Thursday, 12 July 2012

Crohned To Perfection

I've suffered from arthritis since I was 25. This started as a swelling in my knee which I instantly, and somewhat misguidedly, put down to having fallen over in high heels at a party the weekend before.
After a few weeks and more swelling, and LOTS of pain I realised it was clearly not a result of a tipsy stumble. I tried several anti-inflammatory gels and drugs, ice packs and bandaging the swollen joint up, to no avail. After getting to the stage where I was having difficulty walking, I stumbled up to the doctors, to be told to stick frozen peas on it and I'd be fine. I felt humiliated and stupid for having been made to feel I'd wasted his time with something so trivial. I licked my wounds and went back a few days later to see another doctor. Then another, who eventually referred me to the hospital for an x-ray. It was confirmed pretty much straight away it was arthritis and I was pretty surprised and disappointed it wasn't something easily fixable.
Arthritis is one of the first warning signs of Crohn's Disease. My body was trying to tell me from the get go what was to come but I had no idea. Not everyone with Crohn's suffers from arthritis, but it's very common for patients to complain of aching muscles and joints.
I find it very frustrating when my knee plays up - mainly in the damp weather (which is a LOT of the time in Scotland). It makes me feel old. I get bugged at the fact there is very little that can offer relief from the pain. It sometimes stops me from doing things I love. Like dancing. Or swimming. Or sliding across the kitchen floor with a brush like early '60's Elvis :(
It's not the worst part of my Crohn's disease. That would have to be the gut wrenching AGONY. But it's up there with the most frustrating of the symptoms. I think the fact that my body malfunctioning has more of a psychological effect than anything else. Yes it's often VERY painful, but the real pain is my fun-button being turned off. (Not a euphemism) (Although it is a good one) (Might use it)
My creaky swollen knee may currently resemble Phil Mitchell's head growing out of my leg, but eventually it will get better.
If not hopefully it will at least shrink back to the Richard O' Brien look I'm used to.

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