Monday, August 5, 2013

Hoping For Hope

No, that's not redundant. It's where I am, waiting for a verdict to find out if there's hope, to see if I qualify for a relatively new procedure. If I do, it might mean a diminishment, possibly a temporary end to at least some of the knee pain without the full disability required by surgery for a couple months.

I've known about this for a while. I have a friend, much younger than I am, who's had this or something similar done every six months for years now. It involves injecting some kind of lubricant into the knee to cushion against the bone-on-bone grating which happens after cartilage loss. She swears by it.

However, with no insurance, I haven't even bothered to check it out. My Medicare coverage starts next month, and the evaluation appointment to see if this procedure is right for me is free. I scheduled it for tomorrow. From what I know about the condition of my knees for a couple years now, this is a strong possibility. And Medicare covers it.

There's lots to find out yet. Do I qualify?  Is the procedure itself painful? (I have bleak memories of a long ago cortizone injection for a heel spur, both agonizing and ineffective.) How long do I stay off my feet after? Can they do both at once? Will there be a cost over what's covered? How long might it last? What possible side effects? If I'm a candidate, is it guaranteed to lessen pain? Or just one of those things that works for a group of people indistinguishable from placebo? Just how much of the pain is from shredded tendons and  unaffected by this?

With all that uncertainty, I'm just hoping for hope. I haven't let myself do even that much for a long time.

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