Welcome to accidentpronegirl.com!
Let me start by telling you a little about myself and my story. I am a twenty year old Sports Science student, and just before I began my studies I took a tumble while out with the dog, spraining my right ankle. I thought nothing of it at the time, I’d done almost exactly the same thing a year ago to the day to my left ankle, and the hospital sent me away with the recommendation of painkillers and plenty of rest.
Except this time, it was different. The pain wasn’t shifting, and every time I attempted anything remotely athletic my ankle would buckle and swell all over again. Not good news for a soon to be sports student, I can tell you! The sport I loved most of all, Karate, had to be put on the back burner, turns out you’re not much of a fighter if you can only use one leg. I wasn’t going to let it get in the way of university though, and I headed off in search of new experiences, new sports, and new friends.
After a fun (alcohol fueled) freshers I decided to take up hockey, a sport that I had always been good at during school (I find I have a penchant for more aggressive sports, no bowls over here!). I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea, it seems I thought my ankle may have miraculously healed itself while I had been ignoring it. I thought wrong. Falling over several times during the training session and eventually retiring early was not the first impression I wanted to make on the captain, all I had going for me was fitness I couldn’t show and a stupid level of determination to prove myself. So irked at my poor show I headed to the Doctor, naively believing some miracle cure must be sitting waiting for me in the office. After having my ankle prodded and poked I was referred to a physiotherapist and given a bandage to support it until they could ‘sort it out’.
Still believing a miracle cure was on the horizon I waited for my referral letter to come through. Then I waited, and I waited. Finally, three months later, I had an appointment, and a grueling three months of physio ensued. My left ankle was getting weaker and weaker as the days went on, bearing all the weight was taking it’s toll on the ligaments. The exercises were doing nothing and nobody could figure out why. I was made to walk on beams and balance on foam, yet everything was getting gradually worse. My right ankle had no strength and was basically just flopping at the end of my leg, and my left ankle was fast headed in the same direction.
Then I was mysteriously transferred to a different physiotherapist who after a couple of sessions declared my joints hypermobile, hence the ankle weakness and the numerous other sprains and ailments I was suffering through (I should say that, although it turned out to be a miracle, I do believe it was an NHS mistake that led me to this man and his brilliant diagnosis) and he referred me to a specialist at a hospital a cool 80 miles away, quite a trek for the impoverished student, I am sure you will agree. Once again I was left waiting and waiting, and a little over a year since I had first been to see a GP, I saw a specialist.
After a thorough examination he told me surgery was the only way forward, something had to be done to strengthen the join, and I would need an MRI before he could proceed any further. Skip forward another three months to MRI day, and another three to go back to my specialist. By now I am taking naproxen and paracetamol to manage the pain so I can still make the mile long walk to lectures and some days I still can’t manage it. I was also on crutches and in a left leg brace, my knees have begun following the same pattern. He turns to me and says that he has the answer, my right ankle is still swollen from18months ago and once he injects the joints with steroids, all will be cured.
I should point out that this solution had been offered to me by my physiotherapist, but was disregarded due to the fact it prohibits surgery for six months. I should also point out that the doctor in question hadn’t seen my MRI, was simply reading someone else’s interpretation. Incensed that the surgery I was counting on was being pushed at least six months back, and after reluctantly being injected, I took my useless ankles and non-existent knee home, and that brings us to now. I am currently waiting for the appointment to see if his treatment worked, and the appointment when I inform him that, like everything else, it hasn’t.
I decided to start this blog to find people in the same situation as me, and to help them. Next year I will graduate, and I realize that the dreams I had initially may have to change. I’m not and won’t be the same person I was in 2010, then I could run, climb, do anything I wanted. A sports science degree is pretty useless if you can’t find a way to channel sports, fitness and vitality into your everyday life. That’s what this blog is, my journey through hypermobility and ‘other-undiagnosed-joint-problem’, learning how to incorporate all the things I love into everyday life, and live life the way I want to without feeling like I can’t do something,or that I’m held back. I’d like to help and inspire, share stories, and live my life like I never fell over that day.