Just because I now have a solution to much of the pain and stiffness I was experiencing due to arthritis and sciatica, that doesn’t mean my life is completely pain-free now. If I walk too much (and I’m never sure how much is ‘too much’), then the remaining cartilage in my knees joints turns into burning hot ground glass. Wearing my knees braces extends the time I can be on my feet. The lidocaine patches help with that pain.
But I don’t even have to be walking to cause myself pain. Just straightening out a leg, or bending a leg, for any reason, with or without any bodyweight involved, carries the probability that a
bone spur will twang some soft tissue somewhere near the joint. What does a twanging bone spur feel like? It feels like a sharp barb catching on a cord in my leg and slicing/tearing the cord as it hooks on and the cord slides over it. See Update Below.
I have a referral to an orthopedic specialist. I hope this time there will be appointment openings and I will get to talk to someone who could actually do something about the bone spurs. They can be lessened or removed through surgery, according to the interwebs.
In the meantime, I’m bolstering my confidence with the knowledge that plenty of other artists continued to make their work despite chronic illness and pain. Frida Kahlo is a good example.
UPDATE: Actually, I ended up able to get into see the Orthopedics specialists very quickly, much sooner than anticipated. We proceeded with the non-surgical options first: steroid injections. They did my left knee yesterday and will do my right knee in November. It’s made a huge difference so far; my left knee feels almost ‘normal’ again meaning no baseline pain and no painful locking up (so far).
I don’t got spurs? Apparently, regardless of what it feels like and despite stories I’ve heard, the cause of the acute pain in my knees isn’t a matter of bone spurs plucking at soft tissue. As the doctor explained yesterday, it’s a matter of the meniscus (of which I have almost none left) getting pinched in the joint. Why it gets painfully stuck that way isn’t clear to me, but I don’t even care now that the solution is in sight.
I feel even more optimistic about the future now than I did before.