When I was at the grocery store last week, I ran into Maryanne who attends our church and is a friendly, but mostly “Hi, how are you.” acquaintance. There are many times that “Hi, how are you.” would have been the extent of this encounter too, but I think this time I was meant to hear some things Maryanne had to say.
So for whatever reason, we stopped to chat. And the conversation came around to the fact that she used to have a noticeable limp, but doesn’t now. This was of particular interest to me because I have been having trouble with my knees for several years now (and I do limp sometimes, but so far usually just for a short time after having sat for an extended period of time — never as badly as I had seen Maryanne limp) and I wondered if her knees had been her problem too. Yes, in fact that was her problem and as she described how her knees had acted (or not acted), they sounded like my current knee problems only worse — where they might be heading. She said now that she feels so great and has no pain, she wishes she had addressed the problem sooner and saved herself needless years of discomfort. She also said that these days a specialist can very quickly determine if you need knee surgery because they take x-rays while you are in the office, so can make a diagnosis right away. She concluded by telling me that if and when I did see a specialist, she would suggest a certain doctor who her daughter, an RN, said she considers the best knee specialist in the area.
My knee problems have been in the back of my mind for quite a while. But you know how that goes — when it’s you, you have trouble standing back and looking at the problem, any problem, objectively and determining how serious it really is. So I was glad that Maryanne had shared so much info about her knee surgery and what symptoms had lead up to it. Her experience confirmed to me that I actually did have a problem that was going to have to be fixed eventually. So I filed the information she had given me away in the back of my mind … little knowing how soon I would be using it!
Last Friday, just a couple days after this conversation, I was playing golf and on my chip shot up onto (luckily) the last green, I turned my right knee wrong and was suddenly in excruciating pain! I managed to finish and hobble to the car and then drive home. And when I got home I did what I have talked about doing for at least a year, i.e., made an appointment with a “knee Doc” — and, predictably, I called the doctor who had been recommended to me just a few days earlier.
Realistically, if I hadn’t just run into Maryanne, I’m not sure I would have made that call so quickly. After all, later, after I had put an ace bandage around the knee, it stopped hurting and frankly that made me wonder if this was really just a non-event and didn’t require further attention. But, because of that conversation earlier in the week, I knew that my symptoms were in line with those of at least one person who had had knee replacement, and also because of that conversation, I even knew the name of a good doctor to see. So since I had already made the appointment, I decided to go anyway just to see what the doctor would say about my knees.
Bottom line … I saw the doctor yesterday … x-rays were taken showing the dreaded bone-on-bone knees … and in the next few days, surgery will be set up for sometime in November for both knees.
Thanks so much for the very well-timed “medical advice” Maryanne. You just never know when you might pick up something free but of great value at the grocery store along with your cereal and bananas!