Take smaller steps and use a stick.

I am suffering from an odd, yet moderately common injury. I was out shopping in a large supermarket and waiting at the fish counter.
I was stretching the ligaments at the back of my knees and realised that the left leg (my ‘good’ leg) was hurting, so I bent my knee a little to ease the pain and thought little more of this.
I do aerobics every other day and have slowly managed to do pliés, lunges and squats, very, very carefully.
I started doing these exercises in an attempt to strengthen the quadriceps muscles in both legs, to support my knees. My thighs are well-toned and look years younger and I’m feeling good…or I was.
I felt a few odd twinges on the way downstairs the next morning, but thought nothing of it.
On Sundays, I go next door and give my 88 year old neighbour his injection and we generally meet up with the other neighbours for coffee. This is an activity that has transformed my life and brought me great joy.

I encountered their small grandson at the bottom of the steps leading up to my neighbour’s balcony, so I helped him upstairs and we walked towards the kitchen door. She opened the door and he ran in to her arms, which is always sweet and I stepped into the kitchen and found myself on the floor. No warning, no pain, straight down.
I pulled myself upright, but found my left knee had locked painfully and it took some slow stretching and foot-waggling to get it to straighten again.
I was comforted by my neighbour Rafa’s account of the same thing happening to his brother in law and went home, very, very carefully.
The knee locked a few times after that and the pain and shock wasn’t pleasant.
I decided to do some gentle exercises the next day, as long as it was stable, so I strapped it up in a tight sports support and started my workout.
The knee was fine, until I stepped sideways and fell straight down, head hitting the sofa and realised that I was in trouble.
Knee Trouble is nothing new. I’ve had two arthroscopies, horrendous Synvisc injections, cortisone injections and now I have bad osteoarthritis and have endured many meniscal tears since then, resulting in acute inflammation and pain.
I went looking for the answer on the internet and discovered that the Cruciate Ligaments can become stretched and weak in women over the age of forty – especially those who practise Yoga and who work out a lot.

The knee is unstable now, but improving with each day. The pain comes without warning and is excruciating. I haven’t fallen since then, but I’m worried that I may fall again.
It’s stressful, knee pain. There’s some odd connection with the nervous system that seems to amplify stress.
I’ve sat on the end of the bed sobbing in sheer shock at the suddenness and ferocity of the pain behind my left knee.
I am improving. No more aerobics for a few more days, but I can cycle. If I take very small steps and use a stick all the time, then the knee remains stable.
I resent this. I was happy with my vocal exercises, muscle strength and endorphins. I want them back please. I’m going to adopt a robust and resolute mental attitude and start with this blog.
If you have, thanks for reading and watch out for those knees.

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2 Responses to Take smaller steps and use a stick.

  1. Sugarplum Valkyrie says:

    Getting old is a total bitch. I’m genetically lucky with my knees (hips and lower back is my inheritance) but occasionally get the odd twinge in the right knee, which concerns me at the time, then I forget about it. Carrying too much weight doesn’t help – hence the diet (that bread recipe is amazing, by the way). Once I’m back from Corfu and have Caspar in a routine I must start exercising…. very difficult for a naturally lazy person…..
    I think always wearing a knee support will help you – if only to remind yourself there are some moves you should not do! If my back goes I stick tape accross it, no so much as a support but just to make me aware.

  2. jayblewes says:

    Vitamin D3 is excellent too. I take 2 5000iu capsules per day and it has made my appetite and blood sugars ‘normal’. I eat when I get hungry – which is once a day and I can’t believe how easy it’s become. It’s almost as though the D3 has rewired my brain. Could be worth a try…
    xxxx

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