Monday, November 06, 2006

Joint pain and back pain is bad, mmkay?

I've been struggling recently with some pretty bad joint and back pain. Pretty much constantly since the post I made in March about the wrist pain that I suddenly started getting for no apparent reason. Knees, ankles, name it, it's been hurting. It stopped me from doing anything over the winter, so my muscle tone quickly disappeared and left me with debilitating back pain as well :-(

I eventually got sick of my GP charging me $49/visit to take wild stabs in the dark about what might be wrong with me, so I went and saw a rheumatologist, who told me that my condition is more than likely the result of a particularly nasty gut bug I had back in August last year, the night before we left for a hiking holiday in Girraween National Park (where I ended up with crippling knee pain). A gut bug which.....and there's simply no tactful way to say this....gave me the worst case of the shits I've ever had in my life. For those of you who've seen Trainspotting, the scene with Renton in 'The Worst Toilet In Scotland' was a walk in the park compared to what I ended up with. I was out of commission for the entire 7+ hour drive down there and had to stop at virtually every service station toilet we encountered on the way. Not pleasant at all. But anyway, the other side effect is apparently this crippling 'poly-arthritic' pain that can last 6 to 12+ months! Nice huh? Can flare up at any time, for no apparent reason.....perfect one day, agony the next. A complete pain in the arse (and everywhere else).

To top things off, during the course of trying to find out WTF was going on with my back, I insisted on getting it CT scanned (something that my GP assured me was a waste of time and money I might add.....). I discovered that I have 2 bulging discs in my spine (L3/4 and L4/5), plus 'degenerative arthropathy' at the L5/S1 level. Excellent....*sigh*.

Luckily, the joint pain is slowly starting to taper off. I still can't run, but I'm told I shouldn't do that anymore anyway because of these bulging discs. I've been told I shouldn't really do *any* of the things I like to do (like mountain biking and kitesurfing), but I've been doing both of those and my back pain also seems to be slowly going away......fingers crossed I'm finally coming good!

Moral of the story? Be very careful what you put in your mouth! If it's that easy to catch something that can totally fuck up your lifestyle for over a year, I'm tempted to never eat anything that doesn't come out of a can from here on in!

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