My Knee — The Status. (Or, Why I hate Kaiser)

So, as some of you know, I’ve had a reinjury to my bad ACL. It’s a tough one this time, I haven’t had pain like this from my knee since the second surgery on it (the third made it all feel so much better). It hasn’t swollen like this since the first surgery.

It’s also my first time on an HMO — and I wouldn’t have gotten one if it weren’t for the fact that it’s not so expensive as other healthcare programs. Oh, I rue this choice. Very much.

My healthcare provider is Kaiser Permanente — yes, that bastion of Health Maintenance organizations. Yes, yes — German efficiency. My ass.

So I injured the knee again three weeks ago. It was a long, slow buildup, but I’ve put more miles on my knee since my last surgery than I did in the years between ’92 and ’02, so I suspected it might just start to deteriorate after a while (a lot of this has to do with my bones, and the way they react, as well as the fact I’m hyperextensive in ALLLLL of my joints, which lends itself to loose ligaments). I understand this. But this also kind of screws me — I’m very active, but I have soft bones and ligaments that just want to pull out of place.

Well, it’s screwed me once again.

Harner did a fabulous job of surgery in Pittsburgh. Absolutely flawless. He was a wonderful doctor, and I can’t thank him enough for the work he did to repair damage done when I had the first surgery so many many years ago. He did a fantastic job. I have put on weight, and have been walking more and more, which just puts stress on the bones, and the knees in particular. I think it’s one pound gained to 3 pounds of pressure on the knee, so I’ve put A LOT more pressure on my knee. But the mileage I’ve put on the knee can’t be ignored.

And I understand all that. I understand how difficult my knee is. Harner enjoyed my case because it was challenging. And I totally understand that maybe this doctor isn’t up to the challenge. But they didn’t even give me an MRI at the office! No, I have to schedule that separately, and spend the weeks in between on crutches.

And let me tell you, I’ve seen a lot of x-rays in my day. An awful lot. And this thing didn’t have the resolution to show the hair line fractures that were in my bones the last time.

To boot, the radiologist went and asked me, as I was across the room from my crutches and out of the immobilizer (so I was pretty much unable to walk away) if my husband and I had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. All I could say is that I made my peace with God. WTF!

And, just for one more kick in the ass, they gave me shit about my blood pressure. I wonder why my blood pressure was high — I was crutching all over the place, and it was a hot day, and I was nervous about this guy taking a look at my knee. Lucky me, I get to trade in one of the best knee surgeons in the world for a nincompoop who likes to create addicts. Just wunnerful.

So, it’s more waiting, and I don’t know anymore than I did Sunday. What’s worse, is they are looking to treat this as a “pain management” case. So they would rather have me addicted to Vicodin than actually fix the problem.

Unbelievable. I’ve worked almost my entire career in health care, and this is what I get.

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