My knee hurts

I was in danger of ignoring this for far too long. There was no obvious trauma to explain why my knee started to hurt when I got up after sitting for an hour or so. It first started a few weeks ago and it was a minor inconvenience that I was sure could be walked off.

By the end of last week, I was in considerably pain, my knee (the left one by the way) had swelled up considerably, and any walking was very painful. There were even a few occasions when the flash of pain was such that I blacked out for a moment – not a good idea.

Until the latter part of last week, I had no problems once I was resting in bed but the last few nights found me in discomfort even under these circumstances and this started to impact my sleep.

Fortunately, I managed okay when I went to see Hamlet but the weekend was clearly going to be difficult. I purchased a knee support (lots of Velcro straps) from Boots on Saturday and kept it on for most of the day and in bed the first night. It helped a lot and I was able to drive the family to Wales on Sunday to attend my Father-in-law’s 70th birthday celebration.

My wife’s aunt, also attending, is a recently retired senior physiotherapist and she did a quick check and provided some advice. A key part of this was to see my GP.

Monday morning I delayed my trip down to the Heathrow area by a few hours in order to be able to visit my GP. Got a morning appointment without problems and had a very good consultation. (He even solicited my opinions on "poly-clinics".)

Fortunately, it looks like there is no major problem with my knee but there is some ligament damage and he advised physiotherapy and some anti-inflammation drugs. (Just for fun, the drugs have the potential side-effect of causing some asthma complications. Great!)

Rather then use a local physiotherapist, I said I wanted to find someone close to where I was working at the moment. This meant he had to write to ‘Dear Colleague’ which he said he hated doing.

A quick search on Yell found a physiotherapy clinic on the business park I am located on. What luck! They were happy to take me on and my employer’s medical insurance company were happy for me to use them.

My first appointment was today. Great practitioner, lots of experience, really knew her knee stuff (well, convinced me anyway). Walking to/from the place was probably a mistake though. The return back to the office was not fun and the knee caused me a lot of discomfort. I was thinking that I might have to bail-out of the day and head back to the hotel to rest my leg and do some work from my bed.

I have some simple exercises to do. I need to ensure I get up at least every half-hour BUT I should not walk far (not put my knee under much load, certainly not attempt stairs). She advised me to rest at the weekend – minimal walking, just movement.

I had only been back at my desk for a short while when my wife phoned to say her purse had been stolen whilst she and my youngest were shopping in London.

A bus and train trip to Paddington and back to the office pretty much did my knee in. I could not concentrate on my work and eventually gave up (after five though) and headed for my hotel. Usually I feel guilty leaving the office early – or at least when I have not got done what I planned to complete. This time, I didn’t. Finally, I am giving some attention to my health.

A colleague advised alcohol. I am not much of a drinker these days but I took the advice and am writing this after a fine meal with colleagues and plenty of drink (for me at least). I might well have made a fool of myself, but my knee will probably not stop me sleeping tonight.

My next physio session is booked for Friday – the day I drive home so alcohol will not be an option. Oh well, something to look forward to. Maybe the drugs, exercises and support strap will have done the trick by then and I will be well on the road to recovery.

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