Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Betty, my Sweetheart, Had Knee Surgery Today

So it's accurate, today is Monday, July 21, 2014.

As she rests, though moaning in pain a little as her anti-nausea meds wear off, I'm going to attend to her when she's fully ready, which for now, NatGeo is preventing, though I think she'd go anywhere I asked, within reason, of course. She won't stay in the family room at night, she says, because she doesn't want to be alone with the hidden demons that haunt that part of the house.

Okay, there aren't any demons. There's a boarder who's been with us for a couple weeks. He'd have moved out pretty soon but lost his job today. He's going to look in Provo because he's found an apartment in that area of the county. I hope it works out. He gets interviews quickly it seems, so I think he'll be able to make it stick. I hope. It's time.

Back to Betty. It's tough for a lifetime ADHD person (note; no use of the word 'suffer' because I'm not suffering, at least not from that) to focus long enough to actually put something on paper.

I wrote an email to my siblings and children which you can now read:

Hey all,
I have been remiss about giving an update on what's going on with my sweetheart.
First, she doesn't do pain very well, as some of you know. Much of that is because all narcotics so far have caused extreme nausea, so this time the Dr. also prescribed an anti-nausea pill. She's not comfortable, but doing okay.
Here's what the Dr. told us after the surgery, plus he gave me some pictures which I'll post on my blog later.
In her knee, there was a lot of floating tissue. During surgery, they pressed a lot of saline through and blew it up so the pictures show a lot of space that isn't there, so all the shreds of tissue would be pressing against the joint in places it just isn't supposed to be.
The crux of the matter is her knee was terribly inflamed because of the infusion of extra tissue strands that were generated by the protective shell that's around the joint that typically keeps things together.
Dr. Ritchie cleaned up the superfluous tissue on her meniscus, which was torn about 1% of the way through. That tear may have been the cause of all the other issues, or it may have been caused by those other issues.
There were literally huge chunks of tissue that was in some cases, larger than the parts of her knee that should have been there. You saw how huge it was. Just 3 weeks before the surgery, the doctor took about a cup of fluid off her knee.
After the surgery he explained that the extraneous tissue inside her knee very likely caused the fluid build-up. Once I get the pictures on my blog, you'll understand better.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I'll answer them as best I can.
Okay, enough from me. I would like to thank the members of our family who understand our gluten-free requirements and have brought meals to us. The ward threw their hands up because it would take an hour to teach each family who would bring a meal to help out.
So, thanks to Alicia and Andrea who are so diligent in caring for us in our old age.
Love all your guts,

So there you have the story to date, and as promised, here are the pictures the doctor took:

Now with those shown, there's one thing I need to get off my mind.

About 10 months ago, I had surgery in the same facility to fuse a joint in my right pinky (titanium screw) and replace the end of a large bone in my right thumb with a titanium piece that looks like a mushroom. It is half of the joint. It's working out well. No longer do I have the awful pain of a locking joint. Smooth and strong. But, that doctor, one of the best in Utah, if not the country (Dr. Mark Sanderson), told me he won't work on a joint that's had any type of steroid treatment because the steroid (cortisone) causes the tissue to be eaten away, and if there are a lot of injections, there isn't enough surrounding/supporting tissue to work with.

My private question is, did Betty's knee doctor encounter a large amount of extra tissue because she'd received a cortisone shot to treat the inflammation a few months back?

The thing about any study on people is we don't know what the result would have been had the treatment not been done. We can't go back and get a do-over to see an alternate reality. Can't do it regardless of Groundhog Day (the movie), or Somewhere In Time (also the movie), and their manipulation of the time-continuum, whatever that is (doesn't exist--sorry trekkers).

I'm Karl,
the over-worked, but grateful husband of a wonderful bride.