Laughing at the Pain

Okay, so this level of pain is no laughing matter, but those who have experienced it may just get a laugh from Dave Farmer’s description of his SI joint dysfunction pain. I have included a copied version of the article in case he decides to discontinue his blog post for some reason. If you enjoy the read, please stop by Dave Farmer’s website and leave him a note. (Please excuse the profanity)

What a pain in the hip!

UM…REALLY? I MUST BE SUPERMAN BY NOW!

Um…really? I must be Superman by now!

As a writer I used to spend long periods of time sat down. Years ago I could sit at my PC for hours, all night sometimes, writing away, enjoying the sights and sounds of Imaginationland. But now I can barely stand to be seated (LOL) for more than 2 hours because of the agony burning away in my hip. And sadly it’s getting worse, which for me is a real bitch.

I thought I’d share my story of pain with you, dear blog reader, not for sympathy or anything as selfish as that, but because no matter how much it hurts I’ll always be smiling, cracking a joke or two and pushing on with the day-to-day stuff. And although my personal battle with pain isn’t pleasant I know there are way more people in the world with serious problems.

Even though my hip hates me I try to turn a grimace into a grin and ignore it.

But now the pain has turned into agony.

I don’t have an Owie, Ouchy or a Hurtie.

This has now become a: “bloodyhellthat’sgoddamnedpainfulallofasudden!”

This started about 12 months ago. A slight twinge in my left inner thigh. I figured I’d strained a muscle so I took it easy for a while and the pain went away. But then I started to get constant pain in my left hip, sort of at the top of my leg, but deep inside. No inflammation or tell-tale visual sign that something was wrong, just a dull ache.

Stupidly, I adopted the attitude of: “Me man. Me no need doctor. Me go hunt. Rargh!” I didn’t bother to see a doctor for months. Not until my left leg stopped working. Well, not entirely, but I’d be walking and suddenly I’d feel my left leg go, like it wasn’t attached to my body. Just for a second. I’d catch hold of something to steady myself, wince, grimace, curse, and then it was gone.

Oh, hi pain, thanks for stopping by.

I saw the doctor in the end because the pain was getting worse. I had an x-ray. Nothing to indicate any injury. So I went to see a physiotherapist. She was nice. Smiled a lot. Showed genuine empathy. She twisted my legs all over the place. I didn’t mind…much. Not until the pain made me cry out. Not ashamed to say I yelped as she bent and pulled my leg. It bloody hurt and I told her so. She was actually pleased I did. It showed her there was clearly pain there.

Diagnosis…very vague.

She suggested, or rather hinted, that it could be arthritis, though given my age she didn’t think it was likely. Perhaps some muscle damage that could be  sorted through exercise. So she gave me a sheet with drawings on showing various exercises – move left leg over right leg, hold, move back – stand up, raise left leg up, bend knee, hold, move back….and so on.

I followed them. Every day. The idea was that the routine should loosen up the muscles in my leg.

I’m pretty sure they’ve done eff all to help my pain.

At work I’m an active chap. I’m a Human Resources Administrator and whilst I do sit at a PC I’m also up and about a lot, walking, climbing stairs, moving about all day.

I used to be pretty lazy, and overweight, but not now. I’ve lost 8 stone in about 2 years, and still have a couple more to go before I reach my optimal weight. Funny thing is I haven’t really tried. No Weight Watchers for me. I cut back on the junk and stopped eating large meals and pursued a more active lifestyle.

I guess being overweight for a long time hasn’t helped my joints much.

Hindsight sucks the big one wouldn’t you agree dear blog reader?

Pain threshold stuff.

I like to think I have a high pain threshold. I seldom take much notice of cuts or bruises. Though I don’t fancy giving child-birth a try…all that stretching, no thanks. Ladies, you are nothing short of Goddesses in my eyes.

My hip hurts all the time now. Right at the top, inside. And it’s got worse. Now my right hip/top of leg hurts. The pain stretches right across from left to right, to the point where I think my junk is going fall off! It comes and goes though. At best it’s a dull ache or a throb. At worst it’s an intense searing pain, like some evil little demon is inserting red-hot needled between my joints.

Yesterday I woke up with a runny nose, sore throat, headache etc. It’s very rare that I catch a virus. I reckon I have a solid immune system. However, this nasty little bug has weedled its way into my joints. My body aches all over and my hips…oh Jesus, that’s just not funny.

I lay down. Nice comfy sofa or bed. Pain still there.

I stand up. Yep, that’s much worse.

I walk around. Strangely this is okay for a while.

I hardly slept a wink last night as I constantly battled for a position that didn’t feel like I was on fire.

Enough is enough.

I’ve made an appointment to see the doctor. I tend not to take pain killers until it becomes unbearable, but recently I’ve taken more than usual. And even then they don’t do much, they take the edge off but it’s still there, grinning flames of pain in my hip.

On the box of pills, Ibrupofen mainly, it says not to take more than 8 tablets in 24 hours. That’s okay. I pop a couple in the morning to get me through the working day, and take a 2 more in the evening.

But that can’t be good for you can it?

Despite what the adverts say: “Targets pain fast!” or “Gets right to the root of the pain!” That’s bullshit. The drugs aren’t smart. They simply do something in your brain to tell it not to feel the pain. Okay, they may reduce swelling etc, but they don’t solve the issue. I worry about the long-term effects of taking that sort of medication will have on my body.

I’ve just taken a break after 38 minutes of writing this post.

Had to get up and walk around. Jesus I feel like a 97-year-old. Just getting out the chair was tough.

Bummer.

Internet-based diagnosis.

I’m sure you’ve been there at some point – searching through the internet for symptoms relating to whatever ails you. I guess you can get lucky and pin point exactly the cause of your illness. But it’s also very easy to find that what you thought was a mild case of [insert pain here] could in fact be Mad Fungal Brain Disease or Severe Death Syndrome.

I’ve tested my symptoms though. Take a look.

Sitting too long – painful.

Walking too long – painful.

One after the other in short bursts – kinda fine.

If I walk around after sitting the pain eases. And if I’ve been walking around a lot, say a long day shopping, and I sit down for a bit, the pain demon shows up with his red-hot needles. What a bastard.

However, I have read through lots of websites about hip pain and I keep coming back to the word arthritis. That bothers me. I don’t want arthritis. If arthritis was an actual person I’d be punching his face in right now.

That dude can keep the fuck away from me!

But after hours of internet diagnosis that nasty arthritis demon keeps grinning at me.

Pain and writing.

This is a serious inconvenience for me. I love writing. But the pain demon doesn’t. Last years NaNoWriMo was a blast – I loved the word sprints on Twitter, the long hours watching the words whoosh across the screen, keeping in touch with fellow Wrimo’s. It was ace.

NaNo this year has been very mixed. I’ve been trying to finish the latest edit of The Range, and find time to write my NaNo project. And all the time the pain demon is sticking his needles in me. It derails my train through Imaginationland so often I shout at the screen.

“STUPID PAIN! JUST FUUUUUUUUUCK OFF!”

Take today for example. My day off. Bit of a cold. Feeling under the weather. After a groggy morning I felt a little better and thought I’d work through the last chapter of The Range. 30 minutes later I gave up. The pain demon made damn sure my concentration was shot to shit every time I sat down.

Any advice?

I was planning to rant on for a little while longer but I’ll cut it short for now. I need another break before my hip disintegrates or explodes or something.

I won’t know the reason why the pain demon is so interested in my hips until I see the doctor again, or after a scan or whatever it is that needs doing. Even then if I am diagnosed with arthritis there doesn’t seem to be a cure. Another bummer.

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