A good old moan
There are times when I just can't be bothered taking photographs. When commenting on other people's is just too much for me. When going to the shops or just going up or down stairs is more than I can face. When I was young and busy my idea of heaven was to recline on a sofa and read all day, every day. Well, they say be careful what you wish for. Here I am with exactly what I dreamed of and, like the old woman who lived in a vinegar bottle, I'm not happy.
It's about ten years now since I developed osteoarthritis and getting on for six since I had a knee replacement. One of my friends had two knee replacements at about the same time and is skipping up and downstairs like a spring lamb. Me ? I've been in continuous pain since the operation. My walking is marginally better but the amount of pain I am in is worse.
My record with hospitals is pretty poor. An elbow operation went wrong twice so I didn't have high hopes for the knee. No doubt I should have gone back at the beginning but I kept away. I used a good local physiotherapist instead. Last year however I got so fed up I went back to see the consultant or, at least, one of his team. My knee was X-rayed, checked for infection and I was told that all was well there were no problems. We went over what I was doing, exercises etc. but I was already doing all they would suggest. Painkillers came up but quickly faded away when I said that most didn't work for me and the remainder made me sick. I was told that 25% of people who have knee replacements get no benefit and a second knee replacement doesn't help.
So there I am stuck on the sofa reading books. I do exercises, I walk. I try to increase the distance very gradually and slowly. This works for a while then overnight, I'm in severe pain and back to the beginning. Swimming is a disaster it takes weeks to recover from. Don't mention cycling. Gardening hurts. Even using a sewing machine. I'm beginning to feel that going on holiday is a waste of money as I am so limited in what I can do and where I can go. It's the same with photography.
Compared to some I know I am lucky. I'm not hard up. I can drive. I'm not completely disabled. My heart goes out to those who are. What difficulties they face.
My difficulty I think is refusing to adapt. Friends say I am like a terrier. When any problem arises I sink my teeth in and worry at it until I've pulled it apart. I don't let go. This time I think I need to let go. But I'm not sure if I can.
The latest knee episode was five weeks ago and is the worst yet. So far there's no improvement. The only walking is round the supermarket leaning on a trolley. And I've been forced to realise I don't know what to do. Throughout my life I've pretty well always had a plan.
Nevertheless I'm surprisingly cheerful. I'm using a kitchen timer to remind me to get up and move around the house regularly. Gardening is being done in little ten minute sessions. A bit of hand sewing too. And I'm waiting. Waiting to see what happens and for a new direction to reveal itself. Maybe the time for a change has come.


Amelia said:

There is nothing like continual pain for lowering the spirits, Jean, and you have my sympathy Everything seems dark and hopeless, and one wonders to oneself, "Why bother?"
But your last paragraph shows that you still have the fighting spirit of a terrier, so keep using that kitchen timer, and laugh when you feel like crying. Above all, walk in the garden, ignore the weeds and place lots of chairs around the place. Use the other senses you have, listen to the birds, smell the flowers and enjoy the beauty around you. And use your car to get you out and about with that lovely camera you have.
7 years ago

Jean replied to Amelia:

Thanks Amelia for your kind words. They do help.
7 years ago

Pam J said:

Dear Jean.....

You know I am in the same place with the knee op and so i DO understand.

Pain..... same place overall since I was 13.... till the point you just decide to Hell with it and take back your life. I dont know what it is to be without pain .. spine/hips/knees/wrists/hands

Way too many ops that have also "gone wrong".

PLEASE know you are allowed to rant !!!!!

You have wonderful spirit and you are fighting this all with that spirit. That is what taking back your life is about.

Amelia is correct... just make more provisions.... more places to rest.. and the pain.... over the years I have learned to stop fighting it.... you mentally have to let it flow... imagine it flowing away... let your mind sink it.

No... it isnt a cure... but it seems if you stop fighting the pain..and float with it..... it stop fighting you.

Also.. personally i would get a second opinion.... see a different Consultant... and also ask to see a pain management specialist. PT is NOT NOT NOT the answer in some cases...

You are entitled to more opinions... look for both of those for a start.

7 years ago

Rabbitroundtheworld said:

Jean, I didn't read this at the time, so apologies for coming to it late. I'm so sorry to hear about your health problems. What a frustration for you. We don't live very far from each other so if you ever wanted to meet up - to show me some of your favourite places around where you live, or your garden - I would be delighted to do so.

I love seeing your photos and reading your comments, there is such perceptiveness and wisdom in both. Wishing you all the very best for this coming year.

M and Rabbit xxx
6 years ago