The Stryker Coup ….Part II

Bill taped my left knee in a very unique way.
Bill taped my left knee in a very unique way.

Today marks six weeks post surgery. My left knee has progressively gotten worse and my right knee has started to get sore again. Over the weekend the pain was so bad I thought about going to the emergency room. But waited until Monday and called my doctor. They told me they could not get me in for an appointment until Friday!  I am really beginning to regret going to Dr. Waldrop. It is not good to have issues and have to wait so long. This, on top of all the other issues was probably the last straw.

Then as if I wasn’t having a bad enough weekend, I broke a crown eating an apple last Friday. I called my dentist. They informed me that because I have joint replacements I would need  antibiotics before receiving any dental care. I was to call my doctor. I called Dr. Waldrop’s office and told the nurse I had an RX for Amoxicillin. She said that would be fine. She said take one capsule before I go that morning and one that evening. That was such a low dose!!! I repeated it. She confirmed. Then the day of my appointment I get a call from the dental assistant. She is calling to remind me of my appointment and to take my antibiotics. She said she wanted to make sure I had taken my four capsules of Amoxicillin. I said No, they only told me to take one. She said I should go ahead and take three more ASAP. It is a shame that my dentist cares more for me than the medical doctor. I appreciate them looking out for me. I am absolutely dissatisfied at this point. I will go to my appointment Friday and give them a chance. I know there is no reason I should have such pain issues six weeks out. Something isn’t right. I have not had a good night’s sleep in six weeks!  That is ridiculous!

My physical  therapy team, mostly is Bill Keurzi  or  Jill Derums.  They are outstanding.  I’ve had most sessions with Bill who  is remarkable. He really is an asset to his profession.  There was one negative experience with someone there…. I will not mention a name. She apparently didn’t like me anymore than I liked her as she had her name down for me the next two visits,  but mysteriously  disappeared from list, and Bill was added. I was glad because I was going to ask for that to happen anyway. It saved me the trouble.  This person was so negative from the get go. She asked me my pain level. I told her I had trouble sleeping the pain was so bad, probably a 10 at some points during the night. She said in a condescending voice, “I cannot put that on here! If it is that bad you need to go to the ER!!” I just looked at her in shock. Who was she to tell me how much pain I’m in. I gave her a lesser number. She then told me to do an exercise by the name. I wasn’t familiar. As the therapist before had just showed the exercise and got me started. I said, “Ok, which one is that?” She looked at me, disgusted, and showed me. then walked off. Bill always hangs around to make sure I’m doing it correctly. He helps me stretch further if he has to do  take my leg by the hand and push. She was so stand Offish!  There were so many other things that happened that by the end of my session I was silently crying as she iced me down. She was telling me to massage my scar and I was getting squeamish. She actually rolled her eyes. Yes, I was not going to have my insurance pay them good money to get service like that. But Bill and Jill totally make up for her. Actually, Jill could see that I was getting upset with her that day and tried to make up for it. She was very comforting. She and Bill have an X factor that the “mean” PT person lacked. It is empathy for the patient.

Friday is my appointment. I am nervous as I had a horrible night last night. Pain was off the charts. Pain meds don’t even touch it. I want to be validated. I want them to not think I have made it up about the pain. It is so real. But I really do not want to undergo another procedure. I really hope there is a simple solution.

UPDATE:

I went to the doc today. I actually did not see Dr. Waldrop. I saw the PA.  I like the PA. I don’t even remember his name, but he is very nice. It makes me angry though that Dr. Waldrop didn’t even come in to see me. I am fuming that I even chose that doctor for the surgery. If I had it to do over again I would just have gone with Dr Powell. I have regrets.  But anyway….getting on with today’s visit…..they took x=rays. The PA said they looked great. He said I had a lot of swelling and edema. Which I thought was the same???? He told me I should take it easy at Physical therapy for the time being. I am not to do very strenuous exercises now. He wants the area to settle down.  He prescribed two weeks of steroids and some cream to rub on my knees. I am getting that in the mail. I thought that was strange. A cream that my pharmacy probably won’t carry, so they are having to have it shipped to me. What is in that stuff???  I hope it helps me sleep. That is all I ask! I go back in a month. If I still have not slept. It isn’t going to be a very pretty visit!

Note I sent to Doc through Patient Portal:

This message is, in part, to praise Nurse Susan at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital because she was able to get my Rx called in to my pharmacy. The RX You should have faxed to them on Friday when I was there. We had such a late appointment Friday, I could not get back to the Drug store to pick it up Friday, which is good since it would not have been there! I called the answering service Saturday morning after my husband had tried in vain to pick up the Rx. The answering service was no help at all. They said they could not contact you about an RX. I called you LAST Monday as I was in such pain last weekend I contemplated going to the ER and that is what told the lady at the appt.  desk. She said there was nothing available until FRIDAY! I am HURTING but have to wait until Friday. Ok, I accepted the Friday appointment. Then they screw up with the RX. I also showed the PA a place on the back of my leg that I received the day after surgery. It hasn’t healed. My primary care doc has me applying an ointment on it. The LaGrange Physical Therapy place had e=mailed you about this sore, but I never heard anything. I started on the steroids and am hopeful it will relieve some of the pain. I am very unhappy with the lack of concern and care I’ve gotten from this clinic. When I saw how people seem afraid to contact you I realized why I cried the night after I went to 4th floor  from ICU with a migraine headache all night. No one at Jack Hughston Memorial Hospital would help me. They said the opiate based drugs had caused my headache and would not give me any meds., except for some reason they offered me Oxycoton which is opiate based???? And I refused. They offered Immitrex and Lorcet. I told them I was a migraine sufferer for 30 years and this one was out of hand the Immitrex wasn’t going to work. I was in intense pain, nevermind I still had knee pain, that was irrelevant, when a migraine comes along it says “I’m the Boss” nothing else matters. I asked my husband to go get a gun and kill me. I don’t think the nurses called you. I only needed a nausea med and Demerol. They said it wasn’t on my chart. I will never forget that worse night of my life. HELL. But as a migraine sufferer for so long I have been the last called in emergency rooms before. I’ve sat out there intense pain while they triage me for last. No sympathy.. Migraines are my worse nightmare. I hope I’m nowhere near that hospital when I have another one! I am working hard with my PT team to get better. I want that.
And I appreciate all the kind people I have talked with from the clinic. No one has been rude.
Betty Hammond

UPDATE:

Day 4 of Prednesone:

My swelling has gone down and the pain isn’t as intense during the day. However, I am still not sleeping at night. It catches at every angle I position when lying down. I cannot get comfortable! UGH! I am at the point I hate to see bedtime come around!  I lie there trying to sleep and cannot! Knowing sleeping pills are useless. It is a “HELL” in itself. Gotta figure out something soon. I’m wearing down.

UPDATE…YES ANOTHER:)  I got a call from a compounding pharmacist. He says the cream they want to send me isn’t covered by my insurance.  An ounce of it will cost me $30.00. I’m thinking how far can an ounce go?  I have big knees!  Oh well. Gonna wait to see how they feel after Prednesone is gone. I might have to order it. Right now I feel good in the day. Night time I have trouble getting in a comfortable position to sleep. But not sure if cream will help. It is a positioning thing.

Last Update on this post:  Finished the steroids. Swelling had gone down but is  going up again slightly with the completion. I am sleeping about an hour more per night. Woo hoo! It helps a lot though!  Knee pain has gone down tremendously! I still feel as if I am not using my own legs. Sort of if I am using prosthesis. But Hey! I can walk and get around. So YAY!

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