So, Christmas came and went but not without incident. I spent several hours of Christmas Eve morning in a hospital. My knee had swollen up and was causing a lot of pain. So much so that I genuinely thought we should cancel our planned trip to Western Australia (set to leave Boxing Day evening). Looking on the bright side, if that was the NHS in the UK I probably would have still been waiting when our flight was due to leave. Fortunately the Australian (public) health service is still far better than the disaster that is the UK’s NHS.
Always Ask For a Second Opinion (Medical or Otherwise)
After several tests, some x-rays and a second opinion – from an older more experienced doctor – I was sent home with a prescription for anti-biotics and told to rest my leg (knee) for the next two days. Easy enough as moving around was painful, even if it was just about do-able. They even told me that I could go on holiday. Great! But then I am not sure what type of holiday they thought it would be. Maybe they thought it was a week of sitting by a pool, feet up? I hadn’t told them this was a long range road trip with plenty of driving and walking involved.
All this basically meant that I did nothing for Christmas Eve and Day apart from sit on the sofa, leg up. Hardly fun but it helped. Sure enough by midday Boxing Day I felt like I could make the trip. But it wasn’t going to be easy. Little did I know at the time that shortly after my left knee had seemingly healed my right knee would suffer the exact same fate. Well; they are both the same age, and have been subjected to the exact same wear and tear over the years.
All would be fine with the aid of a walking stick. And as it was my left knee, driving the automatic hire-car would not be a problem.
Suffice to say, these knee problems seriously limited how much walking I could do and certainly cut out certain activities. This is exactly the kind of thing I feared when I started writing this blog. Any kind of illness, injury or health issues with a young (and usually hyper-active) child was something I have constantly dreaded.
At least I know what caused the problem. Not that that makes it any easier – and it can certainly happen again. The problem is at the front of the knee-cap (aka patella bone). Pain seems to come from all over the knee area but it is really only the knee-cap itself. It is something that can happen to people who regularly work on their knees (like carpet fitters) and do not wear knee protectors. My knee-caps had become fragile after years of exercising without paying due care to them. Ironically doing regular yoga-type stretching exercises on hands and knees to help with any back pains and strains. One thing ultimately led to another etc… When they are finally fully pain free I must only do exercises on a suitable cushioned surface. Yeah, I know; like an exercise mat – DOH!!!! Easy to say, but even easier to forget come the time… We shall see.
WA Road Trip…
So please stay tuned for up-coming blog posts on our Western Australia adventure. We visited some lovely places, some a little off the beaten track.