Every now and again I permit myself a few moments of pure and unalloyed self-pity. This is one of those times.
My right knee has been bothering me for a full year now. It started out as a dull ache, and after a summer of riding my bike it graduated to a kind of burning sensation. After I joined a gym, it got substantially more painful. Now it usually hurts to walk, and I’ve developed a limp.
I’ve stopped exercising altogether, which is a Very Bad Thing for me.
Recognizing that this is a Very Bad Thing, my doctor referred me to an orthopedic specialist. In fact, he referred me to a genius with knees. This is a guy that completed a fellowship specifically in hip and knee surgery at the Mayo Clinic. So I got some X-rays taken of my knees, and made an appointment for this morning.
To make a long story mercifully short, I’ve got arthritis in my knees, particularly my right knee.
Have I mentioned that I’m forty-one??
I asked the nice specialist what could have caused this. He didn’t know. I get that answer a lot. Why am I hypertensive? We don’t know. Why do I have a tumor on my pituitary gland? We don’t know. Could it be my weight? Well, my weight would certainly have hastened the development of arthritis, but my specialist said he wouldn’t expect it to get this bad until my late fifties.
Great. Once again, I am ahead of the curve.
So my options are, A) exercise and physical therapy, plus anti-inflammatories; B) injections of hyaluronic acid into my knee, which may or may not be helpful; and C) knee replacement surgery.
Needless to say, I’m choosing door number one.