Playing Doctor

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 092018

I have been playing doctor. No, not that kind of “playing doctor,” though Lord knows I did a bunch of that when I was a kid. What can I say? I always had an inquiring mind. And get your head out of the gutter, Miss Terry isn’t putting on a nurse uniform to live out some fantasy of mine. I bought the damn uniform for her three years ago and it’s still hanging in the closet. Right next to that French maid outfit.

Anyway, enough of that. I’m playing doctor because my knee hurts. It started hurting a few weeks ago when we were putting up the last of the paneling in the garage. Somewhere between lifting and carrying the heavy sheets of indoor/outdoor paneling, kneeling down to attach them at floor level and all that, I started feeling some pain in my right knee. No big deal, those things happen when you get old, right? I rubbed some topical pain reliever on it, took a couple of ibuprofen tablets, and went about my business.

The pain abated a bit, but then returned and never really left after that. Sometimes it has been a sharp pain that makes it hard to walk and at other times it’s just a dull ache. And occasionally, for a short while at a time I’m not aware of it. The strange thing is, at night when I go to bed, as soon as I lay down, it really starts to throb. I would think it would hurt more when I’m up walking around putting weight on it, but when I feel it most is in bed at night.

I mentioned it to my chiropractor, who probed a little bit with her fingers and said she thought maybe my tibia had become misaligned a little bit. She did an adjustment and said if it didn’t let up to come back and see her in a week or so. Nothing really changed, so I went back for another adjustment. Still nothing.

Meanwhile, I had an intake appointment with my new civilian doctor, and when I mentioned my knee to her, she said it was probably arthritis and gave me some type of topical pain relieving cream to put on it. That didn’t make any difference, either.

Then, a few days ago, when I was at the VA, I told my doctor there about it. She poked and prodded for a moment and said she thought it was an inflamed tendon, ordered a prescription for a different topical pain reliever, and said to ice it now and then. So far, that hasn’t helped either.

By the way, did you notice that all of my medical people are women? Yes, it’s true. I have to pay women to touch me.

Being a guy who knows how to do a little bit of research, I got online and started looking for suggestions as to what the problem might be. I Googled knee pain, I looked on Web M.D. and some other online places, I found a Yahoo page dedicated to knee pain, and I mentioned it to a couple of retired doctors I know on Facebook. And my self-diagnosis paid off! I figured out what my problem is. My knee hurts. Maybe all of that playing doctor as a kid paid off after all! Who knew?

Thought For The Day – I talk to myself, because there are times I need expert advice.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  8 Responses to “Playing Doctor”

  1. Plus your former VA nurse was named Nancy, wife of oRV. Guess my memory is not as poor as I thought it was.

  2. When I tore my meniscus in November and had PT, my knee continued to hurt for four months after and it was always worse at night which confused and surprised me also. Eventually it stopped hurting until I was dancing “The Twist” and it started to hurt a little bit last week – I couldn’t help myself – the music made me move. 🙂

  3. Had right knee pain began the first of the year, Found group “Arthritis care of Texas” in Dallas. Got injections in knee weekly for five weeks. Have been pain free since end of March. Medicare covered it.

  4. Nick. I have had a 60 year history of knee pain starting with an injury. Several years ago, having tried Ace wrap with no improvement, I purchased a wraparound knee brace. Not only did it reduce the pain it improves the stability of the knee, Stair climbing can aggravate both knees (apparently my limp protecting the injured right knee created issues with my ‘good’ left knee. Don’t know about night pain. At my age (75) stability is very important. Hope you get some improvement soon.

  5. Yeah… my back hurts from time to time. I think it’s the combo of my current bed and chair. But. O well. Feel better soon.

  6. Have had knee pain for years. Repair of meniscus on both knees. Doc said that I had arthritis under left knee cap! Finally after 20 plus years of avoiding the inevitable I had the left knee replaced January 2017 and the right one February 2018. Finally! No Pain!!! It has been a life changer for me. I can walk, and walk fast with no Pain! So glad I had it done. Wish I had it done years ago.

    One question, have any of the doctors you consulted taken any x-rays? Or are they just guessing? My advice, see an orthopedist!

  7. Pain that is worse at night is almost always arthritis (according to the knee Dr who did my partial knee replacements). Don’t know why, but that is totally typical. You may have a bit of ragged cartilage that is floating in and out of the knee joint and THAT really can get your attention! Arthroscopic surgery to trim it up is pretty easy … but the more you whittle away, the closer you get to being bone-on-bone and needing a replacement. That being said, 3 years after having my knees replaced, i don’t even think about it anymore … except to realize that I waited too long to have it done!

  8. Nick, did any of those doctors do x-rays and really look at the knee internally? I’ve suffered from knee and back problems for years. Today, my medical care is with a group of orthopedists specializing in different bones! My knee man has taken various actions to help me over the years. I don’t have much cartilage inside my knees today, so there’s THAT bone-on-bone problem. I have had three different cortisone shots in my knees over the last decade or so for pain relief that really helped. In years past, a little piece of loose cartilage would slip into the wrong spot, and it hurt like crazy for a short time; so there was THAT problem. I’m a side sleeper now since I can’t lie on my back with my legs stretched out anymore because of painful arthritis in my knees. My sciatica was diagnosed a few years ago with tests that included an electromyograph and an MRI. Eventually, I was given an epidural steroid shot in a certain part of my spinal area that continues to provide great relief to this day. Several times, I’ve had a series of physical therapy to help strengthen the muscles around my knees. An orthopedist SHOULD be able to diagnose and verify what is actually going on with your knees and maybe even come up with SOMETHING that actually alleviates the pain long-term. Please consider finding a good local orthopedist to thoroughly examine your poor knees. Who knows? He /she might just become your FAVORITE doctor. Best regards to you for getting some serious pain relief.

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