CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Hip, hip, hoo(x-)ray ...

Eight years ago - it was September 2001, when the now middle-aged kittehs were still only around 6 months old I was taking a couple of them to the vet. With a full cat basket in each hand, the dog attached to my wrist on a lead and my handbag over my shoulder ... it had been drizzling and I slipped on the wet concrete slope leading out of the house. Not having any hands left free to save myself, I came down with an almighty, loud and VERY painful *CRACK* flat on my arse.

For ages afterwards, I could hardly move and was in excruciating pain, but I was too hurt to be able to drive, or get the bus to see a doctor, so I could only wait for the pain to subside.

It never did get better completely and I was left with a clicking and clunking in my right hip joint, which constantly gets stiff and achy, but at least in Tenerife's climate, the pain was only really bothersome on the couple of days a month when there was a significant amount of rain.

However, since I've been stuck the UK, I've been in really severe pain 24/7/365 - like having a permanent "gnawing toothache" - in my hip. It never goes away and often keeps me awake. It's totally distracting and is so bad that it often makes me cry, wince, sweat and feel nauseous.

It hurts to put weight on the leg and hip and the pain is made worse by walking even short distances. I can't stand on it, I can't even sit on it comfortably and even lying down, I have to place my leg in very specific positions in order to make it just bearably comfortable.

I've spent all these years teaching myself NOT to limp and to resist any temptation to place more weight on the left hip in compensation, lest I cause more trouble (so, of course, it doesn't *LOOK* like anything is wrong), but the pain also refers right down my leg, thigh, knee and to my ankle and foot. All of those joints and muscles hurt on both sides anyway, but the right side suffers worse.

A year ago, I mentioned this to my GP, who merely suggested I bring it up with the Rheumatologist to whom I was referred for my fibromyalgia diagnosis, which I certainly did, but they did not carry out any specific examinations or tests on it either.

Meanwhile, none of the drugs I've tried ever does anything whatsoever to relieve the pain and the effects on it from my TENS machine are only minimal and "while it lasts". Warmer "summer" (which in the UK, of course, just means "the even wetter season") weather did nothing whatsoever to help any of my symptoms, so I've been way past the end of my tether with it for months.

Of course, this could just be the fibromyalgia having switched the pain switch on and isn't letting the pain switch, switch back off again. These symptoms (I have all of the ones listed here) are typical of the commonly overlapping condition, Myofascial Pain Syndrome (or MPS), but then again, it could indicate something else. If it did, that might mean that some treatment is available.

When something hurts this bad, for this long, if nothing else, it would be a jolly good idea to know that I'm not doing myself some permanent damage.

The GP did say that I couldn't have broken my hip - partly because I'm not old enough (I laughed at this backhanded compliment), but also because I wouldn't have been able to put weight on it. Oh really? Do a cursory search on Google and you'll find numerous cases like this: GP failed to spot broken hip eight times, where the wounded appear still to be walking.

It would be better to find some damage that can be fixed, because if it does turn out to be the fibromyalgia and/or Myofascial Pain Syndrome, then the pain isn't ever going to get any better and it's going to continue to resist medication. Suicide starts looking like the best effective remedy.

So, finally this week, I decided to get assertive and ask the GP again to refer me to have this specifically investigated and I was asked if I'd like it x-rayed. Yes, I would. This was done yesterday and the results, I'm told, should be available in 2 weeks (... as I've waited this long.)

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