Hello once again universe, it’s been a while, but I have been off having adventures.
The first adventure was moving from the Sky Castle to our yet unnamed new home. The Boif and I (mainly me) own A LOT of well…everything. Clothes, books, DVDs, music, games, knickknacks, doodads and so on and so forth. As you can imagine the process of moving from a four bedroom apartment to a two bedroom house involved a considerable amount of sorting, recycling, chucking out and then the packing up of our collective possessions. The new house is cozy and compact and every morning we get to look out over rolling fields. At the time of writing this we have lived here for six weeks, and it definitely feels like home.
My second adventure is a little more gruesome. Four weeks ago I had arthroscopic surgery on my hip. Now, you may want to put down that biscuit, sandwich or any other food you may be chomping on right now because I am about to get all up in your face with the gory details.
For the last five years I have suffered with terrible pain in my left hip and leg. What started out as shooting pains that lasted for a few minutes and only happened intermittently, over time turned into debilitating pain that left me unable to walk for days on end. As well as the pain came a selection of awful sensations and pains that would crop up on a daily basis. Things like feeling your knee was going to pop out of place while our for a stroll or 3am leg lock that triggers full leg cramp. There was blinding pain from my lower back to my hip every morning and on an evening I struggled to walk from one end of the flat to the other without the wall for support and sometimes I would lose feeling in my feet and toes entirely.
One of the worst things of all though was a strange sensation, not even really a pain. Truthfully I would rather be in pain than have this sensation again. The best way I can explain it is if you imagine someone was running their nails down your shin bones. Digging their nails in and dragging them up and down. Makes your toes curl and your stomach lurch a bit doesn’t it? I sometimes have that feeling for hours, it makes my ears twitch and sends a shudder from the top of my neck to the base of my spine. But I digress…
In the summer of 2012 my physiotherapist, after yet another round of physio didn’t make a blind bit of difference to my ‘condition’, said that he thought I may have cartilage damage in my hip joint. He then referred me back to my doctor who bounced me back to an orthopedic surgeon who then sent me for a fluroscopy. A Fluroscopy is where they inject your joint full of ink (which hurts like a bastard I might add) then stick you in an MRI machine for a bit. When I went back to get the results (December 2012) they had shown something. So after many, many wrong diagnoses and years of being passed between various doctors, physiotherapists and specialists I finally knew what was wrong with me…
Turns out I was growing extra bone on my hip joint! Yep you read that correctly, my hip bone decided it was looking a bit underweight so grew some more bone to fatten itself up. Except, it wasn’t underweight and that extra bone has been slowly grinding away at my cartilage for a long ass time. Think of the round, ball shaped part (or femoral head if you want the correct jargon) of your hip joint, now imagine that the ball part is now egg shaped, that is what mine looked like because of the extra bone. This egg shaped monstrosity made my hip unable move fully and rubbed away at my precious cartilage or in doctor speak caused a femoral acetabular impingement. Despite the grim revelation that my hip joint had been actively destroying itself for years, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved to finally know what was caused the crippling pain in my leg. Early in 2013 I was referred again, this time to a hip surgeon in Harrogate.
Which brings us to the summer on 2013, this summer, when I finally had an operation to see what was going on in my hip and to repair any damage they could. During a hip arthroscopy they put your leg in traction then they make a few incisions in your thigh and go in with a camera and poke around. Luckily for me it only requires an overnight stay in the hospital and Harrogate hospital is much nicer than Dewsbury’s by miles so that was definitely a plus. To say I was a little scared beforehand would be an understatement, as I had got twenty nine years and seven months into my life without having to have a hospital sleepover. The morning of the operation was spent alternating between napping, watching Twin Peaks and complaining about how hungry I was to Ma Hall in the waiting room, which I was sat in for six long hours.
After four hours or so under the knife this is what was ascertained: I had a 4cm labral tear, there was no fluid in my joint and the extra bone had not only caused the cartilage to grind away but had done so so much that osteoarthritis has started. It had also caused micro fractures in my bone. Woo yeah! The surgeon shaved the extra bone and osteoarthritis off and reshaped my femoral head. He also repaired the labral tear and drilled holes in my hip to encourage the cartilage to grow back. Now I am on crutches for 6-8 weeks and in physiotherapy for the seventh or eighth time. It’s too early to tell if the surgery has been a success, it is mainly dependent on whether the cartilage grows back, there is a chance it was too far gone. In which case ‘hello osteoarthritis’. But c’est la vie, it is what it is.
And on that note, I shall hop off as the codeine is kicking in and my pillow is calling my name…
Oh, and I haven’t forgotten about sharing my tales from Belfast, but that is a story for a more coherent day.