The dodgy hip

About twenty years ago (I felt ancient while writing those first four words!) I injured myself during a rehearsal for a ballet show. Basically, while lowering my leg from a high arabesque, my hip got stuck and didn’t go back to its proper position (if you can imagine that). It just so happened that my parents were abroad at the time and the persons who were taking care of me and my sister refused to take me to hospital or to a doctor, accusing me of making a fuss out of nothing. I limped for three days and after that my hip and leg got increasingly stiff and painful. Upon my parents’ return I started undergoing 10 years of x-rays, blood tests, physiotherapy, MRIs, consultations with the best surgeons/specialists on the islands and all that jazz. Nothing ever changed. Eventually I had to give up dancing and I learned to live with a stiff hip, dull pain (which becomes excruciatingly sharp on humid days or when I am very tired) and a limited choice of physical activities I could practice. I never mention the pain simply because it has become a normal part of my life.

Then came two weekends ago. I wore wedges all day and carried our 20kg daughter (on that hip) for some time while we watched a gig. Not the wisest thing I could have done, obviously. I’ve been in pain and haven’t been able to walk for more than 20 paces without limping ever since. A couple of days ago my husband and I managed to go out on a date to a Chinese restaurant. After a couple of hours I stood up from my chair and almost fell flat on my face after my leg gave way. I managed to (literally) drag my leg halfway across the restaurant (I must have looked a sight, I know) when the owner of the restaurant stopped me and asked me what had happened to me. She was really concerned and I just laughed it off. Only while regaling her with my medical history (she insisted!) and seeing her shocked expression did I realise how much I had been putting up with, simply because I have given up hope that something will ever change. She is Chinese and doesn’t like to rely on drugs (which is what I’m trying not to do myself). When she asked me whether I had ever tried Chinese cupping or acupuncture I wondered why I had never thought of them before. She suggested I go to the hospital (there is only one hospital on this island) to see the Chinese doctor who comes every Wednesday. And so I did.

I spent thirty minutes lying down with 7 needles sticking out of my right hip, listening to a group of elderly women discussing their various aches and pains outside my room. The doctor was tiny, had a pimply face and was very sweet. His English was quite good and we managed to communicate.  His jaw dropped open too when I told him the injury was from twenty years ago and he said he’ll only know whether the treatment will do me any good after three sessions so I guess I’ll have to go back next week. For now, the pain is as acute as ever.



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  1. That sounds awful. It’s good that you’re looking into alternative treatments though. I believe that if they didn’t work then they wouldn’t be around.

  2. My husband was rear ended almost 10 years ago and suffered whiplash. The western doc told him that since he was almost 30, he would have neck and back pains for the rest of his life. She said “You just don’t heal as well at this age.” He started seeing an accupuncturist and a chiropracter. He received treatment for about a year and was greatly improved. Today he has no back or neck pain. At all. Good luck with your treatments. I have high hopes. 🙂

    • thanks bronwyn! i honestly hadn’t thought about my hip for many years. last time i sought help was after my daughter’s birth and then the mri didn’t show anything abnormal and i couldn’t have medicine because i was breastfeeding. it’s only when i’m incapacitated to this degree that i feel i must do something (again) to try and find a way to make it better. i gave up hope years ago but your husband’s story makes me think all might not be lost.

  3. Oh my God!!! How horrible! Do you think that if it was seen to earlier something could have been different? How awful either way! Poor you. I hope this treatment works, and in any case that you feel better soon *hugs*

    • thanks clare. i don’t know whether things would have turned out differently had the injury been seen to immediately. i don’t have much faith in this island’s hospital but i’m sure it would have prevented things from degenerating so much.

  4. oh dear. very sorry to hear about this. Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery. Also, have you considered accupuncture for the PMS? -it can be very helpful! (I know from experience!)

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