Don’t ask me how I have dead bones – I have absolutely no idea! So far, it’s just in my knees although the knock on effect makes me feel like my entire skeleton is fecked and I am one fall away from a mobility scooter. The reality is probably more like, I am one fall away from nothing more dramatic than a bruise, but hey, this shit hurts!
I was diagnosed with Osteonecrosis of both knees a few years ago, after more than a decade of complaining to health ‘experts’ that I was in pain. ‘Just Bugger off out of my surgery’ type referrals from GPs to Orthopaedic consultants to physiotherapists to orthotics… I did the rounds. After an MRI scan, my consultant announced I had Osteonecrosis and helpfully informed me that it is very painful – hmmm, no way… I thought I’d been shuffling like a half-pissed, high-heeled crossdresser for fun!
So, here’s what I do know. Osteonecrosis is a bone disease caused by the loss of blood supply to the bone and without blood, the bone tissue collapses and dies. It’s also likely that the joints surrounding the bones will collapse too. There is nothing that can be done to resurrect them, so at some point in the future, I will have to have new knees.
The options I have been given thus far are physiotherapy to strengthen the joints around my knees and surgery to drill multiple holes through my deceased kneecaps, in the hopes that this will encourage blood flow to the areas. Whilst this may work to slow down further degradation, it will make my pain significantly worse, wont alleviate any current problems and is not guaranteed to actually work. Ohhh well that’s worth considering for a minute or two..ohh… nope. No thanks.
The physio did shag all. I admit, I could have worked harder at it but I wanted results immediately and rolling my foot atop of a football for two counts of ten, was not going to get it. So, me being me, I tried my own version of physio, its called Dickhead Dancing. Heard of it? Basically, you drink alcohol on a night out, which desensitises your nerve endings, so you can dance like you used to in your twenties, hobble home, fall on your arse and then get dragged to bed; preferably by a loved one of course, I mean, lets be sensible here. The reason it’s called Dickhead Dancing becomes apparent the next morning, when the booze has worn off and you cant drag yourself out of bed to vomit, because your dead bones hate you and unleash the mother of all agonies on your kneecaps.
It was after a seriously hardcore 90s running man session, where I was determined that kids born before 1990 can’t groove to 2Unlimited properly and I showed them how it should be done, when I discovered just what a MASSIVE FOOL I can be. I got out of bed the next day and there was some weird, very loud clunking sounds coming from my right knee. I took a few more tentative steps and then boom, my entire knee collapsed. It was bloody agony! I crawled to the stairs, then slid down them on my backside and waited for my Dad to arrive with a crutch. He brought a walking stick.
Hubby arrived home hours later and playfully chastised me for causing this myself. I ‘playfully’ informed him that I would shove the stick up his nostril if he didn’t close his face. He laughed at me as I tried to walk with the stick and then he demonstrated how I should use it properly. Knackered right knee, so put the stick in my right hand and then move it in time with my right leg. Being a stick virgin, I did as I was told. If your eyebrows are raised right now, then you are thinking what I am thinking – my bloke is a pillock!
Four days later, I was at my appointment with the consultant. She watched me in amusement as I hobbled in on my stick. I was irritated as I spied her expression, no doubt this was going to be yet another expert in shite all, who will tell me that the pain can be cured by ‘lifestyle changes, deep breaths and lots of water’. I sheepishly admitted to how I’d come to be in this state, to which she reminded me that I had done the same thing just 18 months earlier. Classic – the one time a doctor actually read historical notes! I then told her its been getting worse and worse to which she smirked and explained that my ‘strange’ use of the walking stick was probably the reason. She then demonstrated how to use a stick properly, I half watched and half visualised my hubby, his nostril and my stick.
So, thanks to my ex-squaddie hubby, I now know how a Platoon Commander uses a pace stick, and it is not how a civvie should use a walking stick. Not that it matters, as the consultant took my stick off me, and my knee supports and sent me back to physio & Orthotics. It was at Orthotics that I was presented with a knee brace, a sexy contraption that puts one thought into the heads of all who see it – “Run, Forest, Ruuunnnn….”
The brace is a chunky, ugly thing that is designed to align my knee so that the bones aren’t rubbing and crunching onto each other, so that I will be in less pain when I walk / exercise. While it did help a bit, the pain was shifted to other areas of my leg instead. I tried using the thing about 3 times, then added it to the shite pile.
I’m currently in a reasonable phase pain-wise. I have been doing my Spine Clinic exercise routine (I will blog this one, possibly VLog, sometime soon), walking the dogs, wearing flat, ugly shoes and have resigned myself to Grandma Shuffle dance moves, whilst non-90’s kids fuckup S-Express and Shaggy routines all around me. Yes, I’m still sulking, Yes, I have developed a fascination with mobility scooters the way that my son is fascinated with Tesla cars, and Yes, my hubby would still be in danger of my stick, if I could bloody catch him!
For more information on Osteonecrosis, click here
For my past post on Osteoarthritis, click here
To see how to do a running man properly, click here