Tuesday, August 31, 2010

human guinea pig

Well it didn't last, my knee went bonkers on me again. Pretty much right after writing the last post. Go figure. Jinx.

It was pretty swollen and nasty for the wedding trip, despite consistent ice, NSAIDs, and compression. Not too painful, but not exactly uber comfy either.

Unfortunately it also started clicking, hitching and catching when I walk, so I acquiesced and made an appt to see my super knee doc. The appointment was today.

And a funny thing happened.

After having waited a few minutes in the examination room, the Dr Stein entered. Stopped. Looked at me oddly. And then asked me my name to double check his charts.

He then reentered the room and said "Same knee? Same problem?" Both of which I responded the affirmative.

He then sat next to me and with some kind of astonishment looked me right in the eye, "You're going to think I'm crazy, but I've got a cure."

It was odd how shocked he seemed. Feeling hopeful I said "What, do you have some kind of epoxy now?"

Still seeming rather blown away he replied "Yes"

Turns out just two months ago this new thing was put on the market - it is organic mushed up bone goo called DeNovo Cartilage Graft that they caulk into the gaping chunk missing from the articular cartilage of a joint, such as my knee. It takes on my own DNA and solidifies to become my bone. In effect totally fixing me.

His shock was because it is so new that I'll be the second person he personally uses it on. The first guy's surgery was just scheduled yesterday for Oct 4th. So my timing was just crazy. He told me that my condition is fairly rare and totally perfect for this procedure. So go me and my luck!

There are a few downsides. One - I'm on crutches six weeks. Two - real surgery not arthroscopic (I was totally knocked out for my last scope so what's the big diff?). Three - it is new, so long term effects aren't solid.

Which ironically isn't a new thing for me. Back in 2004 when I had my hernia repair the doc used Alloderm, a human tissue patch that melded into my own fascia. Also brand spanking new and at the time still part of studies. And I continue to rock the stuff.

So this will be the second set of dead person matter being put inside me. The benefits totally outweigh the risks, me having a completely fixed knee! No more risk of degenerative bone that will continue to crumble until I end up with my joint being replaced.

Can I say how glad I am to be in NYC? The docs here are on their game! Go modern science!!

(Date set for October 18th! Woot!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

on the road

No, I did not go to my reunion. And from the pics I saw on facebook I'm glad I didn't, the only faces I recognized were those that I've already friended on the great online social big brother.

And now for the happy update, I'm running again!! Taking three weeks off of all physical activity (and I do mean all) did the trick! I went for a run Saturday which felt odd on the ole' knee, but afterwards experienced no swelling or pain. Went for a jog again two days ago, and nary a tinge or a gaff.

Now it is just a matter of seeing if I can safely, without injury, build up mileage to get myself to the marathon this year. No pressure...it isn't worth me hurting my knee again. But a girl's gotta try!

Best news - vacation is here!! Friday my cousin is getting married in Portland, and after a few days in that beautiful burb my sis and I are going to head up and spend a couple days in Seattle. Pacific Northwest here we come!

One interesting thing of note, as I've gotten older I've started making more and more lists for my trips. I used to just make the one. You know. The one that had "toothbrush" and "deodorant" on it. And I was suck at that...once forgetting my swimsuit for a white water rafting trip. Like I wasn't going to get wet??

At this moment I'm up to five lists for this adventure.

- what activities on what day, so I can figure out what I need

- the great packing list, things I absolutely cannot forget

- clothing list. specifics on what items to pack, trying to minimize qty while covering all activity needs. while of course looking fabulous.

- timeline before vacation. as in what the hell I still need to do in the 30 hours before I leave my apartment.

- wedding playlist. the computer savvy have been asked to monitor the macbook dj, so my sis and I decided to throw together our own playlists to supplement anything that could have been missed. it will be a dance dance wedding for sure!!

Here I thought it would be hard to have more than two lists. Who knew??

Monday, August 09, 2010

20 years

It is the stuff of legend. Some dread its arrival, others look forward to the day with glee. Books, movies, plays...all written about this iconic meeting. It is a pinnacle event, the one great test of time the majority of Americans look upon.

The high school reunion.

Frankly I don't recall getting any notice of my 10 year reunion. But with the creation of facebook there has been no way to avoid the repeated reminders that my 20 year anniversary approaches.

Roughly the year of my graduation was the half point of my life right now. Just shy of an even distribution between childhood and adulthood. This helps spark some reflection...how am I different than I was at 18? Who am I now as compared to then? Would my high school self like my grown up self?

But the main question on my mind at this time is much simpler. To go or not to go. Do I bother to attend my 20 year high school reunion?

My graduating class was 222 strong, entirely female as I attended an all girls catholic high school. As a freshman I played softball and volleyball, then quit sports and became backstage crew for the drama club.

The culture in my school wasn't like the John Hughes movies where everyone was in a defined clique. Yes there were jocks and nerds, but we kind of focused less on naming a group than just paying attention to your own circle of friends. (And circle of drama, being all girls.)

Overall my group of friends was approximately 4-5 strong, specific girls entering and exiting the group at different times but always staying about the same number. There was an extended group of people of probably 10 more that I was friendly with but didn't really hang with outside of school.

So out of the 222 girls that means there are about 15-25 that I remember interacting with. Most of whom are on facebook.

Do I fly back to Michigan just to see these women? Is it worth the airfare and car rental to end up also seeing 100 women I don't remember at all?

I dunno, I just don't think I get the point. From what I can tell the people who want to attend in general are the ones who are either satisfied with their lives or want to brag about their lives. Or maybe a little of both.

Me? I know I'm high on the success scale for my class. Thing is most of my core high school friends are just scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck struggling to keep their jobs. Detroit has been hit really hard by the recession after all. It almost seems nicer for me not to attend so it doesn't seem like I'm rubbing their noses in my accomplishments.

Oh, what to do. Inaction alone may make up my mind for me as the party is this Saturday. I could catch a last minute deal airfare to Detroit...or I could wait for my 30 year reunion...