Catch 22


A paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.

After last week’s Rheumatologist appointment was cocked up (by an Admin error) I left the office in tears.  Yesterday, I attended my rescheduled appointment, and yes, before you ask, there were indeed more tears!

I know, WTF, right?

What’s up with me and tears lately? I’m a fighter, not a crier. Give me a good ol confrontation any day and I’m in my element!  I have NO idea where these tears are coming from.

Maybe it’s all just getting to me.

Unfortunately, I can no longer blame my erratic, volatile behaviour on hormones or menopause.  “Boy, those were the “good ol days,” huh?”   You could almost literally explode or have a freakin nervous break-down and blame it on “The Menopause.”  You’d receive understanding eyes, knowing nods and oodles of virtual hugs! It was great! Like a “Get out of jail free” card, only better!

…those days are dead and gone and I’m now expected to be in control, restrained, and adult-like.

However, I gotta say, after 11 months, 12 days, and approximately 21 hours of getting my ass kicked by PMR&GCA; being told my right knee is totally fucked and a total knee replacement is required, and developing neuropathy in both feet/legs, I don’t feel restrained, in control, or adult-like; but I don’t have a lot of fight left in me either.

So “tears,” it is.

Yesterday’s appointment was firstly a follow-up on where we are the PMR /GCA; and that was all good news! Thank God! ESR & CRP both down and well within normal range, disease symptoms pretty much non-existent; aches and pains, and fatigue manageable. Steroid tapering going well and fingers crossed, it will continue to go in that vein…

Second reason to see Rheumy yesterday, was to have my knee drained and get a much-needed shot of cortisone (Yeah, I know… you’d think I’d be taking enough steroids orally, that my knee would be the size of a walnut, but “No,” apparently, it doesn’t work like that!)

After literally, ‘falling for Billy Joel,’ in June, my knee has been unbearable.  (Joe Namath ain’t got nothin on me, baby!)  Seriously, there are probably American footballers whose knees are in better shape than mine is!  It looks like a mummified melon. I’m restricted to walking maybe 1 – 1.5 miles, before I start wincing in pain and whinging like a baby.

Imagine what it’s like, being confined to staying within a half mile radius of your house. If you walk past that half mile point, you’re probably going to struggle to get home and you’ll definitely be in agony by the time you get there!

“Ok,  Doc, I’m ready.  I’ve been waiting for this appointment since June…  let’s do this!  Drain it, shoot it full of steroids and send me on my way!”

The Rheumy basically responds, “No can do.” 

I say, “Wait?  What?  Whaddaya mean, no can do?” 

She goes onto explain, that Orthopaedic Surgeons get bit persnickety about anyone messing around with their “bones,” prior to surgery; so if I’m even thinking about having surgery within the next several months, she can’t touch the knee.

The tears are welling up in my eyes, but my cheeks are still dry.

She then she hits me with sledge-hammer;  BOOM!

Regarding my steroid intake….  she’d “prefer” to see me at 10 mg or less, before any surgery!  Reason being when you’re on steroids you’re much more susceptible to infection…  so they like to get you down as low as possible, to account for that risk.

With the tapering plan she’s just laid out, that would be like May or June of NEXT FREAKIN YEAR!!!!


Okay, there they are, the tears are now flowing down my cheeks… along with the inevitable “snot,” running from my nose.

She keeps talking, but I can’t hear a word she’s saying.

My husband is trying to console me, but I can’t hear him either.

All I’m hearing is “Blah, blah, blah, blah…” and all I’m thinking is,  “No drain, no shot, no surgery… Fuck me and my life.” 

Here’s my Catch 22…

The GP won’t do anything about the knee and points to the Rheumy.

The Rheumy says she can’t do anything about the knee and points to the Ortho.

The Ortho wants only to replace the knee-joint, and points to Rheumy (regarding Pred intake)

Round and round and round we go… where we stop nobody knows!

Hmm?  Maybe the Neurologist would like to weigh in on this disturbing dilemma!

Why the fuck not?

We might as well get another ambiguous medical opinion thrown on the table…  Who knows, he may very well say something like, my neuropathy, is down to a problem with my circulatory/vascular system and there can be no knee surgery… ever!

Yeah, yeah, I know…. Poor, poor pitiful me.  Throwing a pity party and inviting everyone.  I’m usually the one saying:

“This too shall pass”

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

“Tomorrow’s another day.” 

“Chin up buttercup.” 

“H.O.P.E.  Hold on pain ends “

“You got this.”

“Shake it off.”

I’m sorry…  but just for now, just for a tiny slice of time today… I’m going with;  

life just sucks












  1. Well, I can’t “like” this post, but I can send you a virtual hug. And maybe you could just lie about your steroid dosage? Take 10 mg day before surgery? By then you’ll be below 20 anyway, won’t you, even with small steps down at this stage.

    Liked by 1 person

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