I Still Can't Get Used To Being In Pain

I have osteo- arthritis and my shoulders, knees, and ankles hurt a lot. Three years ago I had total knee replacement surgery on both knees, one in June and the other in July. The knees never stopped hurting and the right knee was the worst. I got all kinds of explanations from the doctor including that I was allergic to bone cement. After talking to another surgeon, he told me that the protheses were loose in the bone and were not healing. He said that they would have to be "revised". In other words, redone. The right joint was starting to slip and give out so in October of the next year I had surgery to redo it using a bigger set of spikes into the bone. This time hurt way more than the first time. My whole leg swelled up and filled with fluid. After one month the doctor said that I had an infection and back into the hospital I went. They opened up the knee again to clean it out and I spent the next three months with a catheter in my chest so I could administer anti-biotics twice a day. The knee healed but it has never stopped hurting. My foot and ankle are partially numb from nerve damage and I get regular fluid build-up in the leg from poor circulation. I have always been an active person. I work out 5-6 days a week and go swimming that often too. The worst part is that I cannot do the things that I used to enjoy. Walking is painful, stairs and ladders are major obstacles. getting down on the floor and back up again is an adventure in agony. I never realized how many thing one has to get down for: Fixing a car, planting a garden, even painting a wall. None of the pain medication seems to work. Now they tell me that I have Fibromyalgia, which is short for, "OK you are in pain but I don't know what to do for you"

I've been told that adjustment goes in several stages but I am still stuck in the extremely pissed off stage. One thing that you are not told before surgery is that there is a 5% failure rate. That does not seem so bad unless you are part of the 5%.  

tomt88101 tomt88101
56-60, M
2 Responses Mar 10, 2010

I feel great when I am in the pool. I use the lap pool at the local Community College and I have purchased a pass for the last 9 years. The weight room is not fun but it helps with strength and mobility. I have a minimum motion waterbed and although it is sometimes difficult to get out of, it is very comfortable. <br />
Your pain sounds worse than mine but, as I said, I'm still in the pissed-off stage.<br />
Thanks for writing.

I feel for you. I began a journey in chronic pain with a vaccine, then a car accident, then a fall down a flight of stairs. I have arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Crohn's, possible MS, tendonitis etc... I've been living in pain since 1990. Your body will adjust to the pain levels a bit but it takes a couple of years. For me, it reached a point where I could no longer walk. I was allergic to almost every pil they tried. Finally a combo of Neurontin, Ketoprofin, and bentyl allowed me to walk. I am still in constant pain but not nearly as bad as it was. The neurontin/ketoprofin has been the biggest help. I don't have access to a pool but I wish I did. I almost feel free while in a pool. I can move like I used to. hydrotherapy is a big thing. Low pressure systems moving in can make your pain worse and I run the a/c and it seems to alleviate some of the pain. Dehumidifiers are good too. The best investment I made was getting a memory foam mattress. I no longer wake up feeling like I was hit by a bus. if you can afford a tempurpedic that's good but if not you can buy toppers on ebay. I use memory foam in my chairs/vehicles as well.<br />
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Right now I am in NY but am soon moving back to my place in ND. The extreme cold DRY in the winter alleviates the pain a bit. ( not cold wet..you need -20 temps or hot dry. Dry is the issue. BUT the house there has only one bathroom and it's upstairs. I don't relish trudging up those stairs every time I have to pee again. I keep telling myself excercize is good and it helps so i don't lose the mobility i have.<br />
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If you ever need to talk and just spew I'm around ok ? I stil have twinges of the anger phase and it's been 20 years. I'm so sorry this has happened to you. I would'nt wish it on anyone.