The last few weeks have been difficult but illuminating.
I went to the pain clinic and did some physical testing that left me with a knee flare up.
I dealt with it fairly well, but it was hard. I couldn’t walk due to the severe pain. The not walking caused my back to flare up too. The extra pain caused extra fatigue.
But I did what I do best, I coped. On the first few days I rested and took medicine as the pain was rather severe. I used the space the pain relievers bought me to do my leg strengthening exercise (essentially leg lifts focusing on engagement in my thigh – my physio gave me this specifically for the knee pain). I also used an ice pack on it as I couldn’t bear the thought of heat on it.
After a few days I went to the pool. I walked across the pool in hip/chest height water holding my son (I had no childcare, plus he loves the water!). We managed 10 times across and then soaked in the family spa. It was bliss. We have done this three times in the past two weeks.
As my knees calmed down I slowly increased the amount of incidental walking I did during the day. When that brought less pain, I walked to the shops and back (20 minutes with a break in the middle).
Eventually that led to me resuming our usual 20-30 minute walks.
Now I am still sleeping with a pillow under my legs and stretching my legs like a maniac, but my knees are better and my back is under better control.
In a nut shell here’s how I dealt with the knee flare up:
- Ice pack
- Pain relief
- Stretching and gentle strengthening
- Walking in the pool (any exercise tolerable!)
- Soak in the spa
- Gently resuming old activity level as pain stabilised
Interestingly, my physio doesn’t think the knee pain is just Fibro. This means I need to get it checked out to ensure it’s not actually causing damage. Exercise will almost certainly keep it in check, but once it’s sore, if it is causing damage, I may need another plan to deal with it. I will keep you posted about that!