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Anterior Medial Meniscus Tear with Degenerative Arthritis of the Knee Joint


Friday, August second, two thousand and twelve.
Having resolved to talk about what’s really going on, I hereby describe my current situation: this morning, like every morning, I got up at 5:00, took eight hundred milligrams of ibuprofen, and went back to bed. At 6:30, Mary was up, so I asked her for one of her diet pills, which she graciously handed me after asked if I didn’t want two. Back to bed again, until Mary leaves, at which time I get up to kiss her goodbye and wish her a good day. Then up for putting on pants, socks, and shoes to go for a walk. Before leaving, smoke two bowls of the leftover combustible materials. Walking time, with two eight pound dumb-bells, 26 minutes, or about one and one quarter miles. Met up with one of the cats, a big yellow male tabby, in the plum orchard almost half a mile from the house.

Also before leaving this morning I took twenty mg of the anti-cholesterol drug Crestor and twenty mg of Benicar, an angiotensin receptor blocker for hypertension. Plus nine hundred mg of Neurontin, or gabapentin. Last, fifty mg of desvenlafaxine or Pristiq. With a glass of water.

As to how I feel–uncharacteristically light, as if I’m entering a manic phase, which would just be a degeneration of the overall pattern which can be hammered in to place over a lifetime of situations, choices, and actions. I say hammered because everything can be over-simplified and turned in to “just another manic phase” or “just another depressive period” which tends to suck all the meaningfulness out of an experience from which you might actually have learned something. I say “might” because the chances of actually learning and remembering something worthwhile are small.

All the same, I still feel that I’m going to start feeling bad real soon again. Tonight.

Inserted note: as a matter of fact, I didn’t feel “bad real soon” or certainly not “real bad” but actually got sleepy and fell asleep in bed next to Mary around ten-thirty or so. I think the TV was already off.

By the way, we usually watch the Turner Movie Classics which means no commercials (except for the ones between movies for the next movie) but the movies are mostly pretty old, with the exception of “2001″ and “Lawrence of Arabia.” In the old days, until the late Sixties, there was an explicit production code which proscribed unhappy endings, at least for the good guys. Certain obscene words were also prohibited, as well as situations and activities considered unwholesome.
The intent of the Code was to make television safe for children to watch, and it had the unintended result of making almost all of the movies produced under the code come out with happy endings, or at least highly just endings.
Mary liked movies made under the Code because she liked movies to come out with a happy ending. She was very unhappy with movies like “Elvira Madigan”, in which the lovers commit suicide at the end of the movie.
So watching TMC was usually safe if you needed a happy ending for your movie.


Monday, August sixth.
Today started out much the same as Friday.
I went for a walk again. This time the yellow cat followed me from home as far as the distant orange orchard. When I saw the white flowers on the bank, I remembered that I wanted to take pictures of them.
So I went back home, got my camera, and drove the truck back to the spot where the flowers were coming out. They are on a plant that looks like it will grow small gourds or squashes. I took several pictures, adjusting the exposure for the fact that the flowers are bright white and nearly six inches across.
I finished the roll of film, started a new roll, and took a couple of extra pictures.
I returned to the house and decided to take the film in right away to be printed. Back in the truck, I drove into Sanger. First I dropped off the film at Walgreens, at ten minutes to ten. Next, I went to Mary’s bank (West America Bank) and checked her account balance at the ATM.
Then I went to WalMart and wasted an hour buying dry cat food, paper, odds and ends, and a couple of cheap movies. Finally, at eleven, I went back to Walgreens for the pictures.
After that, I should have gone to Costco to refill prescriptions, but I was too hot already. My shirt was soaked with sweat and my face was wet. I went home and took a shower.

Tuesday, August twenty-eighth, fifteen minutes to three in the afternoon.
Marshall is watching “John Carter of Mars” while I am typing this. We’ve reached the point where Carter and his love interest have escaped and are riding on native animals across a lovely rural landscape. The point of view switches to their antagonists for a moment, then back to Carter and the girl, with a native warrior arguing that the girl is selling them out. Shortly Carter and the native deprive the girl of her mount and leave her behind, running and yelling after them. At this point I begin to lose interest and turn to the subject of this monologue, which is still undefined.
It is now October 27. For the last two months (September and October) my right knee has been giving me terrible pain.

You’re not supposed to use the word suddenly, but that’s how it happened. I was walking through the back door into our bedroom, and as I raised my right leg to step in over the threshold, the knee turned to the side and maybe clicked a little; then agonizing pain shot through the knee. I couldn’t put any weight on my right foot. I called out to Marshall and asked him to bring the crutches, and with these I was able to totter in to the house.

For the rest of the day, I was unable to walk without the crutches. The next day I was able to switch to a cane, but the pain persisted. For the last two months, my right knee has been almost continuously painful, especially when I try to walk more than a few feet.

I found a knee brace at Walgreen’s that was real tight and had aluminum hinges. After wearing it a few days, I gave it up. It didn’t really relieve any pain although it provided a lot of support.

There is a tender area along the anteromedial aspect of the joint line; recently the tenderness has subsided somewhat, but there is marked swelling all around the joint. I think there is a large effusion now.

So I am trying to get around a little bit, but when I get up I have to be careful. Another thing that helped was a sample bottle of Pennsaid liquid; rubbing it on the joint where it was tender really helped. The bottle lasted about two days. Now I am able to walk without the cane, although the swelling persists.

At the same time, Mary was trying to buy a car. Initially they told her that her credit was good, and we fiddled around with them for two weeks trying to get a particular white 2007 Corvette. But when Mary finally got around to showing her documents, they said the pay stub was too old; they had to have a pay stub from the last 30 days.

Well, then she had to admit that she was on SDI(for the last three weeks), and that queered the deal. Even though she was getting almost as much from SDI as from the regular job, they wouldn’t consider anyone who was on SDI at all. They asked her if she could find someone to co-sign for her. I told them my pension wasn’t big enough to help.

Mary was extremely angry and frustrated after they turned her down. She was almost immobile for a day and a half. Then she started to get over it. I was not so affected by it; I had expected something to happen that would prevent her from getting the car.

Then October passed, and now it’s November first and it’s cloudy with a feeling of impending rain. I’ll be happy if it does rain, because it will confirm my theory that this year will be wet… on the other hands, odds are against things sometimes.

This is the big issue to be settled on the evening of November sixth, who will be president for the next four years, Obama or Romney? It’s almost too sickening to imagine that Romney might win. Fortunately, polls and gambling venues give Obama between 67 and 79% odds in his favor. Romney could still win, there’s a one in three to one in four chance of that, but … ugh.

Another commenter wondered why Romney has such a good chance of winning with all his negatives. It’s true, why would anyone want Romney to be their president? But then this is clearly a nation of morons, so it’s not so surprising.
At the present time, 3:20 PM November 1, 2012, I feel persistent deep seated aching in my right knee, mostly localized to the anteromedial aspect and within. I have noticed a marked swelling of the knee, which is probably an effusion. There is still significant tenderness on the joint line in the anteromedial aspect.

The constant aching pain has been wearing me down, and activities are much more tiring than before. I am often prompted to lie down on the bed with a pillow under my knee. I feel quite lucky to be retired on a disability, as I could not possibly work in this condition without massive doses of narcotics.

It reminds me a little of September-October of 2007, when I worked my last locum tenens job at the former Air Force base medical center. I was hurting immensely in the lower back, as far as I can remember, and I had to take enormous doses of pain pills to relieve the pain enough to work. I was in poor condition and my work suffered as a result. I felt that I never wanted to do this kind of work again.

I think it was a week before I finished the work, Dr Singh gave me an injection in my spine, I don’t remember exactly where, and I struggled through the last week as best I could. I then went home and laid on the couch for five days before the shot seemed to take effect. I can’t remember that time very well because the pain seemed to consume my entire attention. Perhaps the narcotics clouded my memory, but I don’t really think so. It was the pain that drove everything else out of my mind.

Now I have a constant, localized ache in my knee that is driving out all thoughts of going for a walk every day or even walking around the house much. It is consuming me and keeping my attention constantly focused on it. It’s not as painful as my back was, but it’s even more debilitating because I can’t walk around freely

Just now I closed my eyes and dozed off a little. I became aware of a feeling of being in another place; I couldn’t see it but I felt it somehow. The other place was a corridor, seemingly a central space for transiting a ship from fore to aft. I could sense boxes in the corridor, and people walking up and down its length. That was all I could sense at that moment.

The second time I close my eyes I become aware of some jointed machine that flexes and extends itself.

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