I have had a couple of moments that generated this phrase lately. Followed by OUCH, and other, more colorful words that are not appropriate for a prime-time audience.
What happened? Well, my main stress relief and exercise program consists of daily walking 3 to 4 miles, which I have chronicled here with words and images, on more than one occasion. One week ago today, during my regular tour of our very hilly neighborhood, I felt a sudden and sharp pain in my right knee.
Holy S#^t, Batman!
I sank to a crouch, straightened up, did a few stretches, took a couple of test steps, and OUCH again! I was completely floored. There was no traumatic movement, no pop, snap, or crackle. I did a few more test steps and started back up the hill toward home. Going uphill was not as painful. Hmmm. Got to the top of the hill and it felt ok. Just a slight incline toward my house, and the sharp pain was there again.
I did not complete my walk, thinking that resting might eliminate the problem. That evening I felt better, and ventured out for a short walk. As soon as I headed down hill, there it was again! So, to the web browser I went. I Googled different knee ailments, and eventually Wikipedia and I diagnosed a possible ACL injury, since in addition to the downhill impact, I felt the pain several times when making a lateral move.
Fast forward to two days later. Despite rest and no walking in between, the pain was still there and sharp as ever. I actually got an appointment with the Ortho the same day I called – amazing! He gave an initial diagnosis of a damaged or torn meniscus, pending an MRI. So much for Wikipedia and my medical expertise! If his diagnosis is confirmed by the MRI, he describes about a 15 minute arthroscopic procedure, with a quick recovery period.
“Oh, that MRI, we can’t schedule it till next week because your insurance has to approve in advance.”
On the bright side, the Doctor says walking is fine, just no hills. Well, that rules out basically everything within a 20 mile radius. So this past weekend, I actually did a mall-walk. Don’t tell anyone.
Tuesday dawns and the doctor’s office calls to confirm the MRI was approved and to move up my appointment, since they had several cancellations due to the holiday week. I have no idea what to expect, never having had an MRI. This is an open MRI, so no claustrophobic tunnel, and I am happy about that.
I arrive at the office, and a very nice young lady takes me back and puts me on a table, highlighting my knee in a plastic contraption. She hands me foam earplugs and says it can be noisy. She says it is most important that I keep my knee absolutely still. She doesn’t say much else, and I am not sure what to ask other than how long this will take. She says about 30 minutes.
She goes into a little control room and over a speaker says that she can talk to me and I can talk to her, and she will tell me the approximate time of each session. Hmm, there are sessions?
I settle in and then someone starts a jack hammer RIGHT next to my head!
Holy S#^t, Batman!
Apparently, the MRI sounds like a jack hammer! Who knew? Anyway, after the initial shock, I calm down to the point of (possibly) snoring, during the 4 to 6 minute scanning portions. I guess my relaxation/mediation routine works, as I am able to hold still during the scans. 30 minutes and I am done.
Sadly, my consultation to learn the results of the MRI and next steps has to wait until after Thanksgiving.
I am thankful that I can walk in the meantime; along with all of my many blessings, and wish you all a very Happy and Thankful, Thanksgiving!