Day 158

Level 2 Chi Kung.

Monday morning and the fact that all three children have gone to school feels like a novelty! Didn’t manage to do Chi Kung before the school run because Dashi’s bus was late, so had just finished and was about to hop in the shower when Susan Laborde arrived – catching me all dishevelled! Lovely morning with Sue and stress-free on account of having so much food already prepared. No cake though – ‘the tins’ were empty! Sue left at 13:30 and, by the time I had cleared away the dishes there was only time to do a couple of minor things off the to-do list before it was time to pick up Katie. Katie was slightly late coming out but, even so, we should still have been home in time for Dash’s arrival. So I was surprised to hear urgent tooting and have a big white bus pull up and disgorge Dash while we were still en route. Apparently they had already attempted to drop him off (it seems the four kids who are normally dropped off before him are all away, so they got to us super early) and, finding the house empty, had continued on, only for clever Dash to spot us a couple of hundred meters down the road.

At 5:10pm I had a GP appointment to get the results of the knee x-ray. I had tried to get an appointment with the doc who referred me for the x-ray in the first place (and was so open-handed with the opiates!) but she is away until the 8th of December, so I ended up seeing Dr P – a very charming, if sometimes disconcertingly jolly man I have seen a couple of times before. The good news is that there is no bone damage. The less good news is that, in addition to what he described as ‘routine wear and tear’, there is medial damage (presumably from the dislocation) and osteoarthritis. He asked if I was taking anti-inflamatories and I started to say that I had been taking ibuprofen but had been told to stop and given codeine by the other GP, but I only got halfway through the sentence before he interrupted to cheerily announce ‘good gracious you need something far stronger than that, oh and a referral to the knee clinic’. Then, still cheerily, ‘if you need a knee replacement…’. Now it was my turn to interrupt: having only just heard about the osteoarthritis, I was a bit alarmed that the talk was immediately turning to knee replacement. Fortunately he explained that he wasn’t implying that I would need a knee replacement but pointing out that, for people who do go on to eventually need a knee replacement, the ones who HAVEN’T taken lots of anti-inflamatories and pain killers have the worst outcomes because they tend to stop taking exercise (because it hurts too much) and therefore have very little muscle structure to buttress the new knee. On the other hand, the people who take the drugs tend to get on with their usual activities and have plenty of muscle. Which explains why they are so open-handed with the drugs. It would have been helpful if the original GP had explained this logic as, although I have continued to do Chi Kung, I have been avoiding hills and cutting down a bit on the amount of walking I do, not just because it hurts, but because it felt like I was doing more damage.

Because they were running 25 minutes behind schedule and there were people still in the waiting room behind me, I had gone into the appointment conscious of needing to be quick, but, as soon as I mentioned Chi Kung, Dr P lost all sense of urgency and wanted to hear all about it. He used to do Tai Chi when he was younger, can’t think why he ever stopped… then when I mentioned Matala, it turned out he had been there in 1986. Finally, feeling guilty about the patients still waiting, I stood up, thanked him and left the room, whereupon he followed me out to the waiting room still chatting and then saying ‘Oh yes, must remember to do that referral’. So I hope he didn’t get so carried away with reminiscences of good old Matala that he forgot to do the referral to the knee clinic.

So, the anti-inflammatory he has prescribed is called ‘naproxen’. Anyone had any experience of it?

Tackling the laundry mountain in the evening, I was surprised to find several pairs of Jack’s underpants with large holes in the back. It briefly occurred to me that they might be evidence that Jack, like his fictional namesake Jack the Bodiless, has developed the ability to actually (rather than metaphorically) fart flames. On reflection however, I think they are evidence of Sherlock’s extreme lack of discernment in what he chooses to gnaw on.

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