A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Self diagnosis and questions/info for my doctor.



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Seeing a doctor Monday...

I am finally seeing my doctor on Monay! I don't know why it takes so long to get an appointment at OIP, but it does. They herd cattle in there... "cattle" meaning patients. I really feel like I am an animal on a farm when I get bounced from room to room, only seeing each doctor or nurse for less than 10 minutes. You have to show up about an hour before you see a doctor, and when you finally see him, you barely get to talk to him. (I AM GETTING MYSELF WORKED UP JUST THINKING ABOUT PAST EXPERIENCES THERE!)

You may be wondering why I am going to such a place in the first place. Well, I want to see the doctor that did surgery on my knee. I figure he's a good place to start. Then, after I get my MRI results back (because I am pretty dang sure they are going to order and MRI), I am going to listen to what this doc has to say (If the answer is not surgery, only the secretary calls to explain things. Yeah, it's horrible. They are only interested in you if they get to cut you open.) and then also get an appointment somewhere else entirely and have OIP place send my MRI to the new place I go. I do not completely trust the doctor who did my surgery.

Anyway, so that's my big plan for tomorrow. I just hope if they order an MRI they can get me in before we leave for vacation. Otherwise it will be quite a long time before I even get and MRI let alone have the doctor analyze it and have his secretary call me.

Self diagnosis via the internet...

I actually don't like going online and doing a self diagnosis because it FREAKS ME OUT! Also, even though I know a lot about my body, I am not a doctor, so what is the use of working myself up about something that may even not be true?

That being said, a couple nights ago, I did do some "knee pain" research. It's kind of tricky because 14 months ago, I got my knee scoped- which means there was a doctor in there looking at everything. He removed a plica and some scar tissue under my kneecap. Other than that, there were no tears in the ligaments or menisci. (Is that the plural of meniscus!?) In fact, at my surgery follow up appointment, I remember him quite clearly saying, "You have a brand new knee."


Ahem, sorry for the sarcasm. Boy does remember shit like that make my blood boil. Anywhoo....

So if there is something "big" wrong with my knee, like a ligament or meniscus injury, it would have had to have been from after my surgery. But there has been no acute injury between my surgery and now. From what I read about torn ACLs, I definitely do NOT have that because there are things I can do that someone with a torn ACL cannot. Also, the pain would be more severe, most likely. (This is just me reading and conjecturing. I know I am not a doctor!)

The closest thing I have found to what I am experiencing is a torn meniscus. Here is some stuff I lifted from the web about signs of a torn meniscus. I have crossed out the things that don't apply to me, but left the things that do  apply to me....

Symptoms of a Torn Meniscus may include (but are not limited to):

knee pain

hearing a popping or clicking within the knee (can't hear one but can sense/feel one!)

limited motion of knee joint

pain with running or walking longer distances

Intermittent swelling of the knee joint: Many times, the knee with a torn meniscus feels "tight". (mine never feels tight but feels like it is swollen sometimes)

Popping, especially when climbing up or down stairs

Giving way or buckling (the sensation that the knee is unstable and the feeling that the knee will give way): Less commonly, the knee actually will give way and cause the patient to fall. (mine has never actually buckled but feels like it could)

Locking (a mechanical block where the knee cannot be fully extended or straightened)

That all being said, there are days when my knee feels COMPLETELY FINE. Like right now, it feels great. I ran 4 miles this morning and my knee feels wonderful. Yet some days it feels like it's going to collapse... so confusing...

On Friday night, I was convinced I had a torn meniscus. Then, after reading some advice from Cheryl over the weekend, I started to wonder if maybe I was suffering from just plain old runner's knee? Here is her comment:

"Okay, it sounds to me like a type of Runner's Knee. When you walk aggressively/quickly there are more compressive forces on the patella-femoral joint than running easily/efficiently. I would stop all activities that put pressure on the knee- lunges, squats, plyometrics, and the hip stretch (anything with excessive knee flecion/compression), and ice it, rest it. With Runner's Knee, sometimes even the bursa under the kneecap is inflamed."

Well, THAT is interesting! Guess who has been putting a TON of pressure on her knee lately via walking instead of running and doing that DAMN COUCH STRETCH FOR LIKE 4 MINUTES A DAY! THIS GIRL.

So then I Googled Runner's Knee...

"Symptoms of runner's knee include tenderness behind or around the patella, usually toward its center. You may feel pain toward the back of the knee, a sense of cracking or that the knee's giving out. Steps, hills, and uneven terrain can aggravate PFPS."

Researching Runner's Knee led me toward Pateller Tendonitis...

"Patellar tendonitis usually begins with a stiff feeling in the patellar tendon, especially when running downhill or descending stairs. Like most tendon injuries, it may go away once you get warmed up, but as the injury worsens, it will remain painful for the duration of your workout.

It is also important to distinguish patellar tendonitis from patellofemoral pain syndrome: patellar tendonitis does not hurt along the top or the side of the kneecap, and isn’t usually sensitive to the touch." <----- It actually feels GOOD to touch and compress my knee.


Stuff I wrote down for the doctor...

Here is a bunch of stuff I wrote out that I plan on printing out and giving to the doctor. I know there will be forms to fill out but there is never enough space to say everything I need to say on them!!! I don't have any specific question other than, "What the hell is wrong with my knee!?"

There isn't one acute incident that has caused this. I have been managing pain through rest, changing exercise habits, strengthening my hips/glutes. In the beginning of April, my right hip started to bother me which made me decide to stop running for 2 weeks and walk only. That is when my knee seemed to take 5 steps back. I felt like I was slowly managing but then when I changed to only walking it's like everything I had done so far went out the window.

Never hurts to touch- in fact, feels good to have pressure

Throbs under knee cap and on lateral side

It feels clicky deep in the middle. I can't feel the click with my hands, it's just an awareness.

Feels weird to go from a locked knee (like when doing a forearm plank) to pending

Walking bothers it more than running

Bending it the entire way does not hurt

Feels very weak. Sometimes it pulsates, sometimes it just feels “puffy”

Haven't been able to lift lower body, jump, or run long distance since my surgery because it is either uncomfortable during, or after activity- not worth it to feel the pain

Driving is probably when it feels the worst. It can feel fine all day especially at work when moving around, but then I get in the car after work and within the 15-20 min drive home, it is pulsing and feels weak.

Activities with repetitive motion bother it- low impact activies included. It's not the impact it seems, but the motion
Do you self diagnose?
Anything else you thing think I should mention or ask my doctor?


  1. I totally read every word and I do get that buckling sensation when going down the stairs sometimes!!!! Now I'm convinced my meniscus is torn. I'm not sure it is though because I can run on it pain free. Weird. My PT has actually checked this on me in the past from googling the symptoms!!!

    1. You get that buckling??? Ugh I hate that feeling.

    2. Yes! I had it really bad after Boston when I'd go down the stairs. My PT said my quads were so tight it was pulling on some ligaments or something. It only happens when I've really run hard or long. But it's freaking scary!

    3. Well that is totally understandable. I'm glad you know what causes it and can treat it right away!

  2. I am really really hoping you can get to the bottom of all this, Megan! And I hope the doctor can give you the time you deserve. It's time to get this figured out and get you back to doing what you love PAIN FREE. I'll be thinking of you--stay strong. You are your own advocate!!

    1. "You are your own advocate!!" <----- THIS will be my mantra that day while I'm getting herded around to different "waiting areas"! :)

  3. Its so smart to do your research before seeing your dr. Now you know exactly what to tell him and you wont be able to just accept an BS he tries to give you. Its terrible that you have to go through such a process just to try to get some answers.

    1. Sometimes I hate looking up my symptoms because I am afraid of what I will find! And usually, I come up with more questions than answers. But I guess it is good to know a little bit at least before I go in.

  4. I think that is genius that you are attaching that note to your paper work! I feel a lot of those symptoms too! Oh, girl we would have such a time talking about eachothers symptoms. Perhaps we could help eachother out. When is your vacation planned? We should really try to get together again this summer!

    1. I would love that! I will be gone the middle of June. I will send you a message when I get back and we can meet up! I am sorry last summer just got away from me.

    2. Oh please do! I vacation at the end of July, so sometime between your vacation and mine would be perfect! -M

    3. Oh please do! I vacation at the end of July, so sometime between your vacation and mine would be perfect! -M

  5. That's a good list for your Dr. I do similar things - I have things I need to talk about, and if I don't write them they get missed. Heck, I would take my husband with me to every appointment if I could because I also have a hard time remembering what was said, so I also write that stuff down too!
    I hope you get some answers soon. How frustrating!

    1. I go to my husband's neurology appointments for the same reason- he has a horrible memory!

  6. Very smart of you to do all this research and come prepared with questions/things to bring up to your doctor. I'm sure they appreciate that as much as you do. I once read a magazine article where a doctor said something like "patients usually have a pretty good idea of what's ailing them." We know our bodies better than we think and I know if I were a doctor, I'd be delighted to have a patient that could take charge and help me help them.

    Fingers crossed for you, and that this bumpy road has an end in sight soon. You are doing great, keep your chin up

  7. Okay, I have been through 8 knee surgeries and have Googled my life away. I've had bone grafts to meniscus "repairs", so I understand your frustration. It has been almost 4 years for me. It sounds to me like it is a case of Runner's Knee and inflammation (tendinitis). Even if you have a partial meniscus tear, it can heal itself with time. I know throughout my recovery I went through the PT exercises but never actually ENGAGED my muscles. I found out my VMO, which I thought I was working during the exercises, wasn't actually being engaged. I started using a STIM machine to contract my muscle while I was walking around/standing to cook/driving and it makes a big difference. When you run, you might be engaging all of your muscles, but when you walk... it's "lazy" walking. Maybe this will help?

    1. I am sorry you have been through all of that!. :( I totally know what you mean about walking "lazy". That could totally be the case. And I am wondering if my surgery instigated the runners knee and tendonitis? (If that is what it is.)

  8. I am so sorry you have to deal with that! :( I wish we could just all be strong all the time like we want to be.

  9. My fingers are crossed for you that you get this all resolved in a relatively quick manner. Hopefully the first doctor will be able to tell you something insightful that the second doctor can quickly confirm... and hopefully it's something that's easily fixed.

    I'm terrible at Google symptoms and I refuse to do it because the end result is always the same - I think whatever I have is going to kill me within 1 week to 3 months. And then I go to the doctor and it always ends up being something stupid. Now I just schedule the doctor visit and skip the sleepless nights leading up to it driving myself crazy!

    1. I think for you just waiting to see the doctor is definitely a good choice! Thanks for the kind words and I'm hoping I get some swift answers too!

  10. I can't imagine how frustrating this has been for you and I'm glad you wrote this all out.

    I get that buckling feeling too...or sometimes my knees start hurting for NO REASON at all, or they click/stick when I bend them and need to be "popped". These are all issues I had pre-running.

    It sucks that you feel like you don't trust your surgeon. I hope this can be resolved, or at least get some questions answered!