A Tale of Injury, Hope, and Self-Care

If the expression “physician heal thyself” applies, never was it more suited to what befell me on April 14, 2018 — the day my active life hit a major road bump. 

In Mendocino with 5 other women on our annual retreat, I had gone out to ready my car for all of us to pile in and go on an excursion.  As I returned to the house, I put my foot on the step to the entry and immediately felt pain in my right knee.  Thinking it was momentary, I tried walking and realized I couldn’t move the knee without experiencing excruciating pain. 

Fortunately, the group included two RNs and one physical therapist.  Janis, the PT, was the closest to me and helped me back to a daybed located by the front door.  The knee was  visibly starting to swell.  We applied ice and someone went into town for elastic bandages.  After a few hours, I still couldn’t apply weight on my knee. 

The discussion turned to what to do next.  The options were ER, urgent care, crutches, or a walker.  Two of my friends left for town to see if they could find a walker and returned shortly with one they found at a local thrift store for $15.  The rest of the weekend was spent icing the knee and hobbling around — not what I had envisioned when embarking on this little adventure for sure. 

The following Tuesday I was able to see my doctor, who ordered an X-ray, PT, MRI, and a referral to orthopedic specialist.  I headed to get the X-ray with a tight and painful brace on my knee.  I started physical therapy the following week and an MRI was scheduled for the week after.  Turned out I wouldn’t know for 6 weeks after seeing the orthopedist exactly what was going on with my knee. 

The diagnosis was a  frayed meniscus on each side of the knee, not aided at all by a complete lack of cartilage under the knee cap. And what a thrill — I found out I am a perfect candidate for knee replacement surgery. We agreed temporarily to a cortisone shot, to continue the the physical therapy, and to add in massage and acupuncture.  I also purchased a used stationary bike as suggested by my therapist.  When I started using the bike, I could barely stay on it for one minute.  Before long I had worked up to 30 minutes 4 times a week. I had a follow-up appointment in mid-December and strangely enough, the prognosis was good.  The doctor’s surprise was due to the fact that I had been using massage cups every day on the muscles surrounding the knee. Think about it –the massage therapist who uses her treatments on herself!  Today I walk without a limp. Now to start hiking again!

To see how cupping might benefit you, please feel free to contact me at (916) 294-9980 or email [email protected]  I absolutely have first hand knowledge.

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