A lot of you might not have heard of hypermobility. I certainly hadn’t before I got diagnosed with it in July 2011. For as long as me or my mum can remember, I’ve had joint pain. My mum told me a story where I was about 3. We were waiting to cross at a road and my legs just gave way. No reason at all. Naturally, my mum thought I was being difficult haha! And there was another time where I went on a school trip and walked the length of a local river. When I got home, I was in that much pain, it exhausted me and I slept for ages!
So what is hypermobility? Hypermobility is just where your joints are just extra bendy..like the photo below.
It doesn’t hurt me to do that. I can also bend my thumb back to touch my wrist..
Hypermobility syndrome is a little bit different. It’s where you also get pain with the bendiness. And this is what I have. After many blood tests, rheumatologist and physio visits, they told me I am hypermobile in every joint apart from my hips and shoulders. Last year, they also told me I’m on the Fibromyalgia spectrum for tiredness and tender points and earlier this year, I was diagnosed with mild Raynaurds as well.
So why am I telling you this? Not much is known about hypermobility and I’d like to spread awareness. It did affect my pregnancy and ultimately, the way I gave birth. I had to be under consultant care as well as a midwife (although it didn’t help much at all!) and I developed late onset SPD thanks to my pelvis being extra stretchy. My midwife knew nothing of this condition and Google didn’t give me any answers. I felt very let down and alone as no-one knew what risks/problems my HMS could/would cause. I think this needs to be addressed.
After having Henry, I didn’t have any pain for ages. I thought that having him had maybe stretched my joints and strengthened them too. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. About 6 months after his birth, I started aching again. It wasn’t as bad but it’s been getting progressively worse since. I’ve been prescribed strong painkillers and I also have sleeping tablets to help me fall into a deep sleep to refresh my joints. Obviously, I can’t take these because I’m a mum and I’m on call 24/7.
As you know, I had a car accident last month and I’m currently undergoing physio. Unfortunately, I don’t think my physio knows I have hypermobility (despite me mentioning it at my assessment appointment). After my physio appointments, I’m in so much pain, I can barely walk. Like today, I couldn’t even peel a potato because standing up hurt and my fingers and wrists ached.
Sometimes it makes me feel like a bad mum. Some days, I can’t leave the house and I do rely heavily on the TV to keep Henry amused while I have to rest. The pain can make me extremely grumpy too so I can snap at him for no reason. I would love to be one of these mums who can play for hours with their child, take them to the park and just be with them. But I can’t. Henry won’t sit with me to watch a film, he wants to explore haha! Things won’t get better, I just have to adjust and make it work.
Not enough is done/known about this condition. After my diagnosis, my drs etc gave up on me. I should have had x-rays and scans but I never did. I do feel let down because it’s impacting on my life. But this is how it is and I make it work. For the sake of my baby.