Friday, December 7, 2012

Damned Bursitis!

On Tuesday, my physiotherapist put me through the paces and confirmed that my new hip is functioning well.   (I have wonderful range of motion.)
My trouble is definitely coming from a badly inflamed bursa and a correspondingly tight IT band.  She added a couple of extra acupuncture points. (I think we're up to 50 needles now.)  Then she gave me a laser treatment around the most inflamed area of the bursa.  She'll continue those efforts each week until we see improvement.
On Wednesday, I saw my doctor to let her know that the cortisone shot didn't work.
She was almost not surprised.  Disappointed, but not greatly surprised.
I told her of my physiotherapist's findings and she was pleased to hear that we'll be doing laser treatments because it will help reduce the scar tissue.  We discussed all the therapies that have been tried over the years and she said that I'm taxing her ability to come up with solutions.  (I thanked her for so graciously taking up the challenge.)
It's amazing to me that the cortisone shots worked as well as they did when administered directly into my hip joints, yet they've never worked in the bursa.  I just don't get it!
I told her about the discussion I had had with the surgeon at an earlier visit around the matter of his not having removed the bursa when he did the hip replacement.  I had asked him then if he would go back in and get it, and he asked me if I really wanted to go through that again.  As I was telling her the story, she was nodding "yes" and said, "You want to have that discussion with him again because he needs to go back and take it out."
I was pleased to see that she is on the same page as I.
Her remedy in the interim?
Try a five-day steroid therapy.
Yes, I'm taking steroids. Prednisone - 50 mg - one tablet a day.
But only for five days.
That should be long enough to bring down the inflammation but it's not long enough to cause any negative effects.
Apparently, since the steroids have a systemic effect they will make me feel good all over.  Even help with the inflammation in my finger.  Make my hands stop hurting.  My knees won't hurt.  My lungs won't wheeze.
As the doctor put it, "You'll feel so good for the next five days, when you come off it you'll be upset with me that you can't stay on it."  What she can't tell me, of course, is how long it will be before the inflammation  rears its ugly head again.  But we cannot keep using steroids to bring it under control.  This is a one-off.  Which is why I have to have that discussion with the surgeon.
The pharmacist warned me that I'll have lots of energy while I'm taking the steroid, so if there's something I want done, this will be the time to do it.
Couldn't have picked a better five days to take this journey.  This is the weekend I mapped out to put up my Christmas Village.

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