Left knee-joint from behind, showing interior ligaments. (Lateral meniscus and medial meniscus are cartilage.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Do want a surefire way to be treated in a degrading and disrespectful manner, as if you are a pill popper? Maybe it’s your thing to be bluntly called “old” at the age of thirty. Well, let me tell you how to accomplish this. Simply pay a visit to a doctor a Florida because you are in real pain and you will find yourself a victim of the society that the states never-ending abuse of prescription painkillers has caused.
You see, I have battled knee pain since I was just 10 years old. That is when I stopped dancing, something that I truly love, because of the pain. By the age of 14, I found myself walking around cringing with pain with a knee brace on daily after attempting to be active again. By 16, I could barely hobble around on my leg with my ankles swollen to three times their size. Again, because I was a very active person, doing aerobics daily as well as participating in school sports.
There was never any injury, just severe pain and during the summer, while I was 16 my orthopedic decided to do surgery. For years, it felt better though once in a blue moon it would lock up on me and hurt. Then a little over a year ago, painful flare-ups begin to happen again. They would last for a day or two, usually after normal healthy physical activity, but I could wear a brace and take an Advil and would be good in no time.
Well, not this time. My knee has been in real pain again for a week now. The sort of pain I dealt with as a teenager so I called up my orthopedic, the same one that I saw as a child, to figure what to do so that I could walk more than four feet without wincing in pain. I now wish I had never gone to that appointment yesterday as I’m not sure I have ever had someone treat me so poorly and dismissively in my life.
This doctor, the same one that fixed my knee so long ago because it simply hurt, informed me yesterday “there is no reason for my knee to hurt without an injury” while speaking with a slight snarky laugh. Then he proceeded to me, in response to running flaring my knee up, “You know your 30 now, your old, your knee cannot handle running.” Really, are you F’n kidding me? Who the hell tells a 30 year old that they are old and that running is an unrealistic expectation? Did I miss the memo somewhere that 30 is the new 80?
I left out of that office yesterday stunned and angry. How on earth could the same person who helped me years ago to be free of the pain that wasn’t caused by any specific injury be so dead set on the fact that I couldn’t possibly be in pain now because there was no “injury?”
It was later last night that I had a little more clarity though on a possible reason why I was treated so poorly. I remembered the portion of the paperwork that I filled out upon arrival that asks if you are currently seeing a pain management doctor or if you have seen one in the past. I marked that I had seen one in the past, as I had when I was a teenager after a car wreck that left my neck permanently damaged.
Though I haven’t been in a pain management office in 12 years and have learned to live with my pain, the one little checkmark may have doomed me living in a state that passes out more prescription pain meds in a year than other states do in a decade.
So what lesson have I learned through all this? Sometimes it is okay to lie on medical paperwork if you don’t want to be treated like a drug addict. Some doctors loose all couth with age and I may not be so nice the next time someone refers to my age as if I am a geriatric. Finally, I will take my prescribed steroid and anti-inflammatory and return in month giving my doctor one more chance, because that is the type of person I am but if I’m still hobbling around in pain on the Fourth of July and the doctor repeats this scenario again I will be looking for a new orthopedic who won’t expect me to lay around like a lazy bum for the rest of my life just to be pain free.