Some of you have asked how my wife’s knee is doing. A person’s joints are not normally a topic of public discussion, but my wife feels she is participating in something that could eventually result in a measure of public good.
To recap (ha!), my wife’s knees developed osteoarthritis. Having this condition is not very surprising given that it is a woman of a certain age.
We were hoping this issue would be covered under the factory warranty, but it had long since expired. We bitterly regret deleting all those emails we received touting opportunities to purchase an extended warranty.
Once it was determined that my wife’s knees were medically “cut.” we consulted an orthopedic surgeon who recommended us — surprise! – orthopedic surgery. While I thought it would be cool to pick up some new space-age gear, my wife wanted to take a more conservative approach. She asked about stem cell therapy and was referred to Dr. Herman, an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in this area.
If you go on the internet, you will find all kinds of people offering stem cell therapy for all kinds of diseases. I have spent countless hours searching for stem cell therapy that would make me look like Brad Pitt, but so far without success.
My wife went with Dr. Herman because she is conducting an FDA regulated study that was designed to measure the effects of stem cell therapy on the knees. The theory goes that when you inject refined stem cells into an affected body part, the stem cells look around, put their microscopic hands on their microscopic hips, and say, “This joint could really use a good remodel!”
Hopefully, stem cells will roll up their little sleeves and start fixing things. It’s unclear whether Stem Cells, like many contractors, has to deal with issues like material shortages, overtime pay, and those pesky OSHA inspectors.
It’s been a few months since my wife had her stem cell treatment and people ask how it’s going. It’s hard to know. My wife says she has good days and bad days, but the same could be said of almost anyone on the planet.
My wife and I recently visited Dr. Herman for a follow up exam. Dr. Herman is very kind and gentle, the kind of person you would want to assess a painful body part. In other words, she’s not the kind of doctor who exclaims, “Oh come on! It can’t hurt that bad!”
During the examination, Dr. Herman determined that part of my wife’s ongoing discomfort was due to an inflamed bursa.
“Who is this Bruce? » I demanded, “And where can I find it?” I’m going to show him how to play with my wife’s knee!
Dr. Herman patiently explained that bursae are little sacs of fluid that help reduce friction and create a cushion. In my mind, I imagined tiny beds of water bouncing near the joints of the body.
“So you’re saying this guy Bruce isn’t to blame after all,” I said. “What can we do about this… ‘this’ is what’s going on?” »
The doctor recommended injecting a steroid into the affected site.
“I’m all for making my wife feel better” I said. “But I have a question. Will the steroids make her muscles bigger? Because she almost beats me at arm wrestling like that. I think we have to consider my fragile male ego.
We were told that injecting steroids would simply dull the ongoing inflammation. It was a relief for both of us.
An electronic gadget was brought into the examination room. The doctor put a small amount of gel—it looked like Dippity-do—on my wife’s knee. By placing a wand-shaped doohickey against the gelled area, Dr. Herman could see what was happening beneath the surface.
I had seen live ultrasound images before, especially when our two sons were in the fetal stages of their lives. At the time, I couldn’t understand the squiggles and gray spots. Modern ultrasound machines have high definition images; I wouldn’t be surprised if they also feature surround sound.
I could see Dr. Herman skillfully guiding a needle to the affected spot and injecting him with dexamethasone. This should show that mean old Bruce!
The jury is still out on my wife’s stem cell therapy. And if you happen to see a guy who looks a bit like Brad Pitt, it could be me.