Living Life In A Wheelchair

My Sixth Physiotherapy Appointment
[ Friday February 3rd 2017 at 3:00 pm ]

I've just finished my physiotherapy appointment. It went as I had expected. I've been discharged. My family doctor will receive a discharge report and be instructed to consider other treatment options with me.

This will lead to a conversation I've been wanting to have with my family doctor for a few months now. My family doctor was waiting for me to complete physiotherapy before considering more the serious set of issues and diagnosis I've been articulating. The physiotherapist today suggested doctors tend to do this when there is no "plan B" --- Doctors tend to stick to the current treatment option and hope it will work.

The physiotherapist who has been overseeing my treatment shared what her thoughts as to what I should now be considering:

  • I told her of my plans to reach out to the same sports injury doctor who was instrumental in getting my hip treatment on track in 2007. She applauded this. I've prepared a 15 page summary of my medical history, functional abilities, physiotherapy regime (that is the 'holding pattern' I am engaged in to do what I can to discourage my legs from weakening), details of my pain and pain medication, other concerns I have which warrant further investigation and my intentions. This is an effective cross section of my life. At the point when you are backed into a corner bringing a fresh specialist into the situation without this new individual having dialogue with the treating health care professionals is very reasonable. It is so the new specialist doesn't become tainted. Instead it is so they conduct their own investigation and reach their own conclusions.
  • There is the option of undergoing intensive inpatient physiotherapy. However it is unlikely I would get approved. This is because of the funding cutbacks to Ontario Canada's Health Care and only very few beds available. It is a much more practical answer for me to fund raise between $5,000 and $8,000 Canadian dollars to cover the cost of physiotherapy and the in home supports I would need so I could dedicate a fresh effort to this. Updated imaging of both my knee joints is needed and likely surgical intervention before this will be an effective tool in providing me with the best mobility possible.
  • On the small chance fresh imaging came back clear the combination of a pain management clinic plus intensive physiotherapy as I've just described would be warranted. However it is highly unlikely fresh imaging will come back clear. The imaging done to date denotes a problem. When physiotherapy is unsuccessful the medical community is instructed to give a greater emphasis to the symptoms the imaging hints at the patient experiencing. I have the symptoms of a "grade iv" deterioration in both my knee joints. This is the most serious level possible. It is why this is an unlikely option. The reason a pain management clinic was considered in November 2016 was because my family doctor thought my tendinitis was severe. In reality 4 physiotherapy ultrasound treatments resolved my knee tendinitis.

Where this leaves me now is:

  • I am in a physiotherapy holding pattern in the hopes that my legs won't deteriorate further. I do have a friend who is a physiotherapist. I will need to have an indepth discussion with him within a few days. He is willing to help guide me. The down side is that he lives about 90 minutes from me. It isn't possible for him to watch over me doing my exercises each day.
  • My next course of action as I stated above is reaching out to the sports injury doctor who helped me in 2007. One of the youth at the gym who is in his final year of high school is helping me look over the material I prepared for the sports injury doctor. He did half last night and hopes to do the other half tonight.
  • I'm planning renovations to my new power wheelchair to increase it's functionality. I've hand picked the materials needed. The various components I've mail ordered have been arriving. I am looking forward to starting this once all the components arrive.
  • The next appointment with my family doctor is on February 11th 2017. This is going to be a necessary dialogue.