Medical Mystery

Remember when I mentioned falling and hurting my left knee right before vacation? Well, it’s still injured. It’s been over 3 weeks. It scabbed over nearly immediately, and now I have a mauve patch where formerly there was missing skin, so that’s not the problem. The problem is the swelling and the pain.

I thought I had merely bruised it. But well after a bruise should have healed, the knee continued to hurt when I applied pressure to it. A sharp, burning kind of pain. It has proved to be exceedingly inconvenient, because if you’ve seen pictures of my bed you know that I have to use a ladder and crawl into it – and the knee I normally use to crawl into bed is my left knee. I’ve been flopping belly-first onto the bed ever since I injured it because putting any pressure on the knee has been excruciating. But my knee never purpled with a bruise (It’s not unusual for me not to purple, bruises rarely show up on me while they still hurt, but normally the yellow-ish/greenish color DOES show up once the bruise is no longer painful) so I’ve been thinking that maybe it was more than just a simple bruise I was dealing with.

Still, I’m a patient woman when it comes to pain, so I’ve just been waiting for it to heal.

Then last Friday night (that’s right, a whole week ago) I kneeled directly on that knee for what felt like nearly an hour. True, I had a cushion under that knee. True, I was kneeling on both knees, so it’s not that my whole weight was on that one knee. And, after a moment or two it stopped hurting (or I stopped paying attention) and I thought I was fine. But the next morning the knee was swollen. It was a strange kind of swelling – the swelling itself wasn’t painful in the least. It doesn’t hurt when I bend the knee or walk, only when I put direct pressure on it. I only noticed the swelling because I was wearing shorts and noticed that my knee was the wrong shape. When I poked it the knee was squishy, like a ball full of gel, and it only hurt when I pushed my finger hard enough to touch the structure of the knee underneath all the squoosh. It stayed swollen like that all weekend and I grossed out many a person on Pride Day by poking my finger in my knee all the way to my first knuckle and then inviting them to do the same…

Icing the knee has had no immediate effect, but over this week the swelling has gone down somewhat. Now, instead of the whole joint being swollen there’s just a glob of jelly directly over the kneecap. And it still hurts like a mofo in that sharp, burning, abrading kind of pain when I poke it or apply direct pressure. But other than that the function of my knee does not seem to be compromised in any way.

Anybody ever have anything like this happen to you? Do you think I should go see a doctor?

I’m afraid that too many years without health insurance have trained me to avoid seeing doctors. I figure if I’m well enough to consider how much medical care would cost me then I’m not sick enough to need to go. But I DO have health insurance right now…

Oh yeah, and because when I first injured my knee I thought it was a simple bruise and scrape, I didn’t inform my boss or the HR person that it happened…

Oh, and, in case you were wondering… the kneeling on the knee for such an extended period of time in the first place? TOTALLY worth it!!

Posted by Trista @ 9:20 AM

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Go see the doctor. If there's swelling that bad, they can drain the knee, which isn't fun, but it feels great afterward. You might have torn something! Go to the doctor!

Posted by Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) @ 9:30 AM #

aaaah, BUT, when I was 12 years old my knee mysteriously swelled up and the doctor tried to drain it and nothing came out (OUCH!). Of course that swelling was much more painful in general and was gone by the end of the week...

If I go to the doctor, should I try to go today given that in 16 hours we're getting on a 2 AM flight to Houston for a quick weekend jaunt? Or should I wait until Monday?

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 9:39 AM #

You are crazy. Go to the doctor. Today. What's the worst that could happen?

Besides. You'll need your knee for future hours ("nearly an hour"? Dang.) of kneeling.

Posted by Blogger Plimco @ 11:01 AM #

yeah, it took me that long to get the toilet wax ring replaced...

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 11:21 AM #

Oh! Tell me more about the toilet wax ring! I just about can't handle the implied sensuality... gross.

Posted by Blogger Plimco @ 11:27 AM #

No, it really is a wax ring. There's a wax ring that goes around the toilet drain hole to keep poopie water from going in inappropriate places... did I just miss the point of your comment? Crap.

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 11:55 AM #

Oh, and the worst thing that could happen? The doctor could look at me and scream "HYPOCHONDRIAC HYPOCHONDRIAC HYPOCHONDRIAC HYPOCHONDRIAAAAAAAAAAAC" while flinging his or her hands in the air and running through the clinic just as big, burley men in white coats grab me under the arms and hurl me from the clinic. Such hurlage would, of course, cause real damage to my body, but I would be unable to find any care or sympathy what with the gigantic scarlet "H" embroidered on my clothes thereby ensuring that no doctor EVER will take care of me again.

Oh yeah, and I would have to PAY for all of this since my insurance will find a way to say these expenses are ineligible for benefits...

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 11:58 AM #

Of COURSE. That! How could I forget THAT? Silly Plimco.

Shut up and go to the damn doctor.

Oh and upon re-reading, I have no idea what I meant either. I think I was just trying to figure out what you were doing on your knees in the first place and then make fun of you for it being with your potty and not with your lady...

Posted by Blogger Plimco @ 12:16 PM #

Sounds like prepatellar bursitis (go ahead, google it, and come back.) Best early treatment is non-steroidals (ibuprofen 800mg every 8 hrs or naproxen 500 mg every 12 hrs, either way with food), ice, ace wrap to put some pressure on it (makes the bursa go down more quickly) and it can be aspirated if it gets really huge/painful.) Certainly seek medical care if it turns a really bright shade of red, you're feverish, there's red streaking, or your leg falls off. Heh.

OK. There's your free PA consult (not licensed to work in your state, but that's just a technical matter.)

Posted by Blogger Kate @ 10:50 PM #
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