I hope you’re feeling happy now, I see you feel no pain at all.

We drank vodka and orange juice, beer, cider and rum and coke. Played Boggle online, keeping a tally of scores. Sat in the garden – both rain and shine – and smoked while getting sunburned one day and sheltering from the torrent by squeezing into the spider-infested shed the next. Ate pizza, kebabs, garlic mushrooms, toast, a roast dinner, chocolate mousse, biscuits and pack upon pack of Wotsits. We sat by the lake and stuffed our faces with chips, watching a swan paddling away near a stack of beer barrels and an old paddle-boat which is long past its prime but still takes tourists out on the lake in the summer; rust and all.

We lay in bed for hours. Napped when we felt like it, and stayed up late. Ventured out to buy large mochas and sat for hours, watching the world go by. Bought blackcurrant beer and German ale, and laughed at the weird and wonderful passing our little spot in the street. Had mind-blowing, sweaty sex, over and over. Watched Trailer Park Boys on YouTube and ordered takeaways so we wouldn’t have to go shopping. Played 8-ball with a couple of friends and smoked a not-so-sneaky joint outside the pub. Got drunk and stoned and laughed at nothing, for days on end.

Now, it’s Wednesday morning – almost 5am – and I’m sitting on my bed, wide-awake, cannabis smoke floating in the air and through the detritus which covers my bedroom. I don’t know what happened; a miniature hurricane, I can only assume. Pill packets and incense sticks are cluttering up my desk, along with bottles of nail varnish remover, jewellery holders, and empty tobacco packets. The coffee I made is strong and bitter, with grounds still floating on top, and my mouth is dry from all the smoke. I haven’t slept, and I have a doctor’s appointment at 9:30.

After such an amazing, hedonistic weekend… I should be happy. I am, really. I’m just… eh. Angry, I suppose.

I’ve occasionally mentioned having tendonitis. Acute Achilles tendonitis, to be exact. I’ve had it for over a year. There was no real obvious cause; the sole of my foot started aching every time I moved and, in a worryingly short space of time, I lost the ability to flex my foot up or down. I stuck it out for months, deciding it was yet another frustrating part of fibromyalgia, until the pain became so unbearable – like knives being driven into the back of my ankle – and I woke up one morning unable to hold any weight on my left foot. It was just dead; tingling and unresponsive with sharp ribbons of pain snaking over the whole of my lower leg. Naturally, I was a bit concerned and, considering I couldn’t walk and felt a weird combination of numbness and excruciating pain – along with balloon-like swelling of my foot and ankle – I went to A&E.

Long story short, I was given some painkillers and told to go home and rest. I wasn’t even seen by a doctor. I cried, but it got me nowhere. After going to my GP to complain that nothing was done to help the obvious damage, I was referred to a podiatrist/physiotherapist. He manipulated my foot, gave me insoles to force the tendon into place, and covered my ankle in ice until it burned. Whatever he did, the swelling refused to go down and so he referred me onto the biomechanics clinic to see a rheumatologist who specialises in movement.

Of course, they wrote to me and informed me that my appointment was to be moved to September.

That’s not why I’m angry. I’m angry because, after over a year, I’m still in pain. It’s yet another ridiculous sensation to deal with, and I’m sick of being pushed from pillar to post when nothing really seems to achieve anything. I’ve had an ultrasound scan, but still – over a month later – don’t know the results.

For the past four days, I’ve been unable to walk without standing on tip-toe on my left foot, because the tendon is so damn tight I can’t move it without pain. Tooth-gritting, wincing, tears-in-the-eyes pain. S has been his usual amazing self – fetching cups of coffee for me and helping me get over the back door step – but now that I’ve come back to my mother’s after an extended weekend (from Thursday to last night; S took some time off work) I’m quickly sinking into the old frustrations and regrets about not pushing harder for treatment. I’m such a mouse sometimes. I don’t want to tell anybody what to do.

That has to change today. Originally, I was seeing my doctor for a swollen finger; hardly the medical drama of the century, but a very painful inconvenience, and I figured I could get the whole blood pressure/side-effects/general emotional well-being stuff out of the way for another month or so. However, the red skin and suspicious ridged nail will have to take a backseat, because I’m determined to get something done about this damn foot today.

If I have to cry, I think I will. I rarely cry in front of doctors – I already feel inferior to them – but quite honestly… I just want this pain to stop. I have enough to deal with already, and I just need some respite. Some time to enjoy the effects of Lyrica – which doesn’t work on tendon pain or swelling – and try to start living my life again. Instead, this fucking tendon has taken over my life.

Over the weekend, the photograph of myself I posted has been weighing on my mind. Did I do the right thing? Am I utterly off my head to think that putting a photograph on such a personal blog is a good idea? More than once, I’ve thought about removing it; just deleting the post and forgetting it ever happened. However, doing that would also mean I’d lose all the comments which, although hard to read without wanting to run away, really made me feel secure, and my cold old heart was pretty damn warmed by knowing there are people reading this who don’t think I’m disgusting.

Also… nothing is ever lost on the internet. It’s there forever now.

So I just need to suck it up and accept that my anonymity was ruined a while ago, and it’s not like I’m a celebrity. The chance of somebody I know finding this blog on their own is still lower than low, and if they did find it… well, maybe they shouldn’t be so nosy. Perhaps they’d learn something.

I should really write a list for my GP. Each time I see him, I forget something vital. I only refuse to do it because my mother insists I write a bullet-point list – typed and printed – for every appointment; a bit of teenage rebellion which I never quite grew out of. This time… I haven’t slept. I haven’t drunk nearly enough coffee, and the weed is stronger than usual. Great for pain; not so great for thinking clearly.

If I throw myself on the floor and have a tantrum, do you think it’d achieve anything? I feel like it’s about time to direct my anger elsewhere than at myself.


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  1. *many hugs* and I hope the appointment goes well. The list is a good idea, not just for not forgetting stuff, but also to help keep things on track, rather than going off on whatever comes up. I have to use stuff like that myself all the time, because my brain is totally distractible sometimes.


  2. Stop yer bitchin’, girl, and go buy a couple of bags of frozen peas. Put them in zip lock baggies to keep them from leaking. Sit with your feet up … recliner is great if you have one. Otherwise, a hassock or something like that, even, in a pinch, a crate with a pillow on it.

    Put the frozen peas under your heels. Watch TV. When you start to feel a bit numb, put the peas back in the freezer for reuse, or cook and eat if you like peas (but then you’ll need more peas for next time.)


    has some decent information, but there’s tons of it all over the internet. It’s a VERY common problem. My son has a huge arthritic bony growths over his achilles tendon on the right foot and there’s NOTHING they can do for it that won’t completely cripple him. he was born with club feet and this is one of the weird results of that long ago surger. My granddaughter has had 19 surgeries on her right foot– also for for club foot (yes, it’s inherited genetic and runs in families … my son’s father was also born with club feet)… and her back is already 25% displaced. She’s not yet 16.

    You are not alone. We are all in pain. Sometimes, a LOT of pain a LOT of the time. You can only take so many pills before they stop really doing anything anyhow, and you can’t keep upping the doses indefinitely.

    Ice is cheap, no prescription needed and it works better than drugs. Painkillers really don’t accomplish much for this. Ice is better.There are things — this is one of them — where if you push for a cure, what you get is an eager surgeon who’ll slice and dice you and then you’ll be in a whole lot worse shape than you were before. If you think you can’t be worse off than you are, trust me, you can be. Tempting fate is always a dangerous game.

    I have the same condition and a bunch more, including spondylolythesis, stenosis, fibromyalgia, and just a hint of cancer and that’s just to name a few … but what the hell. My best friend has glaucoma and a few bits of cancer here there and everywhere, but we are planning to hand around at least another 30 years.

    My 43 year old son has the bad spine and the tendonitis AND the big bony growth and has had most of it from childhood. Bi polar disorder. And a bad case of poverty.

    There is NOTHING the medical profession can really do for you except tell you to use ice. It typically comes as a package deal with bursitis and Plantar fasciitis — all of which make walking less then a joyful experience. The surgery is VERY risky and is a last resort for serious athletes, which I sense you aren’t. Cortisone shots in the achilles tendon are also dangerous … it can turn you into a complete cripple … That is not a part of the body you want to mess around with.

    Ice REALLY helps. That’s all you’re going to get from a doctor. Ice. Peas are the best. Works good when your hips are inflamed, too. Love those peas.

    Settle down. Write more. Listen to some audiobooks. Get out of your head and into another world. And don’t forget the frozen peas.

    Oh, and you have to keep using the ice every day for a while. The pain will ease as the inflammation goes down. Then you can start so gently begin stretching the tendon a little teensy bit each day. Gently gently. Does it sound like I’ve been there and done this? You think?


    • It is obviously something you’ve experienced, and I appreciate you sharing your knowledge; I’m yet to meet another person who’s experienced tendonitis in the ankle/foot, so it’s been difficult to know what to expect.

      I don’t mean to shout you down or anything – it’s not my intention at all – but I’ve tried ice. I’ve tried ice for months on end, and it’s NEVER taken the swelling down. Peas? Yup. Ice packs. Buckets of ice water. Alternating heat and cold. It simply doesn’t work, and I think part of the problem is they’ve never actually taken a real look at what’s going on – no MRI or anything. So it may not be just tendonitis; part of the reason why I’ve been referred on is to look for arthritis in my ankle/foot… in which case, ice won’t help. I wish it did.

      As for tempting fate, I’m willing to tempt it I’m afraid. Yes, there’s a chance surgery could cause some serious damage, but so could the tendonitis; it’s forcing my spine and hips into unnatural positions and causing pressure to be put on my knees, which aren’t in the best shape to start with.

      As for painkillers… I have to disagree there. The right ones can work wonders; co-codamol takes the pain away quite well, but I don’t want to take it all the time. Celebrex takes down the majority of the swelling which allows me to wear shoes. Otherwise, I have a massive foot which refuses to go in even my widest trainers. Without the celebrex, I’d be totally unable to walk… I’ve tried it, to see if I was just fooling myself. Within a couple of days I wasn’t able to stand without somebody holding me up.

      I just want it over with, I suppose.


  3. Who would ever think you’re disgusting?? I think you’re amazing – and am in awe of how you deal with everything life slaps you with.
    And I didn’t get around to commenting on your pic, but I was struck by your innocent beauty – to look at you you’d never know just how much you live with and carry around with you on a daily basis.
    You impress the hell out of me, and I’m sure a lot of people feel the same x


  4. I can possibly see why anyone would think you are disgusting either, but i know that doesn’t take away your fear (although I wish it would). I hope the appt achieves something for you, and take a list (because I too easily forget everything I need to raise) but just hand write it on a scrap. The list is for you, no one else. Good luck!


  5. Damn it! I just saw my typo and it’s about the worst typo I could make… and I can’t delete it. :-( I didn’t for one moment mean to say I could see why people would think you’re disgusting. You’re not. You’re a beautiful person inside and out, and I don’t need a photo to see that. I’m sorry, I could kick myself.


  6. Wotcha.

    Achilles and posterior tibial tendonitis in both legs for two years now. Just got off crutches. I do know how frustrating it is. I have a mental illness as well and nothing has crippled my sanity further like not being able to go out and do the things that used to help with the crazy, like long, strident, angry walks.

    But. It is going to get better. At one point it looked like I was going to end up in a wheelchair because the excruciating tightness had spread to the rest of my legs and I had no length in calves or hamstrings either…but. A good physiotherapist and podiatrist – slowly but surely, it is being sorted out. It *will* get sorted out for you, too. Hang in there, push for treatment, and you can always bitch about it to me whenever you feel like it because boy, do I know how agonising it is, inside and out.



    • Yes, I totally get it about not being able to walk the anger off. I wasn’t very active before the tendonitis – because of chronic pain – but I used to walk a lot. Constantly, really. There’s nothing better than stomping the frustration out on the streets, so I really do share your sanity-crippling stress from having a dodgy leg. In your case, two legs… I have to be honest, if I had to deal with that (kudos to you) I’d have given up long ago. It’s a pain you just can’t describe.

      I’m so glad you’re seeing improvement; it gives me hope. It’s easy to feel like giving up after a year or more of crippling pain and, like you, there’s been the wheelchair fear. I’m prone to sciatica, and both together… eeesh. It’s far from fun, and I’m sorry for anyone who has to experience it. I’ve tried not to feel sorry for myself but the past couple of weeks have been a pain-filled nightmare.

      Thank you so much for your kind words and support; it’s so good to know somebody gets it.



  7. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and discomfort it causes you, along with everything else. So anything I say will not be sufficient. I hope it’s curable and reversible and you get looked after soon.
    If I were you, I’d do anything I possibly can do, to be taken seriously and looked at. It must be so frustrating.


    • It is frustrating. I think the worst thing is knowing that the longer it’s left, the worse it’s going to get. I’ve lost so much movement in my foot and ankle in just a couple of months, and I don’t want the tendon to either tear or stay shrunk and contracted because of scar tissue.

      But, y’know. I get down, but try to ignore it. Sometimes it just gets to me. Thank you so much for your kind words, luv <3


  8. I can’t imagine how horrible it is to be trapped in a health care system with so little humanity. Many of the things you describe come close to, if not exceed, medical malpractice in the US.

    Time to write your book, make a few pounds, and go with private health care. Why not? You have a compelling story. You’re a good writer. Much of it’s already written. And you now have a beautiful end flap photo of yourself! Seriously. Think about it.


  9. Love from a hot, sunny afternoon in Maine. Your last line deserves to be at the top of your priority list. I still take things out on myself, too, and it isn’t doing either of us any good. Whatever has convinced you that you are not beautiful, I wish you could ball up and throw into the ocean, but since you have to live with it, please try to remember that we, who love you, are not lying when we say how pretty you are, and how much you still have ahead of you. I hope you kicked your heels and banged your fists long enough to get some help with the pain today. 8-)


  10. Ajolopies for not visiting for a while – life got in the way.

    Hope your appointment goes well and you make some headway – can’t imagine the pain you must be feeling, which won’t be helped by the feeling your needs are being ignored.

    Some docs are irritated by lists – but I recall you have a good doc – so I am sure he won’t mind. That aside a list is a good thing – I am sure we all when leaving the docs have thought ‘Damn – I forgot to ask/mention that!” – I know I have. I took a list once and didn’t care what the doc thought…

    Loadsa hugs

    Anna :o]


    • Muchos hello, Anna! I know all about life getting in the way; I hope whatever it is is either continuing (if it’s good, which I hope it is) or well and truly sorted if it’s the negative. Either way, it’s good to see you around!

      Strangely, I ended up seeing another doctor. I’m currently putting off writing about it through epic procrastination. Many, many hugs right back!


  11. I often have that feeling of a deflated balloon after an elongated amount of time in which I was extremely happy and at ease. That little depression bug finds something for you o pick at and pick at until it gets all festery and rude. Anyway, it’s a relateable subject, even if nobody knows why it happens.

    I’m sorry about the pain, and I wish I could help you through it in some way, but alas, there is none.

    That picture.. Accepting a compliment is probably the hardest thing to do, especially when you disagree, or hate the fact it’s been given. But, like it or not, you’re pretty, and like it or not, you’re going to get random compliments, :D. It happens, and I know it’s hard. But anonymity isn’t completely gone when you’re out on the web. You could know your whole life story forwards and backwards, and know what you look like, and still slightly have a degree of the safe and secure anonymous.. ness? (if that’s seen as a could-be word)

    Anyways, you’ve nothing to be ashamed of here, and to be honest, from someone who has avoided putting a full picture of their face for so long, out of fear and anxiety, I think you’ve been a brave lady to do so. You’ve overcome that in a way. It was a problem, and you said, “Screw you.” to it and did it anyways. Even if you’re thinking of taking it down. I think i’d be kind of sad if you removed it.

    Now that I’ve written a book; I love your blog, I love your face, and I love you. Even though I have no idea who you are.


  12. I love your blog. So sorry you’re in pain. Also, I completely understand what you are going through with confronting your doctors. It is very hard to learn how to stand up for yourself, even if it is to say, “No, wait a minute, that won’t work. It didn’t work last time, and it’s not going to work this time, and if this is all you have to offer me, I’d like to see someone else before I leave, please. Who is your supervisor?” (I know this sounds terribly crass and American, but it is extremely effective.)

    Doctors, nurses, other health care providers are no different than you or me, or any other reader of this blog, meaning that they are flawed, stupid on some days, but also brilliant on others. That means it is unwise to walk in, prostrate yourself on the examining table and say, “Let me know when you’re done, dear.” Who knows what you’ll get.

    I also hear what you’re saying about not wanting to have “Mom’s list” to go to the doctor. So make YOUR list. Print it in pretty color markers on a sticky note or something so it feels more like you. But bring it so that you run the agenda on the meeting. Doctors have to take you seriously when you come prepared.

    It’s not your fault if the health care provider you’re assigned to see is not especially competent. The only part of the equation you can control at all these days is your own side of it. Another way to do that is to bring an advocate who is in on your scheme. Then there are two of you making sure your intentions for the four minutes you get actually are fulfilled.

    Sorry to have gotten on my soapbox. I just get really upset when a friend is not treated well. I wish I could go with you and be your advocate. I would kick some serious….well, you get the idea.

    Carry on. You’re a great, great writer! I agree about the book, too. It’s half written in this blog. Now all you have to do is revise.




  13. I’m sorry you’re experiencing that nagging pain. It’s easy for others to write off, but when it interferes with your ability to live a normal life – yeah, it’s more important to address than they thought.

    You’re an excellent writer, and not disgusting at all. If you want to cry, cry. When you do so, you excrete a “stress chemical” related to cortisol in your tears. Ever wonder why you feel better after a good cry? Except for the headaches, hah.

    I hope your situation improves and that you get through this sooner than later. You have our support if you need it.


    • Thank you so much Anna, both for your kind words and your support. It means a lot. Before I experienced long-lasting pain, I think I wrote it off in others too. Pain is so subjective that unless you’re feeling it… you just don’t know. Sometimes I wish the naysayers could know how it felt to be in constant pain.

      I had a little cry today. My meds intefere with the whole crying process though, so it’s harder for me than it should be. I do think that’s part of the problem.


  14. I’m glad you blogged. I missed you. Weird, huh?
    I’m just a little woman in Greenville South Carolina that thinks you’re awesome.
    You have more freedom than I do, trust me.
    You make me bolder to write in my blog.
    You make me post more pictures.
    You make me hope.

    Because I ain’t afraid of nobody-to use your quote :D- (except maybe my family, duh). Glad you had a “hedonistic, hippie trippie weekend”….I need one of those. Maybe I don’t. I’ve had just ONE too many close calls with the silver bullet, if you know what I mean. Maybe I’ll just watch Across the Universe. Heehee.


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