Total Coincidence?

I feel as if I should be crossing fingers, touching wood and throwing salt over my shoulder whilst turning round three times with my eyes closed. I think I’ve cracked it. I think I’m finally on the mend.

Not because of anything the physio or the chiropractor or the doctor has done because, frankly, nothing they have done to relieve my hip bursitis has helped. I went to see the physio on Friday past with the intention of telling her pointedly that enough was enough, I was reduced to using a stick (and latterly a wheelchair) to get around and I needed something sorted. She agreed and said that she’d have to write to my doctor recommending a referral to the Orthapaedic department at the hospital (she couldn’t refer me directly, my doctor had to – how crazy is that?!)

I was that fed up that I went to a local health shop called Jan De Vries, a Scottish based firm with a not so Scottish sounding name! I explained my many woes to the assistant who recommended £40 worth of pills and potions. And I bought them all, such was my desperation.

I started taking them the following Saturday morning, having been brought back from a family wedding in a wheelchair, unable to make the walk from the venue to our house less than a mile away. I has spent the evening painfully moving from room to room and finally managed one dance when I was well and truly full of gin and then had to stand against the wall until my husband could help me back to my seat! I was in a lot of pain. Being wheeled about wasn’t pleasant; I felt helpless and out of control. I felt vulnerable for the first time in a long time.

However, on Sunday, day two, we attended a car show and I managed to walk around the entire field, having noticed that my walk across to the toilet block was pain-free.

On Monday, day three, I walked unaided around Aldi and Lidl and spent the afternoon in the garden, actually gardening!

Today, Tuesday, day four, I attended an all day course and was able to forgo my stick and walk at the same speed as everyone else during lunchtime. I’m a little bit sore after gardening yesterday, but nothing…NOTHING in comparison to how I was just a few days ago.

I am astonished.

So, what are my magic potions? Well, for a start they are all plant-based and totally natural. Not a man-made or animal based drug amongst them. Most items can be found in your garden or vegetable patch.

First of all, this is a joint and muscle complex containing anti-inflammatories and blood cleansing items such as fennel seed and celery seed.

I take two, twice a day.

They are gluten free and totally vegan.

Then, to further help the inflammation, I rub Arnica gel onto my hip and down the outside of my thigh to my knee two-three times a day.

I have to remember that Arnica is toxic and wash my hands thoroughly though!

The gel is pleasant, easily absorbed and hasn’t stained my clothes.

Lastly, to rebuild the damage the bursitis has done, I am taking Glucosamine.

Typically glucosamine is sourced as a bi-product of the meat and fish industry and so, as a vegetarian, I’ve never been able or wanted to have any. These are, however, vegan (not just vegetarian) plant-sourced glucosamine tablets. Glucosamine is a naturally occurring amino sugar. It can be easily harvested from the exo-skeletons of shellfish, but also from corn and wheat husks. This one is wheat free, so I have corn to thank!

I take one of these a day as they are high strength tablets.

And that’s it. I feel so much better than I did this time last week. There is still some swelling on my hip, but it is reducing quickly and the pain I felt when walking is significantly less. I am no longer relying on a stick. I do have to watch that I don’t overdo things, so when I might have come home tonight, feeling great, and gone out into the garden to do some more – I’ve sat down and watched TV. The upshot is that having just made dinner I’ve done so standing on two legs, whereas the day before I stood like a crane on one leg, balancing my left foot on my right thigh.

It may be total coincidence. I may have been due to get better this week, but to have gone from wheelchair to pain-free walking within four days of my new “drug” regime is a bit too much of a coincidence for me. I’ve researched each element since starting to take them and there is evidence to support their use. I’m just remaining quietly and happily confident!

I am still alive! 

Just in case you were wondering. 

I’ve been busy with work and, as a result, too tired to do anything when I’ve got home other than chill out with my feet up, in front of the box, with a large G&T.  To be succinct, I’m still in a state of invalidity. I’m hardly able to walk any distance, especially as the day passes, and when I do walk I do it with the aid of a stick. It’s a bit of a come down for me after celebrating half marathon finish after half marathon finish.

My chiropractor has admitted defeat; not in so many words, but he clearly had no idea how to help me when I last visited. I’m beginning to wonder if I should continue to see him at all at the moment. My NHS physio similarly doesn’t know why I’m still in pain and why I’m not responding to the treatment I’ve been given (albeit do the Clam and see how you are in two weeks). I’ve not seen my physio for over a month as she’s been on holiday and I managed to mix up the dates of my last appointment, arriving a week late! 

The next step seems to be referral to the Orthapaedic department at the local hospital and then wait for an MRI appointment. After that I can’t see any other options but to operate to remove the bursa, if it’s still the bursa causing the problem.

No one can be prepared for chronic long-term pain. It’s not just debilitating, it’s depressing too. Being in constant pain drains the life out of you and if the painkillers don’t work or make you ill, you just have to learn to cope with it as best you can. I’m trying not to eat too much, coming on holiday with a huge basket of fruit to munch on instead of biscuits, chocolate and crisps. As I type, I am sitting in the caravan awning with a punnet of strawberries and some flavoured water. 

This next few days will be for me to relax and not do too much. We are pitched overlooking New England Bay on the most southern tip of Scotland, within spitting distance of a lovely sandy beach. When hubbie heads out on his bike I’ve resolved to do some yoga and sit on the beach with my paints. Hopefully some inactivity will help the inflammation on my hip and the yoga will help to loosen some joints and muscles. 

I received my number from Women’s Running magazine for the 10k in Glasgow which I obviously won’t be running at the end of the week. It pained me to admit defeat and email them, but in the same email I volunteered as a water giver outer on the course. I get a sweatshirt and a goody bag in place of the medal and T-shirt and at least the sense of satisfaction that I’ve helped out. 

My plans beyond that depend on what the hospital says. I can’t run or do anything that aggravates the bursa, so I just need to be patient. I do have an ace up my sleeve in the form of a friendly physio who may be able to offer acupuncture. It’s something I now need to pursue.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their running. Honestly I do, you just don’t know what is around the corner. Run for me!