When I was 8 I was bedridden for 3 months caused by intense pain in my left hip. I spent 2 weeks in hospital during this time and it would have been in longer if I hadn't begged to be discharged to spend Christmas at home with my family. I was diagnosed as having poison and fluid in the hip and it gradually worked itself down my leg to my heel before disappearing.
As an active 8 year old to suddenly be bedridden was hell. I wasn't even allowed to get up to go the toilet. I had to be carried, which was a nightmare for my parents as our loo was upstairs! I missed school, I missed my friends. I couldn't properly play with my Christmas presents if they were too big to fit on my lap.
I can recall my last consultant's appointment at Southwold Hospital so clearly. I was carried into his room and he finally told me that I was able to walk again. It was such a strange feeling, especially as my muscles were almost useless. Walking out of the hospital, clinging to my parents, I was petrified that I would fall and end up back in hospital, particularly as there was slippery slush on the paths. Snow & ice scares me to this day.
2 years later I spent 4 days in hospital again because of hip pain. I was finally diagnosed as having hip dysplasia in my left hip, meaning that instead of a cup and ball my hip hadn't formed properly and the cup was more of a plate.
We joked that James Paget hospital was my second home as I spent so much time there as there were many outpatient appointments as well. I shudder every time we go past the place.
I was told that I'd grow out of it and there was nothing to be done but over the years the pain gradually got worse. Pain relief doesn't touch the pain. I had spells where it wasn't so bad and it was bearable but those times became less and less frequent and lasted for shorter spells.
I was rarely able to take part in PE and long-term that hasn't helped with my fitness levels.
Eventually I was referred to hospital. By now I was in my mid-twenties. I most certainly hadn't 'grown out of it'.
After scans and x-rays I was told that I actually had hip dysplasia in BOTH hips and arthritis. Yet again though I was told that nothing could be done. Due to the limited lifespan of a hip replacement it would be inadvisable to replace my hips at such a young age.
"You can still walk, so soldier on" I was told.
I am now at the point where I have pain every single day. It may be one, or both hips. If I sit for too long I can barely walk for a few minutes. My limp is really pronounced on bad days (as if there's such a thing as a good day!) and my children take the piss. I have to laugh or I'd cry.
I am grateful that Tidgy is still in a buggy as I struggle to walk without it. I joke that when he's out of the buggy I'll need a zimmer frame. It's more truthful than I'd like to admit.
I can't wear pretty shoes. I have to wear flat, frumpy, ugly shoes. I have terrible shoe envy. I wore heels to my cousin's wedding earlier this month and paid for it for 3 days afterwards. Comfortable pretty shoes don't exist.
I cannot drive so I have to walk everywhere. It's good exercise and I mostly enjoy it but after a while I want to cry. I so wish I'd learnt to drive years ago when I had the opportunity but now I'd have to drive an automatic and we can't afford to get a second car so I need to wait until hubby can change his company car before I can learn.
I can't do any high impact sport. Girl keeps begging my to play tennis but I can't run. I can barely move. 'Chasing' after the toddler is embarrassing.
I struggle to get up off the floor and it led to me being laughed at once during an exercise class. I never went back.
I'm reluctant to go back to the doctor's as I feel I'll be fobbed off again but my disability is now impacting on my life in a huge way and I need to get something done. I'm 36 and feel like I'm 80!