Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's Not Always Due to Sjogren's Syndrome

Image of common, mundane, ordinary, osteoarthritis knee found here

I've been having issues with my right knee lately. It HURTS, to put it simply. And, I've wah wah wah-ed about it before, so I won't go into the boring details.


The point I want to make about it all is that I realized a few things as a result of this experience.

First: I'm thinking the Middle-Of-The-Night-Corn-Meal-Mush incident was an excellent example of one of my most frequently used coping mechanisms (which is not to say that it's the most effective, btw) when I'm uncomfortable be it physical or emotional or whatever in cause. A major player in this coping mechanism is food that contains all those things that are not good for me: sugar, fat, salt....  yeah. I have been wondering why my sweet tooth has been driving me crazy over the past few weeks and it finally occurred to me that I might be seeking for ways to deal with my knee pain that don't involve an ice pack made of frozen peas. Especially since NSAIDS, ice, elevation, and rest really isn't making this all go away.

I'm not sure how to handle this little flash of inspiration, but perhaps it will at least slow down the parade of junk food entering my body.

One can only hope.

So the second realization came about when my x rays and lab pathologies showed that my knee was down to owie bone-on-bone due to common garden - variety osteoarthritis.  It's swollen a bit, it hurts like heck, but it's just an old worn-out cranky knee. I can't blame a bit of this discomfort on Sjogren's syndrome, and that's an interesting concept, isn't it?

I'm so accustomed to attributing anything and everything including hangnails and dandruff to Sjs that the idea that my body would develop anything that wasn't autoimmune related is totally foreign.

I mean, I can't move furniture because I HAVE SJOGREN'S SYNDROME.

I wouldn't dream of mowing the lawn because I HAVE SJOGREN'S SYNDROME.

There's probably some really good reasons why I shouldn't do the dishes and laundry because I HAVE SJOGREN'S SYNDROME. I can't think of them at the moment, although I have used that rationale before, I'm sure.

No, my knee is just worn out and cranky like the rest of me. And, a cranky knee like mine is pretty common.


Sniff. I'm used to dealing more with exclusive illnesses here. Gee. I'm certainly NOT used to describing myself as common. Tsk. There must be something unique about my particular knee. There must be. I simply don't see myself mixing with the osteoarthritis commoners in the clinic waiting room. Sigh. But, if I must, I must...

I'm meeting with Dr. Young Guy on Monday to discuss some treatment options for my knee. It will be interesting to have a non-autoimmune discussion with him.

I wonder if since this isn't autoimmune in nature; and won't be influenced by my rituximab infusions.........if this office visit warrants a mouse-themed treat?



Anonymous said...

Gee whiz, can I relate to this or what! Just got my knee jabbed.. starting PT next week. Hopefully can try to avoid surgery... and oh yeah this is a little side dish to being a Sjoggie!! Love this blog..where else could I find people who could possibly relate to these exceptional illnesses?

ShEiLa said...

I have dealt with that Osteo knee nightmare as well... my right knee and sometimes I think my left suffers a bit as well. No the bone on bone like my right though. I did Synvisc injection and didn't get much relief. I also had cortisone injections. My new Osteo guy said if you do Synvisc it is better to have the 3 series... the previous osteo doc only used one and the new one thought that was crazy.

I hope you do find relief. I understand the need to blame something (Sjogren's) for the pain and misery... So much of my trouble is related to that.

Good luck with your appointment.


Joe said...

I would think that having an autoimmune disease like Sjogren's could cause the osteoarthritis to accelerate. I do believe that Sjogren's had some part in this as being in flares and constantly sick probaby is not good for anyone's joints. All of that inflammation from Sjogren's is not good.