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Mackenzie Newman

Jackie Burr, Instructor

English 2010, Section 4

12 March 2019

All I Feel Is Pain

Laying on a thin cold table, encased in a large metal machine that continually made a

dreadful sound that blasted through my eardrums. The soundproof headphones I was wearing did

close to nothing to help protect against the noise. Staring at the picture of a tropical view posted

on the ceiling, I thought that this was the solution I was searching for. That this MRI would

finally help me figure out what was wrong with my knee, yet the thousands of dollars was not

worth it as the doctor claimed nothing was wrong. I was angry. No doctor was able to tell me

how to fix my injury, I thought to myself, “If nothing is wrong, then why do I feel so much


My family is very active, considering that we each participate in a different sport. It is

rare to find a day when none of us have work, practice, or a game. Although we love our

athletics, it brings along a lot of injuries. My parents and I regularly go to see a sports clinic

doctor, as well as a sports masseuse and a chiropractor. I have visited these doctor's offices so

many times I would need more than just my fingers and toes to keep track of them. All of this is

because of a terrible knee injury; an injury of which none of these doctors can understand the

cause of it or how to fix it.

It was the summer of 2018 at the Junior Olympics water polo tournament. My team

had to play a total of seven games in three days. As the goalie of the team, I was treading for the
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entirety of each of these games, with four quarters per game at a length of six minutes each. My

knee began to ache more and more each game. At the end of the last game, my team had to drag

me out of the water. My knee was immobilized. As soon as I got home, my mom took me to see

the doctor. Unsure of what the specific injury was, the orthopedic specialist prescribed me with

an oral steroid called Dexamethasone with the hopes of bringing down the inflammation and

make the pain stop. The pills did nothing to help the pain and only minimally reduced the

swelling. On my next visit, the doctor suggested a Cortisone shot that would stop the pain and

the swelling. My father had received one in his knee, and my mother had 2 in her hip. “That shot

worked miracles for your father and me. Our pain was almost completely taken away when we

got our shots,” my mom explained to me. I decided with my parents' advice and planned to get

the shot within a few weeks.

Nervous on getting this shot, I looked up information on the subject. I learned that this

shot and others like it had become the cause of many uproars and arguments throughout the

world. I learned organizations such as the NCAA and the Olympic games committee have

numerous articles published on the subject. This shot, if administered incorrectly, can cause

issues such as joint infection, nerve damage, osteoporosis, or death to nearby skin cells. Even

when administered correctly, the numbing of the area can cause worsening of the injury due to

improper use of the joint or muscle since the patient would not be able to feel it. Sometimes

when this steroid gets injected into a patient, it didn't help and was wasted when put into their

bloodstream. All this scared me. First of all, I am deathly afraid of needles. Second of all, I was

worried that this shot would cause more or worse problems for my family and me. Not to

mention each shot is hundreds of dollars for a few ounces of fluid. None of this even seemed
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worth it to me. Why would I do all of this for just a chance of removing the pain? I may not have

thought it was worth the risk, but a lot of people believe the cost and risks are worth being

relieved of the pain and with the hope that it will help heal the injury. I decided to go along with

what my parents suggested and take a chance: I was going to put the steroid in my knee.

As I went along with the shot, I thought that this was it. Everyone told me it would

remove the pain and that I would no longer have to deal with the ache in my knee. When my

mom took me to get the shot, I laid on a cold table wearing a pair of uncomfortable shorts. With

the help of an ultrasound, the doctor injected the cortisone into my knee. “This is it,” I thought,

“within a few days I would no longer have this burden of a knee.”

The shot didn't help me. Even with everyone telling me that this pain, this limitation

would be gone, it was still here. I remembered that when I looked up information on Cortisone

shots, it said that they don't always work. “I knew it wasn't worth it!” I growled at my mom. My

mother had just wasted $400 on a shot to my knee that did nothing; I was furious. Why do they

have these shots, these enzymes that are supposed to heal an injury that cost a fortune, if they

don't even work? As time went by we stopped visiting the doctor and began to ignore the issue of

throbbing pain in my knee the best that we could. My swim season came, and I could handle the

pain, I had my limitations, but it didn't stop me from doing what I loved. Then slowly the pain

began to get worse. My mother and I decided it was time to try something different. We went to

yet another visit to the orthopedic specialist, and he suggested an MRI to solve this mystery once

and for all. Going to the hospital, I entered a room, laid on a cold table and got the MRI. While

waiting for the results I began to question, “why can’t any of these doctors seem to figure out

what was wrong with me, but now with this test and scan of my knee I will finally know the
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answer.” I was going to be able to return to the water polo; the sport that I loved. I wish that were

the case.

A few days later I walked into the doctor's office, and he asked me to sit down. He gave a

faint smile as he proceeded to say with a hesitant smile, “tell me where the pain is on your

knee?” I pointed to the inner side of my right knee just below the knee cap. “Right here,” I said

confused. He laughed, then smiled and said, “The MRI only showed some cracked cartilage on

the outer side of your knee. Nothing is wrong with that area of your knee.”There was nothing

wrong with my knee. Nothing! He began to list off all the options at this point, but I couldn't hear

a thing. I zoned out confused and frustrated that there was supposedly nothing wrong. Then why

is it that all I feel is pain? I turned to my mom, “What do we do?” She then replied with

hesitation in her voice, “It's up to you.” I decided not to get another shot because it didn't work

last time. Why would I get another injection that was $400 and did nothing for me? Confused I

began to question, why do doctors stand by this steroid? Why do people think the money is

worth the chance of it getting wasted? Would I ever be able to find a cure for my continuous

pain? With all of this drama, I wonder to myself, how many people have gone through the same

issues as me?