Moving ahead. . .

Full steam ahead. I am now walking with no walker. . . and not even a cane!! Although my leg still is quite swollen by evening and hurts like the devil at night, I find that with 1 or 2 vicodin and an ambien I can get a good night’s sleep.

And that’s the secret for me right now. Because with that good night’s sleep under my belt I am beginning to put in a minimum of 6-8 hours of study for the boards. Gold Standard CDs, Dr. Frances’ lectures and note book, Goljan Pathology Review, my Grid Review books (especially for pharmacology and microbiology), and of course the standard First Aid and other review materials.

Then to top it off, when I went to see my internal medicine doctor today, I asked him, once my knee was good and strong, could I spend a half day a week with him doing what med students normally do. . .history, physicals, and presenting the patient, along with writing SOAP notes, even though they will not be incorporated into the patients chart because I am not on an actual rotation. I really want to be sure those skills are at their best when I restart rotations. . . and it gives me a break from the books, but I still learn as I go.

Anyway, I think the sun is shining birghtly right now, so I think I’ll go take my dog for a walk. . . and with no cane!!


It’s great that you’re feeling better and are cane free! Take it easy on yourself though…you don’t want to overdo it!

Good luck with the studying/rotating.


Linda, it sounds like you’re bouncing back from this remarkably well! And you’re keeping a great outlook w/re health as well as medicine - good for you :).

So is this an appropriate point to inject terrible puns about “putting your best foot forward?”

Kris, you’re right. I maybe did overdo it a little, and my knee is pretty swollen and painful. But nothing ibuprofen won’t handle and by morning the swelling is always gone. So I think I’ll stay on this track and get my knee REALLY strengthened up before the upcoming conference!

Adam. . .you always know how to make me smile. . . but if you saw my feet I’m not sure I have a best one, so I’ll just keep on putting one in front of the other.

Good luck with your continuing recovery, Linda. You are in my thoughts. j

  • Linda Wilson Said:
Adam. . .you always know how to make me smile. . . but if you saw my feet I'm not sure I have a best one, so I'll just keep on putting one in front of the other.

Oh, oops!

Well isn't my foot in my mouth.

Okay. Update time. Saw my orthopedic surgeon today and he is very pleased with how my knee is coming along.

I was a little discouraged because I only have about 100 degrees flexion, but he said that is more than he would expect at this time, saying it is usually only about 90 degrees after 6 weeks.

And my extension is great. Almost down to <5 degrees of flexion.

And I can now go up and down stairs with the new knee, without any support at all.

So. . . all in all, I think my doctor would agree. . . my knee is doing great!! And so are my spirits!!!

Studying is going well, and I am going to start half-day rotations with my internal med doctor in mid-May. One or two days a week. That will be the inspiration I need to stay focused on studying the rest of the time. Hoping to finish my PASS program in July. Then I have heard of a Bootcamp for boards for COMLEX, which can be done online or in a classroom. Think I’ll do the online, since PASS is classroom oriented, and that should help reinforce the osteopathic principles I need for COMLEX.

What a great year this is going to be!! And, of course, since I’ll be doing an OMM presentation at the conference, I will be brushing up on my techniques beforehand!

Wow! What a beautiful world it is!

good luck with the rotations and board prep. A friend of mine has danced his knees into the ground and needs new ones, so it’s really interesting to me to hear about your progress. Are you getting any OMM as part of your rehab?

I have to tell you, Terry, I wish I were getting some OMM. But the only doctor around here that does OMM doesn’t take insurance. . . and I’m afraid his fees just aren’t in my budget.

However, that said, I do know several techniques I can use on myself, including petrissage to help keep the swelling down. And I plan on bringing copies to the conference of techniques and positions that D.O.s can give to their patients to do on their own at home. My favorite OMM doctor back in Lewisburg has written a book with handouts that can be copied to give to patients. It’s amazing how a lot of problems can be improved by yourself if you use a doctor’s guidance and know the techniques!

Okay, for those of you who didn’t get to the conference, I figured it’s time to fill in some time gap since my last post. For those of you who were there, I want to thank you all for a really great time!

Shortly after that post, my knee became extremely hot, painful, red and swollen (y’know: calor, dolor, rubor, and edema). Anyway, my ortho doc thought it might be a post-op infection. All I could do was think, “Oh no. Not again.” So, he drew off some fluid and sent it for a gram stain and culture. If it came back positive, it was back to the OR for debriding and replacing the plastic caps that now serve as my cartilage.

The good news was, it came back perfectly clear. No growth. Normal gram stain.

The bad news. . . what the heck is it? Anyway, after about a week of trying to rest it and see if it improved (which it didn’t), I called my doctor and asked him a question I had been considering.

Since I have SLE and take steroids every day, would it be possible that there was some kind of autoimmune response to the traumatized joint. While I didn’t think that was likely, I asked him if there was any reason we couldn’t do a simple steroid injection into the joint and see if that didn’t help reduce the inflammation, thus giving the joint time to heal and solve whatever the problem was. He said he could see no reason not to, so it was off to his office for the injection. And, so far it seems to have worked. The swelling, warmth, redness and pain improved overnite.

So, the conference was my first really big trial. Anyone who was there knows I was constantly in and out, walking around talking with everyone, and having a good time. Each evening I checked my knee for redness and swelling. Each night I was pleased to see there was very little of either. On the way home (my husband and I drove, with a detour to West Virginia to return the OMM table), the knee finally began to hurt and swell. But after we got home, I tried to stay off of it as much as possible for a couple of days and it has improved greatly. I have had a little hip pain, but I think it will resolve with continued rest. The good thing is I can study sitting in my recliner, at my desk, or lying in bed with my head propped up and my computer and books at my side, so it shouldn’t slow me down in my board prep schedule.

I will be leaving for Champaign on July 6 to take the PASS program that was so rudely interrupted by pain last November. This will be the biggest trial for my knee and hips, but my husband is going along and will help me find time to rest and study. Once I get home the beginning of August, I will continue with my Bootcamp for the Boards, which is a COMLEX-based review course and then take the USMLE for the first time and repeat the COMLEX. I see no reason for not doing well on both of them. I’ll keep you all posted.

Glad to hear it, Linda! I’m impressed by your House-like deductive abilities and solutions .

Somehow, Adam, I think solving (or at least attempting to solve) a problem is easier when it’s your body concerned. Maybe that’s why House is so good at it. He certainly has enough of his own problems to deal with!

Glad to have seen you at the conference!

Linda -

I’m glad to hear that you seem to be doing better in both body and spirit. My thoughts will be with you as you move on to testing boot camp. I sincerely hope that all goes well both mentally and physically and allows you to knock the socks off of both the USMLE and COMLEX.

LOL… nicely done, Amy.