I was gone but hadn't forgotten the blog, I kept going to update and I've even had loads of ideas for blog posts (as always still open to requests). If I'm honest, and as you know I'm always as honest as it's possible to be in my posts, it's been a bit of a crappy time and every time I've tarted to write, it's not felt right.
So, last time I wrote it was my birthday and I had broken my foot for the second time. After my birthday I was feeling a bit weird anyway. You know the kind of weird that comes with birthdays; the taking stock/vague panic about what you should be doing/feel of needing to make changes. Especially due to the fact that this was my last birthday in my 20's. That was going on, then I got a nasty bout of food poisoning that was terrible especially with a broken foot to hobble back and forth to the bathroom on. Thankfully it was about a 24 hour thing but it left me so drained and took a week or so to recover my energy that disappears at the merest hint of trouble.
I eventually got the all clear that the foot was healing (remember I broke it at the beginning of April) and I was told I could start weaning off the crutches slowly. Which I did, super slowly. I had a couple of weeks boot free before the pain started to come back again. I managed to get another appointment with the fracture clinic, and to cut a long story short, I hadn't refractured my break, but I didn't just have one break on the one foot, I had 3. Which was news to me. Basically the X-ray looked liked I'd started to create a jigsaw out of my foot! Plus the fracture on the other foot from last year while healed is very visible. All the fractures are healed but because of what my body's been through and the medications I'm on I heal very slowly and it takes longer. Due to the same problems I'm more likely to fracture but there isn't much they can do about it. Needless to say I was not a happy girl when I left that appointment.
This was not helped by the fact that the previous day we had left home at 12am and not got home until 7am with about 45 minutes break at my rheumatology appointment. We had to journey up to Chelsea and Westminster, and because I was using crutches and in pain I couldn't face extra walking. We planned to use the train then two buses which admittedly took an age but was at least sitting still.
I can't fault this hospital, they are always kind and friendly no matter who you speak to in the hospital, and always really clean and quite open and bright. We had a short wait, and saw a truly lovely consultant who I believe is head of department. We went through all the tests I've had which include back X-ray, spinal CT, bloods, hand X-ray, hand and joints ultrasound and there wasn't a huge amount to report. I don't have inflammation, or arthritis. I do have a couple of bulging discs near the bottom of my spine which aren't too much of a worry now but need to be checked intermittently. He was lovely and explained that he thinks my main issue is muscle weakness. I'm hyper mobile which is what used to be called double jointed. I can move and bend my joints more than most people and therefore it's quite easy to have to ouch movement and cause issues. In order to inhibit the bendiness, the only real way is to strengthen the muscles to a very strong level. Simple you think? It's me.
Obviously if fatigue and the propensity to break bones wasn't enough, my use of steroids at a reasonable dose long term, means that gaining muscle strength is so much harder. They actually cause a symptom which had a fancy name but means muscle weakness. He actually said I was pretty much buggered.
Both these visits were in a way a relief and in another like being plunged into a dark hole. It was good to finally know what the hell was going on and to have some answers. But it felt very much as though I'd found the courage to ask for help because I wasn't coping, and yet the onus and responsibility was once again being handed back to me. I should also mention that I have been battling with various painkillers including morphine equivalents with no pain relief but plenty of other nasty side effects. These drugs also have be weaned up to full dose and weaned down again before you can stop taking them. In short I have no reliable pain relief and more exercises, pain, fatigue heading my way if I want any chance of building up the muscles to help long term.
This has all been going on for nearly a year in total but suddenly concluded in the last week. It's been a bit of a mind melt. I think rather than going into it too much here I will post a separate blog (you lucky lucky Devils).
So that's what's going on and I promise it won't be so long before I next post. After writing this I can already feel the blocks easing away and a format for the next couple of posts forming so I'm going to go and jot down some notes. Sorry it's been a bit of a downer, stay tuned for hopefully things getting brighter.