Now My Knees!

I woke up around 4:00 AM this morning because of excruciating pain in both my knees. The pain was sharp and burning. I tried bending then straightening my legs to see if the pain was brought on by the position in which I’d fallen asleep, but that wasn’t it. My knees were full with pain. I had to go to the bathroom and the walk there was unbearable. As I bent to sit on the toilet, I had to fight the urge to cry out because the pain intensified as I lowered myself to sit. While sitting on the toilet I grabbed both knees and tried to rub the pain out of them. The rubbing didn’t help.

After sitting on the toilet longer than I needed to, I gently raised myself up and pulled my pajama bottoms on. I stood looking at myself in the mirror for a moment unbelieving of the pain I was feeling. I’ve had sore knees before, but this wasn’t that. There was fire in this pain that separated it from the pain I typically feel in my legs. It almost felt like it was announcing itself. Telling me it had arrived.

I gingerly walked my way back to bed, which is currently the couch in my living room – I do that from time to time: turn my couch into my bed. I hadn’t taken a breakthrough dose of my pain medication before falling asleep, so I decided to take a half dose because I was only two hours away from starting my pain medication cycle for today. I also took a dose of my anti-anxiety medication to calm myself because in my early morning haze I couldn’t understand this pain and the intensity made my whole body tense; I couldn’t grasp what was happening to my knees.

I tried everything I could think of to make myself comfortable. I settled on elevating my legs with pillows and rubbing my slightly bent knees. I also begged for sleep, which finally came; and must have been very deep because I didn’t hear the alarm for my morning dose of medications at 6:00 AM. In a small way, I’m grateful for that because it meant I probably slept through the worst of the knee pain.

Now the pain is not as bad as it was at 4:00 AM, but my knees are still sore. I don’t understand what’s happening to my body. No matter the medical explanations or speculations, I can’t understand why I suffer with leg, back, hip, and now knee pain because of something that started in my lower abdomen. I can’t understand why, now that the mass is out of my pelvis, I’m having as much, and – as this morning demonstrates – sometimes more pain than I did before surgery. My brain has absorbed all the information thrown at me by my doctors, but emotionally, intuitively, not an ounce of this is making sense.

What the hell is going on inside my body!


Counting Crows – Sullivan Street


2 thoughts on “Now My Knees!

  1. I have bad knees from gymnastics and use ice sometimes, but I haven’t found anything that really helps. Sleeping or staying in one position for too long creates stiffness and more pain, so the only other thing I do for my knees is stretch and move around.

    I spent a decade trying to find treatment for a specific pain condition (TMJ), but I learned that what I was really looking for was treatment for intractable pain. I compare my nervous system on chronic pain to an emergency alert system that is broken; instead of only signaling in an emergency, the system continually broadcasts alerts in a never-ending loop.

    That’s the thing about chronic pain — it rarely stays in the original location. It refers pain to different sites within the body because it’s all connected. Unfortunately, surgery is a major trauma on the body, and can increase the areas where you feel pain (even if it also decreases pain at the original location).


    • I understand all the intellectual explanations about pain: both chronic and referred. I’ve reached a point where the emotional toll is becoming unbearable.
      It’s especially hard having moments like this with my knees because it’s now another part of my body that isn’t pain-free. I was already dealing with one form of leg pain but it wasn’t affecting my knees so significantly.
      With this experience I’m realizing that my entire body might be fair game to intense pain.

      Liked by 1 person

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