Until I experienced it, I never really gave a thought to what chronic pain was, is or meant to the person in pain. You don’t though do you? Until your body starts to let you down that is.
Chronic Pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment.
What does chronic pain mean to me?
Well, I suppose I should explain where my pain is. Having had an xray, mri and arthroscopy on my hip, it was discovered that I have degenerative osteoarthritis, a labral tear and a cyst in the hip joint and it means I am in pain all of the bloody time. I can only describe it as a very sharp pain that starts in my hip joint and shoots down as far as my knee. When “it goes” I feel like my Sindy doll when I accidentally yanked her leg out of joint and have to kind of manoeuvre myself to get it to feel ok again, so I have come to the conclusion it’s a nerve based pain. Poor Sindy, it’s no wonder she sat staring at me murderously from the shelf of an evening is it? It’s only cos my Mum bought her a pony I’m alive and writing this at all, I’m sure.
My pain started 11 years ago when pregnant with my 2nd child and went downhill quite gradually i’d say up until the last year or 2 when it just got worse by the week. I tried getting fitter by attempting couch to 5k and that was the end of that, now I can barely walk round the block never mind jog.
How does it affect my life?
Instead of being concerned about the size of my arse in the face of the person behind me when I bend over, now I’m just screaming in pain. I can’t put socks on, I can’t wear shoes that involve any kind of buckles or shoelaces as I’d have to ask for help I can’t cross my legs to sit on the mat for quiet time ( I jest of course but I have tried physio and yoga and both leave me sobbing and unable to walk) and I can’t do that thing that my fella wants to do on a Friday night when he’s had a few pints (hey – my Dad might read it!)
I can’t climb up mountains or run after my kids, I struggle to walk for any length of time and I know that when I really push myself I will certainly pay for it later in the evening and the next day. The thing that hurts most is getting up from a seated position and regularly have to hold on to something as I get up until my hip joint decides to work again and getting in and out of the car is sickening. All of this of course also affects my mental health, I’ve written about my anxiety before and I’m sure being in pain also heightens the feelings of anxiety. I am also aware of how much of a moaning bastard I sound and people I’m sure are sick of it. I do have a good friend network but they are powerless to help me.
Some nights I go to bed and hope I won’t wake up in the morning because it means I have to do it all over again the next day. I haven’t slept properly for a long time and I’m in a permanent fog like when I had a newborn.
What have I tried to ease it?
- Fenbid gel
- Cocodamol 8/500
- Cocodamol 30/500
- Heat packs
- Ice packs
- CBD oil
I am currently on Amitriptyline in the evenings and am in the early stages of taking Gabapentin alongside paracetamol. I have no idea whether this will help but to be honest I have lost all faith in anything helping me I have been in pain for so long.
Who knows what will happen? Who knows why I wrote this post? I guess I was hoping it would be kind of cathartic but I’m not really sure it has been, I suppose I’m hoping that by writing about it there may be other people out there in the same boat (not that I would wish pain on anyone) I have been attempting to lose weight as I am overweight but so far it’s made no difference whatsoever. I was due to have a hospital appointment with a consultant on March 30th but Covid put paid to that and I imagine that it will be some time before I get to the top of the list again. We’ll see what the future holds…