my new knee brace

Grit and Bear It

Since the orthopedist told me on Wednesday that I needed to go through another round of physical therapy, use a designer drug for the inflammation,1 and wear a brace when I’m not in the shower, I’ve been a bit skeptical of how any of it was going to work. It didn’t help when the brace I was originally fitted with had a hole pop up in the top seam in the back. It also didn’t help when I thought back over all the weeks of physical therapy I’ve already been through.2 But I decided this morning that I would at least try to follow his orders.

I set up a new round of physical therapy. The scheduler said that my folder from this Summer had probably already been closed, since I was technically discharged. I may end up with the physical therapist I had this summer. I may end up with the one I had last summer. I may end up with one of the ones who worked with my dad during the summer. Or I could end up with any of a large number of physical therapists that work for Huntsville Hospital.

I may not have faith that physical therapy will help, but I’ve got to give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. But if it does work, then that will be nice. I may just need a lot more therapy than was originally anticipated.

The pharmacy called this morning about the anti-inflammatory spray. At first I didn’t want to say okay to paying the $10 that the medicine will cost me–because insurance won’t cover it–but my mom basically told me that $10 isn’t much and that I need to try to do whatever I can to help my knee. And she reminded me of what I’ve already said in this entry, “if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.” She also reminded me that it would be a lot better to at least try the medicine than to go back to the orthopedist in four weeks and tell the doctor that I didn’t do as he ordered.

I took the ill-fitting brace with the popped seam back. The DME3 people at the orthopedist’s office were nice and the one who helped me today actually checked to see how the brace fit when I was standing before she let me leave. She could see why it was so uncomfortable–the top part was too tight. She said she knew why it was hard to fit it because the XL brace that I was taking back was not only too small for the bottom part of my thigh, its opening for the kneecap was too large4 and the bottom part was too big for my calf. She said that the kneecap and calf issues could be helped by the straps, but that the only way to fix the top issue was to go with an XXL. The new brace feels much better.

Oh, she showed me how the hole popped in the other brace. I was pulling it up in the back and just pulled that seem apart. She said that I needed to try to do most, if not all, of the pulling in the front of the brace, so that’s how I’m pulling.

Maybe it will all work. And if it doesn’t, then I guess I’ll cross that issue when I get to it. I just have to keep myself from falling into the “it-hurts-so-bad-I-want-to-die” thinking.

  1. A spray that won’t arrive until at least Monday. 

  2. My physical therapist was great, but the pain I endured during the physical therapy was very unpleasant. 

  3. Durable Medical Equipment 

  4. aka my kneecap was too small 

About Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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