In December 2010 I had a fall and fell on my knee. An x ray showed no bones broken, and I was told that there was ligament damage. So it was pain killers and rest. Over the next six months, my knee got steadily worse, the pain was terrible to say the least, and my knee and surrounding area was filling with fluid. I could barely bend it. Walking was painful and difficult and so were stairs. I had had two visits to the hospital and they said it was definitely ligament damage and to carry on with the pain killers, and there were many I tried.
After six months it was no better in fact it was getting worse, my knee was getting more and more painful and the swelling was even more. The doctor decided it was time to see the consultant again.
At last I went for an MRI scan. This showed that I had arthritis in my knee cap and the fall had made it worse. There were also cysts in my knee, due to the fall he tells me.
The treatment was firstly for me to have a cortisone injection directly into the knee. I wasn't happy about that because I'd had one a few years ago in my foot and it caused nerve damage.
I've always had problems with medication. I was the one at school, when we has injections, who had the bright red golf ball on her arm for at least a week. A few years ago I had root canal surgery done. The dentist filled the root space using whatever it is, then I ended up like a crazed person for about 36 hours, I couldn't keep still. It was awful. "Oh you must be one of the two in every hundred it affects then!" was what my dentist said. Thanks for that!! Never again!
Anyway, the consultant said not to worry because it's different in knees and arms. I believed him, and boy did I suffer the consequences! Three weeks of excruciating pain on top of my already painful knee, I saw him again to see what was nest, the upshot was, he wasn't going to do the athroscopy because it would make it worse in the long run and a knee replacement was a no no ,so I was sent to physio.
That was fun! I was put on a cycling machine. Bear in mind that my knee could barely bend, and it was so fat with fluid I could have screamed. I couldn't do it. My instructions from the physio was to go back to the consultant and to tell him, that for this exercise to do any good he had to remove the cysts.
I relayed to the consultant what the physio had said, and the answer was, "no I can't, it will make it worse". I asked him what about the fluid, it was getting worse and it was so uncomfortable? The consultants answer was "No idea!" Well you're the expert, I was screaming in my head!
I am not a wimp, never have been. I've spent almost all my working life in jobs where I'm standing, moving about all day. Lifting, carrying etc, and now I was feeling useless, and putting weight on with getting no exercise and not being able to get out and about.
"I know, we'll send to to the pain clinic" was the answer. Well I'd had so many types of painkillers and most of them has almost poisoned me. One of them I think it was Gabapentin or something like that was really bad. I took one and thought I was having a coronary. My heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest! No thanks, no more!
I waited five months for this ( urgent) appointment. When I saw the "expert" he said and these are his exact words..... " You are in your 50's now, you don't have to live like a 16 year old. Go and relax, take paracetamol, don't stop taking them, and use your Tens machine 24 hours a day if you have to. Sit and do nothing".................
That was really helpful, don't you think?
I didn't take his advice, who in their right mind would? After spending that evening crying, not only with pain, but anger too, I took the bull by the horns and did my own research.If they thought that I was going to live like this for the rest of my life then they were mistaken! Oh I must add, I did have 5 sessions at the hospital, at the acupuncture clinic. That was interesting, the nurse may just as well have been throwing darts. After the second session, she said, " I don't know why you've bothered to come back, it's obviously not helping!" I was told to try it, so I did. It was a waste of time!
Well, I spent six months finding everything I could about exercise and fitness training, read everything I could about arthritis and ligament damage. It paid off. Last May (May 2012) I bought a second hand one of these.
.....not exactly the same but very similar. Anyway I thought I would give it six months and by that time if there was no change, then I would get rid of it.
I could only manage about 2 or 3 minutes at first, but I did it. There's very little impact on the knees you see.
Over the next six months I built up my time on it, a bit each day. After a month I was beginning to see a difference, by six months the fluid was going down and I had more flexiblity in my knee. By January this year I could manage an hour no problem. The fluid in my knee has gone and the muscles are stonger. Not only that, but I've lost almost 6 inches around my hips and thighs. Because I was now getting proper exercise my weight had changed too. I never was a big eater and I don't have a sweet tooth, although I do like a treat or two. I had lost 20 lbs by March. Was I feeling good? You bet!
I had to visit my doctor a few weeks ago. I told him everything I'd done and also asked him why couldn't the people who know(?) have given me this advice instead of me having to find out myself. After all they are supposed to be the experts! " I don't know", was his reply, but he did say to me, "What you have achieved in the last 12 months is amazing". I was so pleased with myself and told him that I had still more I was going to do.
Well now I can now put these back on.....
..... and it's wonderful! But, I have something else too. I've now no need for my glider and have passed it on to someone else. A few weeks ago, after yet again, doing research into "equipment" I bought one of these....
....it's a magnetic and weighted hula hoop. I did laugh at some of the reviews which people had put when they'd bought one ( and sent back it seems) when I was researching. Someone had put, " It's heavy" ( yes, it says 1.5 kilos) " I used it once, and it hurts so I sent it back" ( yes, it does say it will hurt slightly and you will get bruised until you are used to it.
I hadn't "hooped" since primary school and I was utterly useless then, but it wasn't going to stop me from trying. So I purchased one. I told myself I would give it 3 months and if I still couldn't "hoop" after that time, I would again pass it on to someone who wanted it.
The first two weeks I tried for about 15 minutes every day. I was still totally useless at it. I couldn't keep the hoop going at all, and by the end of the week I was bruised. (It looked like I'd been in a fight) but it didn't hurt that much. The second week I could manage a few revolutions and then it dropped to the floor. "Keep going, don't stop", was my motto. By the third week I could hoop, "yes!" (sorry, that's the 16 year old in me!
and to date I can do over 1000 revolutions without it falling. And yes, I do count them. I've had it for a few weeks now and I'm getting more flexible and the best thing is that I've lost THREE inches from my waist.
I am 28 lbs lighter than I was a year ago, I'm fitter, my knee is stronger.( I still have something which moves inside it and it can cause some dreadful pain.) So I'm careful. The doctor asked if I wanted it investigating, I declined. I think I'll manage, thanks!
I still have treats.....
......and will do so occasionally.
All my family can see such a difference in me, and it makes me feel good. The best thing is I'm down tow dress sizes too. I'm happy with what I've achieved and all it took was time to research what I needed to know. If it hadn't have worked then I would have tried something else. I am disappointed that the people who should have been able to help, couldn't, and gave me the wrong advice, (for me). I've always been active and want to carry on being so. I may be a 57 year old grandma, but elastic stockings and comfy chairs for the rest of my life, there won't be!!!
Get out there, do your research, and go for it, carefully, at first, but you'll get there. Trust me!