Will it Go Round in Circles

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Since one of the bigger issues with me right now is my knee, that’s what this post will be about.  Well more about some of the hassles I’m dealing with.  Nothing major just all part of life’s little irritations when dealing with insurance and trying to work around the pain in your knee.

Well, if I was smart, I would have just rested but then again, a body at rest tends to stay at rest and I’ve been that body before and I don’t want to go back.  Besides, we had tickets on Wednesday night to see an outdoor display of lights and I wasn’t going to miss that.  Driving has been a major pain because holding my knee in that slightly bent position has caused some real flare ups.  But walking on it generally isn’t too bad.

I had a work out scheduled for Friday.  Again, I’m not going to miss that and I just tell my trainer that the knee is being a bitch and she shifts the focus to do more upper body stuff.  I know they get a little disappointed because they seriously want to do some lower body stuff.  But that whole thing about not causing pain kicks in.  Soreness for sure, but pain is right out.  No pain, no gain probably was never right.

Going off on a little tangent here but if there was one thing I could go back and tell my 18 year old self, it would be to find a way to stay in shape.  Find a way to work exercise into your life so it becomes a habit.  I’m usually tired and sore after my sessions.  Heck, who am I kidding, I’ve got all sorts of residual aches and pains pretty much all the time.  But, overall, I feel better because of the training.

The one thing this trainer likes to work in some isometric exercises.  They all have slightly different styles and preferences.  I’m getting that fitness is a lot like nutrition.  Lots and lots of studies and lots of contradictory information.  There is one she does a lot where I’ve got weight on a cable and I pull the cable out and then extend my arms forward.  The trick is to hold the position while the weight is desperately trying to pull you to one side.  I can feel that one in my obliques.  Given how much rotation and twisting that coach wanted in my bolero, I think I’ll need this.  Also, it is good for general stabilization which would help if I could remember to keep my core more engaged while dancing.

Some of this is like a vicious little circle.  This is just a guess on my part, but there are all kinds of people who come in to learn to dance.  There are those with obvious physical limitations and so I think instructors learn to work around those.  But I think they like to push just to see how far they can go and how much you can actually do.  The strength training has definitely increased what I can do but then it just means that the dance stuff gets pushed a little more.  If I can rotate that much, then I should be rotating that much all the time.

Well, I wanted to touch a bit on the knee just to give you some more background on why I’m not doing more than just rest and ice and an assortment of topical things.  What I think would really help would be a cortisone injection because there is some inflammation there and cortisone knocks that back pretty well.

But I’ve moved into the next step in treatments because the cortisone wasn’t effective for as long as it used to be.  I’ve started injections with Euflexxa which is a synthetic version of hyaluron which is a key ingredient in the stuff that most normal people have that lubricates the joint.  I don’t think the mechanics of how it works are all that well known (that’s why my ortho doc said) but it may help you produce some of that stuff so that you get less bone on bone stuff.  Its a temporary thing and they currently don’t like doing within six months of your last set of injections.

Yes, set of injections because it is three spaced out over three weeks.  My wife always gets squeamish when I talk about this but I’ve had enough stuff jabbed into my knees and they always freeze the injection site so it is no big deal.  So I had my last set of injections in April/May.  I could start to feel things getting worse around Showcase, so I called the doc’s office for a prescription which I submitted on November 17th.  Figured that would be enough time to get the stuff and schedule the three weekly injections and get it wrapped up before Christmas.

But, this stuff isn’t something you can go down to your local pharmacy and get.  It has to go to a specialty pharmacy.  In my case, the specialty pharmacy is connected to my local pharmacy so I just took it there and they started the process.  All sounds good so far.  Well, here’s where it gets a little silly.  The doctors office doesn’t want to hold this stuff for you because it comes in a packet of three little injections (all individual packaged) and you bring one in with you at each appointment.  So I arranged to have it sent to my local pharmacy so I could pick it up.  I guess the insurance company is arguing that they can’t send it to the local pharmacy and that it needs to go to my ortho doc.  I have no idea how long this little tug of war is going to last and nobody is talking to me so I’m just out in the cold.

So I could go in for a Cortisone shot which is a temporary thing but I know that if I do that, they’ll want to wait about two months before doing the Euflexxa.  If I get that too close to a cortisone shot, the insurance company gets a little antsy with the doc because you aren’t supposed to be doing the Euflexxa if the cortisone is effective.  Got to go with the cheapest treatment to keep costs down you know.

The thing is that even if I get the Euflexxa today (which won’t happen), I suspect it would difficult to get three consecutive weeks scheduled given that there are holidays the next two weeks.  So I’m looking at some time in the new year for that.

For now, I’ll just stick to the ice and hope the slow recovery path continues.  It does seem a bit better today.  If I don’t dance on Tuesday, this will be the reason.  I know it beats the alternative, but getting old sucks



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