Thursday, 25 October 2012

Don't You Just Hate X-Rays?

    Have you ever experienced a moment that totally transforms your perspective on something? I did recently – and whilst I’m mostly writing this just to get my thoughts down on paper (as it were), I thought I’d still share it!

    As I’ve mentioned, I have dyspraxia, which is described as a “neurological disorder, beginning in childhood, that can affect planning of movements and coordination as a result of brain messages not being accurately transmitted to the body.” Fancy description, huh? To be fair, I borrowed it from this website - - and it’s as good a description as any. It certainly describes my awkward gait!

    However, there was more to it than that; I wrote some months ago about the on-going pain I’ve got in my lower back, hips, knees and feet. I’ve had pains there since I was a child; being born with inward-turning feet, a consultant at the hospital when I was a few months old said that I had awkwardly-placed hips, which would straighten with time and my walking would improve.

    This was the early 80’s, and dyspraxia wasn’t well-known back then – at least, not in my corner of the world, and physiotherapy wasn’t an option. So, I’ve grown up with an awkward gait and painful hips and knees; please don’t misunderstand me, however, I’m not saying this to whinge. That’s just the way it’s been – and certainly, the positive in my life has far outweighed any of these negatives.

    However, I recently did a marathon (a walking marathon, I should say – I’m not silly enough to run it!), and it made me aware that I was 31 years old, but immediately after I’d finished, was walking around like a man triple my age. “Something’s not quite right,” I told myself.

    I was sent up the hospital for a x-ray – which is never the most elegant of procedures, let’s be honest. When I’m being sent for scans of my hips, and they’re worried my trouser zip and belt buckle is going to interfere with the scan … well, my trousers weren’t going to protect my dignity for very long. So there I was, laying on a bed and being scanned by a bloody great big machine. Events like that ensure that I will never develop a huge ego.

    So, back to the GP I went … and there I found out something that threw me. It turns out that what I thought was a problem with my hips – thus causing my feet to turn inwards – was actually a problem with my back. Vertebrae L4 and L3, in case you particularly wanted to know.

    It doesn’t mean anything to me – except that it’s in my lower back. Essentially, these two vertebrae “knock” against each other, when they should be a reasonable distance apart, and that impact causes knock-on effects in my hips and knees. It turns out that the problems with my feet are pretty much coincidental. Go figure.

    So, what’s the next step? Physiotherapy. I’m more prone to arthritis and other lower-limb problems, so if I can postpone any issues through physio, then my philosophy is “Let’s do it.” The next few months will certainly be … interesting.


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