I’ve been told I’m old – officially, by a doctor no less. Of course she didn’t use the work “old”, she used something much more laden with dread and clouded with preconceptions. She told me I have arthritis! The good news (apparently) is that it’s osteo and not rheumatoid.
I’ve always had a dodgy right knee. It’s sometimes prevented me from walking as far or as high as I would like, but those have been exceptional occasions and on the whole it generally just makes a wince-inducing grating noise and throbs gently. So nothing too intrusive.
However, over the past 12 months or so it’s been causing me more pain and generally making its presence felt, especially on steep descents, which can become very painful and very slow as I can’t put any weight on the right knee and I have to readjust almost every step to take my weight on the left knee instead. I realised quite quickly that all I was doing was storing up trouble and soon the left knee would be as bad as the right if I didn’t do something about it.
The GP referred me to a specialist (thanks to BUPA from work) and the specialist listened to my knee (which isn’t something you read every day is it?) and proclaimed I had arthritis. I was a bit gutted I must admit. I had immediate visions of not being able to walk in the hills again – sitting in a bath chair with a tartan blanket over my legs – pining for the mountains. The doc quickly reassured me though.
She is going to do an arthroscopy to start with, push a tiny camera into the knee joint and have a look at the state of what’s in there and maybe do a scrape or cartilage removal. Longer term there are more options too – right up to a replacement knee if that’s what’s needed.
Apparently 20 years as a fat-knacker, carrying far too much weight around is what caused the problem and then I accelerated the problem by getting fit and climbing all those stupid, lovely hills.
So I’m in hospital as a day-case towards the end of November and probably off work for a couple of weeks and off the hills for a couple of weeks more – hopefully allowing me to appreciate some winter walking and be fit for spring!
After the consultation I went to Boots and bought some Glucosamine to help the longer term health of my joints – but at the price of the stuff I may not be able to afford to keep taking it for too long 🙂
If you’re really lucky I will post a blog from my post-op bed with a picture or two – that’ll give you nightmares eh?