Hippy Shit.

Welcome to another thrilling instalment of Martin’s arthritis diaries. 

Well it’s been an illuminating week, a visit to the hospital has brought news which I was not expecting, I require a new hip, apparently one of the two that I came with is what is colloquially known in the trade as totally fuc*ed. Also an operation on each foot involving metal rods through each toe, removal of bone tissue apparently will mean that I will no longer have size 10 feet but instead somewhere closer to size eights. Whilst my shoe collection isn’t exactly the size of Imelda Marcos it does appear that I will need an entirely new bunch of shoes. This arthritis business is expensive.

It’s really rather irritating to find that bits of me supplied at the beginning are now turning faulty. Surely they are supposed to come with a life time guarantee? I am fifty-seven, for gods sake, why do I need a new hip?

If I believed in God I would be having a serious word with Him/She/They. As it is I am now looking for the medical profession to step in. With four million outstanding procedures in the NHS thanks to Covid its gonna be interesting………….

I get double teamed at a London Hospital by a Doctor & Consultant and to be honest it was quite a hoot all said. At the end of the process I had to sign a responsibility waiver, I watched as the Doctor stuck labels all over a four page form, printed with disclaimers, the labels were for the most part indications of what could go wrong. He duly read these out, beginning with the big one, DEATH, then a host of other nasties which are less final.

Possible side effects says he, Death, then he laughs out loud, I laugh out loud & we both seem to find the idea hilarious. I am not quite sure why.

Since then I’ve been thinking that I should read up on the operation, so intending to research on the internet I duly set aside some time yesterday and googled away. However as per usual I got waylaid and found myself going down a rabbit hole of medical maladies on the inter web. Never ever look on the internet if you think you are ill, you will just find new diseases you never knew existed.

I began reading a blog by a British lady living in France, she talked about having a throat infection and heading to the chemist, Madame, she says to the lady chemist, do you have something for my sore throat?

The lady behind the counter goes to a shelf and brings back an array of remedies which she lines up on the counter. 

Madame replies the lady in the white coat, this one is the best. She points to a bottle of tablets the size of horse tranquillisers, 

The Brit lady explains she thinks with the swelling in her throat that it would be a problem to swallow them. 

Madame, no, they are suppository!

Continuing down the rabbit hole I learn that more than 230 tonnes of pills make their way into French back passages each year.

For a British person in general the idea of sticking pills up yer bum is an anathema, for the French it appears a way of life, as a Brit approaching a sore throat via your bum seems to make no logical sense whatsoever, but then I am not French.

I go on to find that the French have diseases and maladies that we haven’t even discovered which are common reasons for absence from work. 

Two such uniquely Frankish illnesses are ‘Crise de Foie’, a Liver crisis. Apparently this is anything involving a general pain in the vicinity of the liver, how come we don’t get it? Is it due to rich food? Red wine? Or what?

More intriguing still ‘Wobbly legs’.  Bonjour Boss, I won’t be able to come into work today, I’m suffering from Wobbly legs………………

I’ve not been able to definitively work out what wobbly leg syndrome is but perhaps that is for the best, after all what you don’t know you don’t miss. However this particular malady is well documented in French medicine and should you go to the Docs with wobbly legs a number of pills are readily available.

Returning to my own hospital visit the best result was a steroid injection into my knee which after six months of near perpetual discomfort has lessened my pain to a bearable level. Thank goodness. 

I now wonder what’s in store for me, if with treatment I can get myself to a place where I can function like a human being or if its all down hill from here. Three operations more than a year of ongoing treatment, hospitalisation, the possibilities are intellectually fascinating & the reality is likely to be even more so. A journey that I really don’t want to make but must take. 

Tally Ho. 

We can rebuild him, probably.


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