, and go from there.  It's obvious to me, you feel this pain.  It's obvious to me, there is swelling, where there shouldn't be.  What's not obvious, is why.  At PT they have ultrasounds, and Dopplers - they can see things I cannot.  They can see things as they exercise your leg, they can immediately take pictures and see where the inflammation is coming from.  Right now, I think it's a question of restrengthening the knee, and going from there.  If in 6 weeks, after some therapy, you're still feeling the same, come back and see me, and we'll retest, and go from there -- maybe even entertain the thoughts of a second cortisone shot, this time in the joint.  Instead of in the general knee area as Dr. Cole did last time.  This time we'd be more localized."

In a nutshell ... There's nothing wrong with my knee, but it's still hurt, and swollen, and just -- not right.   I am cleared to walk for the Relay for Life, in June - but no kick boxing.  Nothing strenuous.  Otherwise, I'll be back at square one.    Awesome.


Jessi said...

Fail. Epic fail.

Do I hate Dr. Toot or do I like him? Nothing like being told your pain has no evidence.

Amy said...

I'd love to hate him, but .... He made a lot of sense, and he was really very nice. I just wish there was an answer :o/