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I am 44 years old, Married to Sean for 19 years and have 3 lovely children Hope is 14, Jack is 10 and Joe is 5.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

The Eve of the Rest of my Life?

This is exactly what it feels like. Tomorrow morning I will visit the orthopaedic specialist (the 3rd I have had to consult over this matter) for the results of an MRA (Magnetic Resonance Arthrogram) where dye is injected via a needle guided under x-ray, into the joint space, followed by a scan. 3 years ago following Joe's birth, I was diagnosed with a tear in the labrum (hip socket cartilage). This was suspected before I got pregnant with him but unable to be diagnosed due to the risk of having x-rays and scans during pregnancy. The specialist omitted to tell me it would be advisable to have a C-section so as not to aggravate the injury.

The most worrying thing is the tear is in my hip on my 'sound' side i.e. my non-amputated side :-/ The prospect of any sort of surgery on the leg I rely on ALL the time, on my ONLY leg quite frankly worries me sick. All sorts of questions like 'how will I weight bear on my prosthesis?' 'will I need to use my chair all the time?' 'How will I get the kids to and from school?' dart round in my head, so much so I just want to bury my head in the sand.

Living with chronic pain REALLY gets you down at times and it's hard to get yourself motivated to do anything, so the reality is you just 'fire fight' and keep your head just above water. You are shattered all the time, yet can't sleep, whether it's the actual pain, phantom pain or just the worry. My brain can feel wired at 2 in the morning! You snap at those close to you without meaning to and forget lots of things!

Referred pain becomes worse than the 'actual' pain...knee, shin, ankle. But everything is breaking down because it can't take the strain. Persistent 'tennis elbow' - ha if only it was caused by taking part in something so fun! Nope....using crutches and sometimes a wheelchair for over 20 years is why!

Then there's the guilt. Trying to be thankful for what I have, when the people around me are being diagnosed with and treated for cancer, needing transplants or having to bury their children. It's a vicious circle where you end up in a downward spiral; too tired and in too much pain to exercise, then feeling lethargic for not exercising. Feeling down so eating junk, then putting on weight and feeling even worse.

It's at times like these it's hard not to feel bitter or resentful about being wrongly diagnosed and all the unnecessary treatment I received. Because the reality is I JUST WANT TO GET ON! I really want to have the strength and energy to play with the children and do my job without hurting. I don't want to walk into the playground and have someone say 'You look shattered' or comment on how they've noticed I'm limping 'worse than usual' or 'not walking so well'. Don't people realise I KNOW?! I want to be spontaneous and not have to plan everything with military precision.

Despite what's happened I've always tried to pick myself up and carry on, yet it feels increasingly hard to do so. I have tried so hard to learn to run again and have achieved it, progressing to doing my first (short!) triathlon this summer, which gave me a huge sense of achievement. That now feels like it will be swiped away from me again, as not only should I not run right now, I can't.

In order to attempt to repair the tear they have to traction both legs, which becomes tricky when you only have one! The first specialist made me feel like a real 'problem' and made it clear he wouldn't really touch me with a barge pole. The second saw me as a 'challenge' and to give him his dues, was looking in to all ways to achieve it. The third, well he seems very genuine, not so phased by the 'challenge' I present, not wanting to rush into anything, very thorough and respectful of the fact that I may find it hard to put my trust in Doctors!!

So in a few hours time I will find out whether he thinks he can attempt the repair or I am heading on a roller coaster ride towards hip replacement, only to be put off for as long as possible with steroid jabs. The course of my life could change forever. My Mum had numerous hip and knee replacements over the years and I saw how she suffered, it's hard to remember the times when she didn't.

Please pray/send positive vibes/give me cake; whatever you believe in, as your support is, as always HUGELY appreciated.

I am not, and never have been looking for sympathy, merely understanding, Writing this blog helps me empty my head of the jumbled worries and straighten them out as much as possible.