Thursday, May 28, 2009
Our story so far: Several years ago, I went to Urgent Care with a sudden burst of knee pain and was diagnosed with arthritis via x-ray. Since then, that knee has remained cranky. A recent increase in pain sent me to my primary-care doc, who ordered more x-rays, and (in response to bloodwork) referred me to a rheumatologist, who was supposed to call me to make an appointment when the referral paperwork came through.
The rheumatologist never called and I never got the x-ray results, so today I called both offices, especially since my knee has been particularly sore these last few days, so much so that I was limping a bit in the ER last night (even on ibuprofen while wearing a knee brace). Turned out the rheumatologist had never gotten the paperwork; the primary's office said they'd refax it. A nurse told me that the x-rays were normal -- "they showed some bone spurs, but no sign of arthritis" -- and recommended physical therapy for my knee.
What the hay? Did the first doctor mistake bone spurs for arthritis? Can arthritis repair itself? Could the bone spurs be causing my current pain level, and if not, what could be, other than arthritis? And will the rheumatologist be able to answer any of this (if, of course, he ever gets the paperwork)?
I'm frustrated. Arthritis at least made sense of the pain, but now that simple explanation has been yanked away. I'll try PT when I get back from my trip, but I hope I get to see the rheumatologist next week (highly doubtful, given doctors' schedules and the high incidence of arthritis in a city with lots of retirees; the guy's probably booked out to 2011).
On the plus side, yesterday an unexpected consulting project fell into my lap, and I decided to use the proceeds to buy a Samsung N110 netbook. I love my VAIO, but it's very slow and the touchpad died about a year ago, which means I have to use an external mouse: decidedly annoying! The Samsung should be a lot faster than my current machine, and with any luck the touchpad will keep working for a while. And it costs one-quarter what the VAIO did, so what's not to like? Actually, I don't like the fact that it's slightly heavier than the VAIO, but on the plus side, it's also slightly smaller. I bought an external drive for loading software, since the one big drawback of the Samsung is no CD drive. I won't have to bring the drive with me when I travel, though; it will live at home.
So if everything arrives according to shipping estimates, I'll have a shiny new machine for my trip back East. Yippee!
And if my knee's behaving itself by then, I'll be even happier.