Friday, November 20, 2015

Is This Pain Related to Fibromyalgia?

Almost five years ago, I stepped off the bottom step of an covered, exterior staircase at the apartment building I was living in then. It had rained, so I stepped onto water that was hiding ice. The front leg went out sideways to the right and the back leg went out sideways to the left, tearing the medial meniscus (see graphic below).

A trip to the emergency room led to an MRI, which an orthop├Ždic surgeon used to determine that I would probably need to have it surgically repaired, but started me out in physical therapy. A few months later, I was in more pain than when I started, so I quit PT.

When I returned to the state I live in now, I went to an orthop├Ždic surgeon in a renowned clinic. He said my MRI had been misread - the "bow-tie" shape  the first surgeon had used to say I had torn the ligament side-to-side was not the tear. In fact, that shape is the air pocket between the femur and lower leg! I almost had surgery on something that was not even the problem.

The second surgeon sent me to a new round of PT, telling me that the exercises the first doctor ordered caused more harm than good. A couple of months with the new exercises, and I had no pain for the first time in more than two years. 

If I had been wise, I would have continued the exercises I had been doing at home. 'Alas, I did not. When another medication caused a quick, large weight gain, my knee started hurting again. I feel I deserved that pain since I had quit exercising it.

However, new pain emerged leading me to go to my new primary care physician - everything around my knee hurts except for where I had injured it in the first place. I am now awaiting the results of the X-rays and begin new PT for my knee and spine (degenerative disc disease with osteoarthritis) after Thanksgiving. 

I am not sure if my knee hurts because of my back pain, or if the back pain is caused from the limping caused from the knee pain. And the pain is severe. If I had owned a saw, there were a couple of days where I would have gladly cut my leg off above the knee! (Of course, I would not have done so, but it felt that bad.)

Is this pain caused by fibromyalgia? No. Is it worse than it would be because of fibromyalgia? Maybe. Unfortunately, There is no way to know for sure. All I know is that getting up hurts, standing hurts, walking hurts, and it is hard to get to sleep due to the pain. 

It is what it is, but I really hope the PT takes the pain away again. I will not promise I will keep up the exercises forever, but I hope I will remember the pain not doing them causes and will do them forever.