I’m a product of the 80’s; weaned on Smash and the best era of kid’s TV. My nickname of the last 6 years or so is Dolly. These 2 facts alone could be enough to justify the name of my blog but believe it or not there is more to it than that.
I’ve always been clumsy. I have scars that predate my memory, I broke my first bone at 5, was in A&E so much as a child that my parents were probed as to how I was always black and blue, and I’ve been x-rayed in excess of 50 times in my life.
Over the last few years I noticed that I was increasingly getting joint pain, my always knotty shoulders ached even more than they used to, my knees and ankles felt weak and my clumsiness showed no sign disappearing. However three months ago things worsened even more. I didn’t only have your usual aches and pains that I had put down to reaching the latter point of my 30’s. I had multiple, severe and sometimes burning pains all over my body. It was debilitating.
I saw a physio aged 19 following a shoulder injury and she had said to me that my joints were hypermobile, she also said that this was a good thing as I would ‘break fewer bones and I wouldn’t get arthritis when I got older’. It was also a running joke with friends and family that I needed new ankles or that if you looked at me harshly I would bruise.
I’ve got quite a high pain threshold. I don’t really do tablets, martyrdom is much more my thing; but when the pain got so severe I couldn’t ignore it I had to go to the chemist. And when the chemist could no longer supply drugs to ease my pain I had to go to the doctors. It was at this point I started to wonder whether my bendy joints could’ve been the cause.
I hadn’t realised that it wasn’t normal for your joints to lock in place or for them to regularly sound like the percussion section of an orchestra or indeed for them to give way on you when you are doing something as innocent as just walking. It was definitely normal for me.
It became clear that I wasn’t just any old Dolly but a raggy Dolly. Made imperfectly, as the song goes, and that these imperfections may well be a part of me that I was going to have to get used to.
(The picture is of Lucy who was my favourite of the Raggy Dolls. Well, behind Sad Sack isn’t that ironic for someone who also suffers with her mental health. Lucy was so called because her joints weren’t fixed on properly like the other dolls and they usedto fall off and bend the wrong way; that’s how she ended up in the reject bin.)