Bedford, UK

The COVID 19 lockdown indirectly meant I saved money. This in turn meant when society was allowed to continue again I was in a position to have one last ditch attempt at easing some of my body’s aches and pains. I went to an osteopath which was a big monetary expense but one I would now value with hindsight, as priceless. For the first time in 5 years I’m not battling with chronic pain.

I injured myself quite significantly playing rugby in 2015. Logically I knew that the pain was constant but after a certain amount of time I got used to it and stopped noticing that I was in pain 24/7. I had pins and needles in my foot all the time, shooting pains radiating down my leg and any clothes that were tight on it would feel like hot needles. No matter how I stood, sat or lay, pain was my ever persistent companion.

I had a bumpy ride after my injury, but after about a year I was blessed with a fantastic surgeon. After my op I was feeling hopeful but months passed and my pain levels refused to budge. I expressed this at a check-up and whilst it hadn’t healed brilliantly they told me there was no reason they could see as to why I was still in pain. I don’t believe it was their intention but I felt gaslighted. Like the pain was in my head. By this point, my fight had withered and was pretty much completely diminished. I carried on with life, with an altered gait at 25 years old and put on a positive front to find something else to turn my attention to since my rugby career had come to a crashing end. I battled substance abuse in the form of tramadol, but luckily managed to spot this before it escalated. I’ve not touched it since and I don’t take medication stronger than paracetamol now.

I am so lucky to have been able to seek private medical help. I have never before been in that position. Disposable income is something I’ve only had in the last 2 years. I am so grateful that my financial position has changed and COVID gave me something good. Sadly this isn’t the case for everyone.

I think I missed a total of 3 gym sessions over the time period I was injured, tried to play rugby on a number of occasions and have a physical job, on the surface no one knew the pain I was in, but honestly telling those closest to me helped. Those days I barely slept and the pain was almost too much, it was great to have people who understood why I was grumpy!

I guess the final thing I want to say is if you’ve got anything constantly niggling away at you eventually it will get you down and the attitude of suck it up and get on with it only lasts so long, even amongst the most stubborn!