Posts Tagged ‘knee pain’

So a few days has passed since my visit to the doctors and I’ve received a lot of encouragement from friends and team mates. To be honest, when I blogged about the verdict on my knee and the operation, I have to be honest and say that I knew to anticipate it and knew in the back of my mind that the knee would need surgery to repair the damage.

The only reason why I was slightly bummed out by it was simply because I know I will miss some games in the cup and I’ve worked hard to get myself in shape. The team also looks good and composed and we’ve had a series of good training sessions, so from that point of view, it’s tough to sit out.

However, I know that the operation will fix a problem that has hampered my performance for the past three years. I guess you could say that I’m going through some sort of analysis or stages of things. Alcoholics have their steps to recovery and if I go by their scale, I’m now on step called anger.

Why am I angry? I’m angered by the treatment that I have received up until now. From the early onset when I described my symptoms and the pain that I felt, the doctor I’m seeing now has been able to tell me what the likely cause is and treat it properly.

When I first sustained the injury I was taken to the Bristol A&E (Emergency department for any Americans) where the knee was examined and X-rayed. Despite being in so much pain that I was on gas and morphine at the time and not being able to bear weight on the leg or bend it, as the X-ray didn’t show a break or a fracture, I was sent home with a shrug of the shoulders and given a diagnosis of ‘ligaments’ and told to stay off the leg for 6 weeks.

Despite having a good remainder of the season that year, I never fully recovered. The season after that was plagued by the injury and every stride that I took felt like someone was twisting a knife in the knee.

However, training hard for last season I was able to regain some form and felt that the knee had finally settled.

Between these seasons, particularly the 08 summer cup, I went to see a ‘specialist’ at an NHS clinic where my knee was scanned but nothing was seen. Though it turned out that the ‘doctor’ was a physio therapist rather than an orthopaedic specialist. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect and admiration for physio therapists. They were able to provide some form of pain alleviation when I was at my worst and have treated many of my other ailments.

However, to make a long story short, the diagnosis that I got from the ‘doctors’ was that the pain was all in my head and I was imagining most of it. So in space of a year I had gone from having an injury to a crazy person. The treatment was a course of painkillers, which only got stronger and stronger as time went on. I’m honestly surprised that I have not gotten addicted to any of the medications I have been on, as most have warning labels stating that can cause addiction.

So the reason why I’m angry is that it seems that doing things through public healthcare is a nightmare, unless you have been involved in a serious accident or have another acute health problem. I have to admit that when I had to get my appendix removed, the service I got was first class.

But it is frustrating, when if your condition is not serious or has something to do with a joint, you are overlooked. Understandably joints are difficult to diagnose, the knee in particular, but if a patient keeps coming back frequently and with same symptoms you would expect that the problem would be properly looked into, but no.

I wonder how well I would’ve played and trained had the knee been treated properly the first time around, but because of it, I have lost three years of playing at my sharpest edge.

In either case, I’m happy that it is going to be treated and I look forward to hitting the ice once it has healed. Who knows, maybe it will re-invigorate my play like it Teemu Selanne’s after the lock out.

So, I’ve finally found out what is wrong with my knee, after three long and increasingly painful years.

I met today with Dr. Adrian Wilson from the Hampshire Clinic, who I must say is one of the nicest Orthopedic specialists I’ve met. If I could’ve had my choice of a doctor, I’d chosen the Finnish chap, whose name escapes me, but given that he lost his licence due to a stroke I’ll go with the best option, which is Dr. Wilson. What he said about my previous diagnosis’ was that the pain definitely was not in my head and that he commended my toughness on competing and playing through what has been intense pain.

So after an hours consultation and tests, he was able to tell me that everything wasn’t right with my knee and that I more than likely have two things wrong. 1) I have torn the meniscus, which is quite regular in hockey or 2) when I first injured the leg, I got a microfracture in the bone, which did not show up on the X-rays and due to my rigorous training, I have never replaced the tissue on top of the bone.

I’m going to have an MRI in a few weeks to confirm the diagnosis and then go under the knife for an arthoscopy.

So how do I feel about this? Where I had anticipated that it would be something like this and I prepared myself mentally for the diagnosis, I still find myself depressed about it. Meniscal injuries are not career ending, but I guess the main thing that hacks me off is that I’ve waited to play in the cup for a long time and now part of, what was hopefully going to be a show case year, will be going to waste. Well not to waste but by eating popcorn in the press box. OK so I’m going to have some time off, but atleast I know what has been wrong.

However, when I weigh up the pros and cons, post operation I am hopefully able to return to an even better level of play as I have no hindrance with the knee.

Also another big pro is that I have plenty of time to recover and recouperate for potential try outs. I have been looking at teams that I would like to play for and at the moment Isle of Wight, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Bristol and Swindon are on the top of my list.

So there we have it. Three years of waiting and an hours consultation, I know what is bugging me. Just further proof that Money talks and Bullshit walks.

Weirdly I got complemented again on my muscle tone and bulk in my legs. Are all these doctors hitting on me?

It’s been another difficult week. I’ve had a spat of bad luck with things, mainly relating to my health. As it is well documented on my Twitter account and on this blog, I’ve got problems with my knee that I want to sort out and I’ll have an appointment for that on Tuesday, so expect another update then, latest.

So what went wrong this time? Apart from the knee, I had an allergic reaction to something Thursday-Friday night. I woke up with a severely swollen lip and from there, it quickly spread to my extremeties, mainly my right arm. Where I’d normally welcome the extra bulk, the swelling of my hand really had me worried. I don’t know what caused the reaction, but I reckon that it was a blister plaster that I wore on my right hand. I had been walking on crutches and had to carry my laptop home from work which caused my hand to rub on the crutches causing a blister.

So Friday, I spent catatonic, only spending a handful of hours awake. My wife said that it is what normally happens with an allergic reaction. Where I’m fine now, I feel extremely tired.

Additionally, I’ve been following the playoffs in the UK and mainly Isle of Wight. I had a tryout with the team arranged, but I had to cancel it due to being injured at the time. Now they are in the playoffs and I can’t help but think, ‘what if?’

I am increasingly worried, that with all the problems I have faced, I can’t work toward the goals I’ve set and outlined here. I am increasingly overcome with feelings of not being good enough, though looking through the rosters of the teams, I’ve played against some of the guys there and know that I’m more than capable of playing with them.

But my first priority is to get myself healthy. I have till September to get in shape so I have the time. I just have to hope that I can stay going till then.

So, I’ve got 5 days till I see a specialist for my knee. Having read back on the last few posts, I realize that if any prospective teams read this they might think that I am a wreck of a man that can’t cope with it.

The sacrifice however is that I keep the knee rested for a while, skate and then not walk properly for the rest of the week. But just like Mario Lemieux during the time when he had back problems. He did not train and needed help putting his skates on but he still excelled. That is something that I aspire to.

I recently was asked why I keep doing it and why do I keep pushing. Part of me always tries to joke around and say that ‘you gotta be dumb to be tough’, but you know the truth is, there are guys there who play with much worse injuries than I am. I don’t view that playing with an injury is a bad thing. Sure it hurts, but for my ultimate goal, playing through pain has to be part of the job.

As for the specialist meeting itself, I am feeling relatively nervous. I think the type of person that I am has made me prepare for the worst.

I know I’ve got a tough road ahead of me, whatever the outcome, but I always excell in challenges.

Another difficult week with the knee and the doctors appointment is still over a week away.

The pain killers that I am on at the moment seem to take the worst edge of the pain off, but they make me feel quite bad. Though I must admit, I think I might have ‘over dosed’ today. It’s just that the pain gets so bad and I find that taking just one pill doesn’t really do much. I’ll probably end up like House with cane and vicoden and all.

Today for example, I took some before heading to the gym to make sure that I was able to do atleast some minor leg work. I’ve noticed that my quadriceps are shrinking on my right leg and my calf muscles aren’t what they used to be.

I’ve also noticed an increased weakness in the leg. Every step that I take I have to be close to something to lean on, incase the knee gives way. I’ve resisted using them so far, but the crutches in the kitchen are awfully inviting. Atleast that way I could take most the pressure off the leg before training so that I can play.

Other things that cause me discomfort and quite considerable amounts of pain are driving, sitting on the train, standing on the tube (or subway for any american’s reading this), sitting at my desk.

The weird thing is that I know that I should just rest my leg, but I can’t stop. I can’t be away from the ice untill the doctors tell me otherwise or if they have to operate on it. I’ve dedicated way too much time for the Summer Cup to give up now. This year has to be a big year for me personally.

On other positive notes, I did have one of the best work outs in a while. Really felt like doing the exercises to the end and punish myself.

If you haven’t already, go check out How To Train Your Dragon. It’s an amazing film and I haven’t been as excited about an animation since I saw Wall-E.


Posted: March 31, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

It’s 23:34 GMT on the 31st of April. I’ve been trying to fall asleep for hours now but I keep writing in pain. Nothing seems to help. As the Verve said the drugs don’t work.

Could the 13th of April please hurry along.