This post is a reminder of an infamous article in the Daily Mail.
So I felt fine after doing a wee ride on 1st July, but when I went to bed my left buttock and thigh went into really painful contracted spasm, and stayed that way so I hardly slept. When I got up on Monday morning, the spasms went away but my left shin was very painful. It took me over 15 minutes to limp from the flat to the taxi-rank outside the Rutland – around a quarter of a mile, involving several stops and much swearing.
As the day wore on, the pain didn’t subside, but just moved from place to place in my left limb. From time to time, my left little toe hurt as if I had worn shoes that are far too small for several days, then the left arch near my heel would begin feeling as if I’d taped a pencil to it and then run a long way otherwise barefoot. Occasionally, the whole foot would feel as if it was in a vice that was occasionally, randomly tightened further. And when I walked, my shin muscle still hurt as well. This has continued for the past two weeks. On Tuesday 3rd June I cycled less than half a mile to my GP, then to Boots on Shandwick Place, then home, and was just about doubled over my bike in pain by the time I got home.
The most puzzling symptom is that my thigh and buttock are not painful when I’m sitting down or standing (while my foot throbs gently most of the time, interspersed with bouts of pain), but spasm within a few minutes of getting into bed. I can get relief by getting up, applying self-massage and hobbling around ,but that doesn’t help me sleep. I can now cycle short distances but most of the time my calf grumbles if I clip my left foot into the pedal, so I ride with the heel on the pedal with power only coming from my right leg.
I’ve had several physiotherapy sessions and a visit to my GP. I’ve been prescribed lots of exercises to loosen muscles, valium as an anti-spasmodic/relaxant, ibuprofen tablets and cream as general and topical analgesics, and omeprazole to counter stomach irritation caused by ibuprofen. However, neither I, the physiotherapist nor the GP can think of a cause for such varying symptoms. I did try co-codamol after a wee cycle on Sunday 15th but that was just a bad, nauseous trip – never again! I’ve managed to work most days, including helping run a very successful Library and Information Science colloquium* but I’ve spent a lot of money on taxis because walking to and from bus stops is unpleasantly painful, and I’m still quite sleep-deprived.
The pain has lessened in frequency and intensity, and I can walk more or less normally for short distances if I concentrate. I also recognise that I am very lucky to have an accessible free-at-point-of-use health service, a loving and supportive wife, kind and caring colleagues and a job with delightful colleagues that allows me time for medical appointments and not working at full efficiency. I could be so much worse off – hence the hashtag in this post’s title.
The timing of this lot is excellent considering that our Rhine-cycle starts in just over 2 weeks. Even if Elly has to tow me, or I need to get an electro-bike, we are going to do it. It can’t be a honeymoon if there’s no riding!