My knee has been a long struggle. Back in 2017 I moved to China from South Africa for work and had become an English Teacher.
During my first job I had very strenuous activities and demonstration classes and had to use my knees alot: fall onto the floor, jump, move quickly and run. One night in class in December of 2017 I squatted to be eye level with one of my kindergarten students. Something clicked and snapped in my knee and it was so painful and I could not walk properly or go down on my knees again. This started everything, my big battle with the Chinese Medical system.
Throughout the time period of December 2017 up to July 2018, no doctor wanted to look at my knee, do a proper examination or help in any way. Each time I would go back due to the pain and difficulty and swelling, only to be in front of a new random doctor, a doctor looking at me saying 'it's not broken, nothing is wrong' and one doctor even telling me I am lying about my pain and the swelling (when he did not even look or touch my knee).
In June 2018, we finally got them to send me to an MRI - which states meniscus tear in the anterior horn and fluid in my joint cavity with swelling in the tendon. This resulted in the doctor saying an operation and I should come back next day to discuss. He showed us on the MRI scan where it was. Next day I come back, the doctor is busy but I should go to another doctor to discuss - that new doctor said I was wrong and nothing is wrong and left me crying in the hospital. So I decided to find the original doctor again, wanting to talk with him and once we found him, he agreed with his colleague and nothing was wrong (I could barely walk and the swelling and pain, my knee clicked constantly and would give in completely at times).
I gave up, decided to pack everything (put my job in jeopardy and my life in China) and fly back to South Africa to get my knee looked at. I took everything, all the MRI's and notes. The doctor in South Africa said he did not think it was a meniscus tear, but the kneecap was out of alignment and scraping away at the femur and only way to heal this was through physical therapy. Once at the physical therapist, I had already lost 60% of muscle in my leg with the injury and pain of not being able to walk properly. He gave me plans and routines to follow because there was no fix, just to train the other muscles to carry the knee. I continued with the therapist, it helped with a bit of pain control but the swelling was only getting worse, I still could not walk properly or squat or climb stairs. At the end of the days it would be really bad, but told myself it will take time to get better. So I went back to China end of August, believing everything will be okay and get better...
But the swelling never got better only worse, there were painful nights and days of not being able to walk... At this point my knee had taken my life away. I could not do anything because I had to rest my knee, my weekends I would just sit at home because walking too long got really painful and my knee would look like two knees mushed together. But I kept trying, kept believing.
And it did not get better. I tried to live with it, accept it and starting thinking everything is in my head. I did not want to go back to another doctor and end up in tears. Until May 2019, I went away with my friends and fiance, trying to be normal and explore and walk and within two days I was immobile. It got so painful I was slumping my legs and feet to try and walk without each step being excruciating. When we got back I just cried for the whole day, not knowing what to do or what to say. It had been two years of struggle and pain.
So I decided to go back to the doctor. Try a new hospital and new doctor. He was not a specialist but send me for a new MRI and to a specialist here in China and showed the exact same as the previous MRI from 2018 and the doctor needs to do an arthroscopy, fix it and remove it the fluid. It was heartbreaking to find out it should have been fixed a year ago, when I almost lost everything to go back to my country and have it fixed.
I am not on any medical aid and the doctor says it will cost up to 6 000 USB for the operation, thus I am only asking for a bit of help with the payment. I am a normal girl, who would love to have her life back and not be kept because of my knee. It's been controlling my life, it's been a struggle and a fight to get here and there has been so much tears and times where I lost complete hope because nobody wanted to help me, nobody wanted to take a look at my knee.
All I want is my knee better and I have the doctor who will help me. Now I need to afford it.