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Just Right

The Story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears Debbie and the Four Stairs

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks.  She  went for a walk in the forest . Pretty soon, she came upon a house. She knocked and, when no one answered, she walked right in.

You know the rest of the story, Goldilocks eats the bear’s food, breaks their furniture and takes a nap. She was, however, pretty hard to please.

The first bowl of porridge was too hot,the second was too cold. The the third bowl was just right. so she ate it all up.

The first chair was too big, the second was too big too, the third was just right but when she sat in it she broke it all to pieces.

And,finally there were the beds. The first  bed was too hard, the second, too soft but the last was  just right. She fell asleep in the just right one. When she woke up, she saw the bears, screamed and ran away.

So, here’s my parallel story.

Once upon a time, there was me. I took a tumble and then a twist. There wasn’t any forest – just caliche and cacti. Eventually (after 6 months), I came upon the office of an Orthopedic Surgeon. He took a look, ordered an MRI, told me to call him in the morning – just like the song: Put the Lime in the Coconut !

And now, the rest of the story:

When I was 19, a drunk driver slammed into me going 65 mph. After the Jaws-of-Life peeled open my door, the EMTs had to remove the steel rod that had once held the steering wheel of my Dodge Dart, but was now buried deep in my knee.

If your tire is flat, you may be able to patch it and air it up. But if you have a blow out, you need a new tire. My knee was patched up with 48 stitches and a cast back then, but this time, I had a total blow out. Dr Elmer said my meniscus looks like a shredded tire not a flat one.

I’m too old for a meniscus repair (by about 10 years). He said I need a total knee replacement.

But, I’m too young for a total knee (by about 10 years).

So I’m too old and too young which means I must be just right!

Thank you all for your emails and well wishes and prayers. That’s the story. Whenever I write again, whatever I write about, it won’t be about my joints. (It’s like going to a nice restaurant and listening to people beside you talk about their gallbladder all through dinner!)

Dr Elmer suggested Cortisone shots or Rooster Comb shots. We’ll see. For now, I’m getting by and keeping my pants on. Life is very good!

Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about. ~Rollo May

21 thoughts on “Just Right

  1. Continued good wishes for ya! I had a partial knee replacement at 60 years old, have a niece that had total knee replacement in her 40’s, so age has nothing to do with it. No insurance &/or no money is a bummer. Sorry to hear you will have to wait, I tried cortisone & rooster comb injections that didn’t work for me but hope they work for you! Tom & Lynn

    • Hi Lynn!
      I seem to be getting some better.
      I don’t think I’m quite ready for a walk on the beach but I can get to the gate in pretty fair time.
      Thanks for the encouragement! 😀

  2. I truly understand the no insurance thing. Like I told you before, I wish we could adopt you!! LOL It really bothers me you are in pain. With that being said, I do have to say that your doctor has really steered you wrong about being too young. Many people would be in great pain (like yourself) and not walking if it wasn’t for knee replacements if they had to wait until 65. I know people who have had their replacement done twice and get along beautifully. As you know, I have had both hips replaced. My right hip has been in 18 years and my left one in 12 years and I am 65. At my check up last month I was told they both look brand new. My sister, at age 55 got both knees replaced at the same time (I could never be that brave), she was 55 and she is now 72 and doing great. So if and when you go to the ortho doc again, you might want to take your x rays to a different doctor. Again, I know that is difficult in Southern Texas. I still haven’t wrapped my head around the rooster thing. LOL I don’t mean to preach but I have had the pain and I don’t want you to suffer with it.

  3. You are just right. But maybe not too old. I was 68 when I had meniscus repair. I don’t run any more, but I do (comfortably) walk 5 miles a day. Maybe you should get a second opinion.

    • Wow, Carol! That is so great!
      The Dr (and I suppose the Radiologist) said my meniscus was totally shredded so there is nothing to stitch back together.
      Of course, you’re quite right, another Dr might have another opinion!
      I admire that 5 mile walk. I wasn’t even doing that before I hurt my knee.
      You’re an inspiration!

  4. Hello Debbie. So sorry for all your troubles, but now at least you know. Would a ramp help? Perhaps you can get someone to build one that is easy to take apart and put together with each move? Hope so.

    • Hi Penny!
      I did give a ramp some thought but I think I feel more secure with the steps since I have a hand rail. I’m wearing the smaller brace most of the time and trying to increase the weight on my atrophying leg muscles. Hopefully, as my leg gets stronger, I’ll get peppier! 😀

    • Hello Debbie!
      The support and ideas have been grand!
      I’ve never heard of any of these procedures and certainly will be looking at them again at some point. Nice bunch of folks here, huh? 😀

  5. Debbie, your tenacity and grace under pressure are truly impressive! I complain when I get a hangnail. Here’s my take: you gotta get a second opinion, maybe even a third one. The fact that you basically have to live with such intense pain can’t be the end of the story! That doc could at least refer you to a pain management specialist! Oooh. I’m all fired up. 🙂 Love and prayers to you, dear heart. Take care, Ruth

    • Ruth –
      You’re a hoot!
      I’m getting along fairly well. I can’t begin to imagine how far I’d have to go to find a pain management specialist. San Antonio, I suppose… which is a long way and I don’t have any vacation days coming for about 4 years!
      I do have a guy on the rig who keeps offering to fix my knee with his wrench and bolt-cutter…
      I’m kind of holding off on that until I get REAL desperate! 😀
      Truly, w/o medical insurance my options are kind of limited right now.
      I was just glad the Dr didn’t call Heidi up and tell her to just “put me down”! 😀

      • Arggghh, it’s always somethin’, Roseanne RoseannaDanna. One day we’ll be walkin’ on streets of gold sayin’, “‘member when we had pain?” And then, “nah, don’t remember that”. THAT will be cool for sure.

  6. Debbie, Hang in there…with the new 30 year knees joints it has been a god send for me. I have had two total knee replacements now and if I had to do it over again I would in a heartbeat. My knees have never felt better. Yes rehab is a pain but you can do it in a trailer, ask Stu McNicole of 2 taking a 5th blog. or
    Odel from semi-true tales of our life on the road. I have a Striker knee total titainium. If you have this done I know you will feel so much better and you will be running up and down those stairs in no time. You can read about my knee replacement in my blog at http://dasusmusings.blogspot.com/2009/12/nine-days-out.html The following years entries http://dasusmusings.blogspot.com/2010/12/round-two.html

    I hope you are able to get the surgery and get on the road to recovery


    • I just read about your bionic knee!
      Hurray for you!
      (I tried to leave a comment but my internet is popping on and off tonight so I’m not sure you’ll get it?)
      I don’t mind doing the rehab. I’ve been doing 30 minutes of meniscus tear rehab almost every day for over 6 months.
      Not having any medical insurance (for the first time in my life) makes surgery of this nature something I’ll have to wait a while for – but I’ll certainly keep the info and I’m most grateful to you for sharing it!

  7. Hey Debbie, do you have a practitioner who uses cold laser? That’s what they used to fix my knee that had shredded. 12 years ago same doctor fixed Lisa’s blown knee with electro-stim then it 8 weeks. When he fixed mine with cold laser it took 4 days. It’s been a great treatment experience for both of us. I wish you the best whatever treatment you chose.

  8. Oh, Debbie, I’m so sorry that happened to you and at such a young age. My husband had a similar experience, hit by a non-attentive teenage driver at the ripe age of 27-he’s had a lifetime of pain and hospital stays since then. A couple of years ago his knee pain was so awful he decided, along with the ortho surgeon, to have knee replacement. When we read about how the old knee is chucked out with the used gauze we checked into the “Cambridge Partial Knee Replacement” – maybe this is an option for you. He has never been happier than with this surgery. No more knee pain and almost 100% function returned. You can find info on the internet. God bless you.

    • Sharan – Thank you so much for this info. I’m truly happy for your husband! I Googled Cambridge Partial Knee Replacement and it looks very interesting. It’s surely something I’ll keep in mind for some time down the road (kind of out of my reach right now with no insurance). Thank you again!

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