Knee update: Hard times

I have written this because a lot of people have started asking how it’s going, which made me realise it’s been a while since my last update. To be perfectly honest, I struggle to talk about it without getting upset, so this is easier. I’m not looking for sympathy, I’m just explaining my situation to help anyone who knows me understand a bit more.


I’m currently waiting for the local district health board to decide if:

1) I’m a legal resident able to access healthcare

2) if they agree with the consultant that I need surgery

3) if I’m in enough pain for them to agree to even allow me onto the waiting list.

Providing my passport to them to clarify no. 1 was not sufficient for them, they told me they had to contact immigration directly. All this is decided while I wait, at no point do they invite me in and talk to me about anything.

Poor pain management

I started off on 8 x paracetamol a day. When that became insufficient they added ibuprofen (plus anti sickness pills). I was unable to take this for long as it made me violently sick despite the secondary meds that were supposed to combat that. (Apparently I inherit this intolerance from my mother.) Back to the paracetamol. They added codeine to the paracetamol and that was enough. For a wee while. Then that too became insufficient as the pain continues to increase as the knee continually worsens.

The doctor spoke to me again about anti-inflammatories, telling me they were the best type of medication for my knee. I know that but the intolerance in the past worried me.

I was given 800mgx2 brufen a day plus an anti sickness drug.

At around the same time, I was told about prolotherapy, so I only took the brufen for a week before I stopped them to try the alternative.

Sugar knee

Prolotherapy is basically a dextrose injection into the knee joint, which – I have no idea why to be honest, but was working brilliantly. I say,, WAS. In short it’s a natural irritant used for chronic pain and is meant to help promote regeneration in the damaged tissues.

I have had three injections, each three weeks apart. The first two, brilliant, it completely removed my pain and I was able to get back to a limited amount of walking, (5-10 mins) and had started to strengthen my knee / leg again in the pool.

That, sadly is where it ended. If Prolotherapy is to work, it usually improves with repeated injections. Mine didn’t. Plus it didn’t improve the situation, it just maintained it, briefly.

Unpleasant pain medication

So, back to the brufen. And Oh, My Gosh.

I was only back taking this for a couple of days when BANG.. all the side effects returned: violet severe stomach pains, constantly being sick, banging headache, heartburn, and a long list of other things. It flattened me totally for days…, again.

The last time I was at the doctor, the only other pain management options he could suggest was tramadol or morphine. Understandably, I’m apprehensive of either.

Where does that leave me? In severe pain most of the time, that’s where.

What now?

So, I have stopped taking the pain meds.. again.. because quite frankly the unpleasant side effects are just too much for me to cope with.

I’m considering a stick to help me walk but I have major reservations with that and the impact it could have on my work: how many personal trainers do you see with a walking stick lets face it. I haven’t decided what to do. I really care about my business and all my clients and I need to keep working, there’s no other option at all.

All I can hope is that the district health board have some compassion and let me onto that waiting list. Before I totally crack up.