I had my MRI on Monday evening. It took longer than I expected. About 20-25 minutes total. I guess I'm used to x-rays which are quick and medical shows on tv which don't have time to show that long of a procedure...plus, if they show the patient in the MRI at all you just know that something bad is going to happen. And the MRI machine wasn't the tube type thing like you always see. Instead it was more of, well, imagine a giant hamburger with a section cut out of the burger in the middle so that there was a hole lengthwise (if you can go lengthwise in a circular object...more people will understand that than if I said "laterally"). So, there's this big circular thing on top and a big circular thing on the bottom and there's sides to it. I got to lay down on a sliding table thing, stuff put around my knee so that it didn't move and then the very nice technician moved the table (and therefore me) so that my knee was right about in the middle of the hamburger shaped machine. She put on some not terribly interesting music (which we both agreed was good. I have a tendency to "dance" to music if I have nothing better to do. Note the quotes, it's more of random movements that may or may not correlate to the beat. But since I wasn't supposed to move that would have been bad.) and we were off. I didn't ask how long the procedure took, so I was thankful that the tech came over the speaker at one point to reassure me that I was doing great and let me know I only had about 15 more minutes to go. I was kinda paranoid about moving and a bit nervous about the whole thing and the weird sounds the machine was making, but I managed to keep myself calm (lots of deep breaths), not fall asleep (I was worried that I would move) and a bit later I walked out with six large films of various bits of the inside of my knee.
I did some googling to see what a torn meniscus looks like on an MRI and after extensive training (about five minutes) and long study (another five minutes) of the MRIs I came to the conclusion that I was pretty sure I could figure out which way was up and which parts were bones. In the way of figuring out if I had a torn meniscus or anything else, yeah, I had nothing.
Fast forward to Thursday afternoon and I'm back at the orthopedists office. I really like this guy and his staff a lot. Even when they're horrendously busy they're incredibly friendly and efficient. If you're in the Fort Worth area and need an orthopedist (and they take your insurance) I highly recommend Dr. Boothby and the staff of Southwest Orthopedics. Anyway, They got me into the room, I worked on my Sunday school lesson for a few minutes and then the doc came in. He looked at my MRI films and explained what was going on. Basically, my meniscus isn't torn. Neither is my ACL nor the other CL (MCL?). He said there was a bit of degeneration of the meniscus but that's not uncommon. I also have a bit of swelling (not surprising. Spending a week mucking out and gutting houses with a bum knee will do that.) and a minor bit of misalignment of my kneecap (which I learned from the tv show Bones is called the patella.). But, the good news is that there's no call to do any sort of surgery. The bad news is that he's not sure exactly why my knee is hurting.
He offered the "don't do anything stupid for a month or so and then come back and see me if it doesn't get better" (not his words) course of treatment first. I countered with "this has been going on for a while and that hasn't worked" (not my exact words). He counter offered with anti-inflammatory meds and physical therapy (PT) and the deal was done. So, I've got a higher dose of the meds my primary care doc gave me before sending me to the orthopedist and, once the lady who does the precertification thingie with my insurance company gets back from her extra long Labor Day weekend (darn holiday weekend) on Tuesday, I'll be scheduled for my PT evaluation and a total of 12 sessions of PT. And we'll see. Hopefully the exercises that my PT has me do will strengthen everything up and that in combination with the pain meds and me not doing anything stupid (that wasn't part of the final deal but I figured that it was kinda implied) and I'll be good to go by Halloween or so. If not, I guess we'll try something else.
Bottom line, I don't have to have surgery, but my knee still hurts. I call it a draw at this point.
In other news, I get to teach Sunday school to my high school kids this Sunday and speak during the "mercy moment" at church. Sunday school is on mercy ministries and the mercy moment is about the Iowa trip. If any of my high schoolers are reading this (and got this far), bummer that you have to hear me twice but there will be candy or donuts or something in Sunday school and I promise no role playing or other "alternative learning methods" activities. I'm not even planning on breaking you guys up into groups and answering questions or anything. If anyone else wants to sit in on the class, you're welcome to. Theoretically it should be interesting.
And there's lots to blog about the Iowa trip but I just haven't made the time. Hopefully I'll do that this weekend. Ah sweet three day weekend followed by a three day work week and an even sweeter three day weekend (it's sweeter because the stores will be less crowded because not everyone else has a three day weekend. Plus, it follows a three day week. It's hard to beat that.)