Friday 25th December 2015

10.45pm – I swear, my knees were giving birth

Had the night from hell last night. Woke at 2.30am, after having finally got to sleep at 1.30am once T had got back from her late shift in central, thinking surely it must be at least 5am because I feel super awake.

Then I noticed a dull ache in my knees which gradually worsened. I took two Solpadeine Max at about 3am but these didn’t hit the sides, so that by the time it got to 4.30am I was in excruciating pain.

The only way I could describe it is like my knees were giving birth. The pain was inside them, stabbing, searing away at the joints. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get relief. I tried to deal with it by myself, but eventually I had to ask T to get up with me – I couldn’t even sit and google my symptoms – I just rocked back and forth like a junkie.

We thought it could be a side-effect of withdrawing from the steroids (especially since I have had such a large dose recently), as other people had discussed feeling something similar online. So I took all five of my Prednisolone tablets at once to see if the dose would relieve my symptoms. They eased off to a dull ache for about 20 minutes, but the agonising pain soon returned.

By this point I could barely walk. I crawled up the stairs on my hands and knees to my mum’s room and woke her up too, while sobbing through gritted teeth. The three of us drove to her local A&E department. Merry fucking Christmas.

There were no other people there at 7am so I was seen quickly. They gave me a Tramadol tablet and the pain soon subsided. I was eventually examined quickly by a doctor who informed me matter-of-factly that joint inflammation is seen commonly among people with ulcerative colitis. He speculated that due to my recent severe flare, my body is exhibiting some new signs of inflammation, which were previously masked by the steroids. Now I’m tapering down my dose, the symptoms could be more likely to show up, he tells me. I can’t help but feel like this isn’t a steroid thing. I’ve heard about delayed reactions to Infliximab infusions. My gut is telling me he’s misdiagnosed the issue, but I suppose as long as the painkillers keep the pain under control, then that’s the main thing.

So now I have a seven day supply of Tramadol and co-codamol, which he recommended I take regularly to manage the pain and keep it at bay. I am a bit worried about taking such strong painkillers, but I can’t function with the pain I experienced this morning, so I feel like I don’t have a choice but to take them.

But I have to be thankful that I haven’t ended up back as an inpatient today. I doubt that I would have the same level of privacy that I had when staying on the new ward back home. I got to enjoy Christmas day at home with the family, unwrapping presents and enjoying Christmas dinner (albeit slightly spaced out on these meds).

Here’s hoping the pills let me get a decent night’s sleep tonight. God, do I need it.

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