Parkies is a pain in the arse… quite literally, or maybe not?
Now that doesn’t really make sense perhaps, but here’s the deal. For some time now I have had a pain basically in my left buttock that then sends excruciating pain down my left leg. The pain’s favourite time to do this is around 2.00am or 3.00am most nights.
I have had a check-up with a Physiotherapist and an MRI recently and there seem to be differing opinions regarding the cause. I have been researching through ‘Doctor Google’ and it seems to be the case that approximately 50% of people with Parkies have issues with pain. The Sports Doctor I saw says my X-ray shows some narrowing in the spine which may be causing referred pain which then travels down my leg. I asked if Parkinson’s might have an impact on the situation and she agreed that this is possible. So, generally speaking my pain in the arse is a pain in the arse to diagnose. I think it is a combination of a number of factors myself, but then what do I know?
So, the upshot of all this is that once again the phrase ‘Exercise is medicine’ has been bandied about. There doesn’t seem like there is any particular cure and that my 61 year old body has some general wear and tear which could be partly an injury – such as my fall – but also partly just old age’s effect on my knackered old body. The advice then is to go to a gym and get a programme set up to work on strengthening my core, getting fitter (and less fat) and basically strengthening my body. I am good with that. I used to go to the gym for several years and enjoyed it, so I am happy to give it another crack.
Also, I am to have a bone density scan to see how my bones are doing, so that if need be I can take some supplements to assist with bone density to reduce the risk of further fractures if I fall.
So, my body is a bit of a mess…
I have arthritis in my hands
I have arthritis in my knees
I have arthritis in my spine (new diagnosis)
I have a fracture in a vertebrae
I have narrowing around my spinal chord (new diagnosis)
I have a hiatus hernia
I have disphagia – trouble with swallowing
I have – of course – Parkinson’s
So, apart from that I am in tip top condition for a 61 year old!!
My husband often comments on the fact that I don’t complain much about the pain in my hands, or my stomach or other parts of my body. The thing is, I have learned not to ‘attend to’ pain. I tend to briefly acknowledge it to myself – ie. ‘Hmmm that’s a bit sore’ – and then move on. I can’t focus on all the things that give me pain, or my life would quickly become all about pain. This does make it difficult when in front of medical professionals who ask about pain levels or frequency. I’m sure they think I am just being difficult when I struggle for an answer. The truth is, I just work my way through it and don’t give it too much attention or brain space.
So, yes, my butt is a pain in the arse. Another pain I will perhaps need to relegate to the back of my mind, do my exercises and try to manage, but perhaps not ever fully eliminate.
Oh, well. I should be pretty good at it by now!