For the longest time I’ve had so much fluid on top of each of my knees it felt like I was storing large melons under my skin. Nothing had been working so I decided to search out a new physician. Last weekend I had the chance to meet with a rheumatologist at the University of Iowa clinics. Armored with a stack of medical records and labs an inch thick,  complete spreadsheet of my medical history, daily log of every food I’ve consumed, daily pain and inflammation notes for the past 8 months, and a few x-rays and MRI results, my wife and I set off on a new journey to find some answers. I can’t thank my loving wife enough for organizing all my records and documenting so diligently.

To my surprise we had a great experience with the specialists at the University of Iowa. Both our resident and rhuematologist took special care to study my records and history beforehand and genuinely took an interest in my puzzling case. They spent 3 hours with us, testing, asking questions and analyzing fluid from my knees during the visit. Over the next several months I will be trying a few new prescriptions (sulfasalazine, low-dose predinsone, hydroxychloroquine), thankfully with less severe side effects to see if my swelling will subside. After draining the fluid from my effusions, the docs gave me a cortisone injection in both knees. Needless to say they’ve felt so much better ever since. My right knee is doing great while the left still is a little full and painful to bend. We’ll see what happens when the steroid wears off, but for now workouts have been so much easier and I’ve even been able to regain some leg strength from aqua therapy.

Over the next few months I hope to get results from new x-rays, an MRI and lab tests to find out if we can narrow down a possible diagnosis. Until then, I’m going to enjoy my legs while I have the chance!