Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Soldiering On



Despite suffering chronic pain for most of my life, other than a total hip replacement, Monday's steroid injection was the first pain relief I've ever been offered.


My fellow patients were shocked at what they considered to be the National Health Service's negligence but it's my own doing. I hardly ever visit the doctor and rarely take painkillers.


I'm not scared of hospitals, it's being dependant on other people I can't deal with. I'm the worst patient in the world. I hate feeling weak, defenceless and vulnerable. I'd rather solider on than make a fuss.


Arthritis has never stopped me doing anything, it's something I was born with and it's as much part of me as breathing. I played hockey for the school team, trained as a chef and had a career which led to me being on my feet for 13 hours a day for years. As an employee, I never called in sick. Despite my awkward limp I've wasn't short of admirers, never resorted to wearing sensible shoes or failed to keep fit. Apparently I'm eligible for a blue badge and disability benefit, should I choose to accept them, but all that can sod off, I don't need handouts. That's just giving in and admitting defeat.

Solider maxi waistcoat (previously seen HERE), 1960s Bukta school leotard (20p, jumble sale), 1970s Handmade by Bronley geometric print maxi skirt (50p, car boot sale), turquoise suede boots (courtesy of sexpot Helga)
Constant pain is like having a sound system strapped to your ears and ramped up to the highest level. It nags away at you, lowers your tolerance levels and distracts you but, like any minor irritant, you learn to live with it. You don't suffer fools gladly and despise moaners and pessimists; you fight harder and work longer because as soon as you let your guard down the noise comes back.


People call me brave, which I'm not, nobody chooses to have a disability but I can do fuck all about it so I might as well just get on with it. Moaning just alienates you from other people.



Give pain an inch and it will take a mile. Let it stop you doing what you want and you'll become defined by it. Work through the pain barrier, exercise daily, wear your highest heels and your brightest clothes because when people compliment you for looking fabulous you instantly feel better.


Yay! An improvement already. Today's soundtrack is less Megadeth and more The Carpenters, it's there but it's much less wearing.

Thanks for you kind messages and comments, it made things feel a billion times brighter.

1950s feather print vinyl beach bag (£1.99, Banardos)
By way of celebration I've out been charity shopping and treated myself to a bottle of rum on the way home.

Cheers! 

91 comments:

  1. That soldier waistcoat is nothing short of amazing!! x

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  2. Glad the injection helped. Enjoy the rum!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

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  3. you are amazing...........no wonder we all adore you !

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  4. Hi there! So pleased to hear you're beginning to feel somewhat better, loving your outfit and attitude and the vinyl beach bag and rum are lovely treats! xxx

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  5. I sooo LOVE your attitude! Pain is debilitating and so many people have to live with it. I'm glad the shot has helped. (Really want to steal that maxi coat!) xxx

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  6. Ypou look amazing as always in your soldier outfit!!! just goreous!!

    Ttoally get you about the pain.. It's there and i'm spending my life hopped up on drugs. Just soldier on!!

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  7. How can you not soldier on in a waistcoat like that! You look amazing in it. Was it something you made? Out of curtains no less?? You are truly a goddess I can only hope to attain such heights as you have scaled. merci, ma belle, Vix.

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  8. Never mind the clothes and all the rest of it Vix, you are actually amazing. Wonderful and amazing and I wish everyone would read your blog because there is so much to learn about how to deal with the world. No self-indulgent moaning here people! I'm so glad you are starting to feel a bit better. Lots of love. xxxxxxxxx

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  9. Vix, I feel like you're speaking directly to me. That has been one of my biggest struggles....being dependent on other people. I HATE it! I am so happy that everything went well for you. Love the arrow on your leg. You are an art project! Your bedroom fabric soldier vest is the perfect recovery outfit. Hip hip hooray!

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  10. How strange I was thinking about your fantastic soldier coat the other day, as its so fantastic it obviously stayed in my mind.
    And there you are looking resplendent in it today. Glad you are having a bit of relief from the pain. My youngest girl was really poorly when she was two weeks old, she just suddenly started crying and would not stop literally for nearly two days she was admitted into hospital and the Dr's all started head scratching and had no idea what was wrong with her. Very scary. long story short after many tests they came back with contracted arthritis. Never heard of it. But she has had problems on and off since though they say she is clear of arthritis. She soldiers on though like you though she does have a bit of a cry when she is having a particularly bad spell. Bless her Though she has her wonderful sense of humour that helps her I think.

    Being dependent on others is the pits I can relate to that. You carry on soldiering on! With of course that awesome coat.


    P x

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  11. I could do a get well soon card, but the problem with chronic pain is theres no quick fixes, you just try to get up in the morning and soldier on (not a bad pun on the waistcoat). Hoping today and tomorrow are better

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  12. I love you so much my sweet Vix. You are as wise as you are gorgeous! I can't agree more we can't let our trials and tribulations define who we are they can help shape us but they do not own us. I remember first meeting you and noticing your limp and thought what's up there she never mentioned anything and its because it is a small part of you and does not define you. Thanks for always inspiring me to just get on with it!
    Speak soon!
    I love you!!!!
    XXOOXXOO

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  13. I agree with the exercise , i had a doctor tell me to take tramadol for the pain and then exercise while taking it, my back recovered tremendously by gradually building up exercise up to some days 50 mins a day , the last couple of weeks i have slipped with the routines and have not done any for nearly three weeks, so guess what its come back again and the arthritis in my hips is hurting too,it just proves exercise is good for you and you are an ambassador for exercise and keeping active if ever i saw one xxx

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  14. Ah, the rum will ease the pain. I hope you are feeling better following your injection, and fair play at not letting it get the better of you. Like you, I hate going to doctors. I walked around for weeks as a teen with a broken toe before i would admit defeat and go. Keep soldiering on. Xx

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  15. Im so glad the injection helped!
    I do fore sure knows how tired you get of havIng constant pain. I have atrthiritis in my knee and in my foot , and a smashed up shoulder but i pretend that im ok .
    Xxx

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  16. You certainly don't let anything stop you, Vix, you're a bloody marvel. I don't doubt that if it was me, I would be whingeing for England! I'm glad the steroids have helped, that the pain is at Carpenters level, and that you can touch your toes with a smile on your gorgeous face! Being ill or having a disabling condition does add an uncomfortable element of vulnerability to life, which is hard to deal with. You don't let it get to you (at least not in public) and certainly don't let it define your life. Good on you!

    You look amazing in your soldier print waistcoat and that pretty shade of blue so suits you. Loving that funky beach bag - just right for a few chazza bits'n'bobs and a bottle of rum! Enjoy, darling! xxxx

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  17. Did they like your slippers? Well done for soldiering on, you are brave even if you don't think so.

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  18. I'm glad the injection helped - lovely photo of you touching your toes & smiling.
    Love your waistcoat and those blue boots are just fab.
    Enjoy the rum!xxx

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  19. Your soul is so strong amor! I'm like you hate going to the Doctors ,but will complain if my pain last for days.loving your soldier waist coat and you bending.A bottle of rum should numb the pain.Now, I want a beach bag.

    Besos

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  20. So pleased it all went well and you are seeing the benefits already. It's okay to put on a brave face so long as you wimper a bit to Jon so you can at least be waited on hand and foot for one day. He can serve you rum as you recline in your fluffy slippers. xxx

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  21. Good on you. Cheers.
    Love from Mum
    xx

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  22. Good for you, Vix! I know two people who have chronic pain and who have spiraled down into heavy prescription pain killer use---they are shadows of themselves, and the only thing they ever talk about is their pain and the drugs they take for it. You show that it doesn't have to be that way. Rock on, lady, rock on!

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  23. You are a trooper and a real inspiration for sure! And you are right that it's best to deal with what you've got before you and be your best. Why make an excuse for your condition and allow it to hold you back? Who wants to let life pass them by? Well plenty of people do and you're not one of them!

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  24. Fantastic attitude, at least the drugs are working a little bit & helping on the 'soundtrack'!
    Drop dead gorgeous waistcoat btw!

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  25. Oh Vix ... you are a strong one indeed. I didn't realize that you were in constant chronic pain because you come off as being so footloose and fancy free. But really, I am sorry to hear about what you have no choice but to put up with. And I'm glad that you finally accepted some sort of pain relief.

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  26. I'm glad you found some relief. I ended up with a cortisone shot in the knee a few months back and whew! what a relief. I was also admiring your coat (I love it!) and bam! there you were, touching your toes! Just fabulous! (good call on the Rum!)

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  27. This post brought tears to my eyes because of your strength and determination. I am so glad you are feeling better and look fabulous as ever.
    And it is true as someone said above, more people should read your blog to learn.

    Take care,love,

    Masha

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  28. You are an inspiration to us all.
    Love you.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  29. SO glad to see you looking good (as always) and feelin' much better, Vix.

    Thanks for the well-worded post today. You and I think alike in so many ways.

    xxxxxx

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  30. Glad you are on the mend and well done you! You have an amazingly positive attitude and I applaud you for it. There are alot of silent sufferers out their just getting on with their lives, we all know one or have our own pains to live with. But its the lovely get on with it people like yourself that help!

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  31. Glad to see that you're back on top form, Vix. Husband also has arthritis and his approach is identical to your: you don't give in, you fight it all the way. xxx

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  32. I love your attitude, I'm just the same. Funny thing is, my family came from the black country, and all the women in the family have joint/arthritis problems - are we related I wonder??!! My sister had both hips replaced by age 40, and now just getting over cancer, but just like you we soldier on regardless.

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  33. Really pleased to hear the injection helped. I keep ignoring my knackered right hip in the hope that it'll go away. Unlikely, but in the meantime I try not to let it stop me doing what I want. Am going back to Tai Chi classes next week in the hope that may help my fitness and mobility in general.

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  34. Rum makes everything better, cheers x

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  35. A true trooper you are, Vix!

    LOVE YOUR ATTITUDE:-)

    I, too don't like to rely on others & professionals etc. Who wants to be a victim;something you are not(far from it:-)love your style, lovely!

    X

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  36. I'm glad to know that you are feeling better, you look even super fabulous (that long vest you made is always one of my favourite creations)! There aren't enough words to comment this post because it's a great reading and a huge inspiration for everyone! You are more than a muse, you are a real hero!!
    Love xxxxxxxx

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  37. I'm glad to know that you are feeling better, you look even super fabulous (that long vest you made is always one of my favourite creations)! There aren't enough words to comment this post because it's a great reading and a huge inspiration for everyone! You are more than a muse, you are a real hero!!
    Love xxxxxxxx

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  38. Fantastic post. Very inspiring indeed. Me, I'm a total wuss but reading your post makes me want to '(wo)man up' and stop being a wuss sometimes :)
    Lot's of hugs xx

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  39. I too fear being dependant on other people, or worse, G...ugh.
    I fecking hate how people love to whinge and carry on for attention. Got an issue?! Here's a tissue!!!
    I'm the put up and shut up variety, except for when I have a cold!!!
    You are the total guru, darling, and I'm thrilled the steroid injection has given you a reprieve for a time.
    You are such a Goddess, I adore and worship you!
    Love Helga xxxXXXxxx

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  40. I've always loved your great attitude, but this post makes me feel enthusiasm!, you're inspiring, intelligent and Fabulous! and I'm so glad you share your genuine attitude with us!, thanks, dear lady!!, you're like a ray of sunshine!!
    besos

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  41. love your blog and think youre brilliant my sis is also in severe pain and has exactly the same attitude as you ...hugs hugs hugs xxx

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  42. well I do love you even more now, if that's possible, for being a do-er and not a complainer. And I think you're brave, scold me if you must. Chronic pain must be such a burden, I cannot even imagine dealing with pain on a regular basis. When I used to have painful menstrual periods, I moaned like a goat for a full day! (and took to the couch with my hot water bottle). Love your soldier dress. xoxo

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  43. Holy shit you're a bad@ss!!! Glad you got some relief!

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  44. Vix, I don't know how I found you. I can't remember, but I'm glad I did. You are so uplifting. Fabulous in every way.

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  45. You don't realise how constant pain wears you down until it stops - HURRAH FOR THE STOPPING!! I'm glad you've got hospital over and done with and hope you had a rum old time with your bottle of grog :) xx

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  46. I hope you are feeling stronger each day Vix, I can totally relate to your sentiments. Take care of yourself x

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  47. I hate it when I go to the dentist for some work and they want to "give" me a Rx for a pain med. No thanks you. I did take them when I had an operation a couple of years ago. The operation was on a Wad, I stopped the pain meds on Friday, I had stuff to do and they made me way to sleepy.

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  48. good to see your feeling better Vix! My dad used to just tell me to suck it up, but i think if he had said it as eloquently as you, i wouldn't have become the whiny mess that i am when im sick. I love being looked after and i like looking after others in return so im a funny mix of give and take.

    I always thought you would be a yoga-doing person, perhaps now that might be a good easy exercise for you?

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  49. Glad you feel better. Love the whole out fit.

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  50. That soldier maxi is one of my favourites Vix and I'm not surprised you still manage to look glam after your procedure when I would be slobbing out in my dressing gown probably. My mate has been a paraplegic for nearly 20 years and I've never heard her complain once, her stoic attitude is an inspiration as is yours. People that start whingeing at the merest hint of a sniffle get on my bloody wick!

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  51. The colours of your outfit are pretty and beautifully coordinated. Your stoicism is truly impressive as evidenced in part by how ell you've kept yourself in shape despite the pain. I'm glad to read that you're improving. You're looking more limber already.
    P.S.: I loved the sound of Karen Carpenter's voice.

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  52. You should write a book about your attitude towards pain. I think many people need to hear it and learn it. Pain's a bugger. A devious, sneaky, life-robbing bugger unless you kick it is the arse!
    My man kicks it in the arse every day. He's like you and I am so proud of him.
    And you!!!!
    ; )
    d
    xo
    d

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  53. So happy to hear that the steroid injection is helping with your chronic pain, and that you're back out to the charity shops and touching your toes. And wearing the perfect waistcoat as you 'soldier on,' inspiring with your beauty and courage.

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  54. Ohhhh, that waistcoat! Wow! You are inspiring -- your attitude about keeping on. Makes me want to do my best and not complain!

    XOXO
    Lynn

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  55. So glad to see you up and about. Your attitude should bottled up and given out on the NHS. I know if it was me I would moan for England.
    You are such an inspiration.

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  56. Yay Vix so happy to see you up and about....soldiering on......you are amazing sweet.
    endometriosis has plagued me with chronic pain for the last 30 years, but I am bloody determined it will not win.......I just try to stay positive and think its part of who I am.
    Sending a hug and happiness to you Vix.
    Love V

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  57. Hey you lovely! You've paid your taxes and NI over the years, just take what you're owed! ♥

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  58. I just wrote a big reply and my laptop froze...argh!!!

    I was going to say I am glad you are on the mend,you look fab and I love those teal boots.

    I always used to believe people exaggerated how bad the NHS were until my father has his stroke. They were brilliant in Intensive care when he was in a coma but after that I cannot even describe how bad his experience was.

    Well done for remaining so positive too x

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  59. I have a kind of rheumatism which I (unfortunately) control with the help of pills. Before I got the tablets, it was worse. In autumn 2009, I took 14 cortisone injections into the ankle joints. Before that, I thought I was afraid of pain but rheumatologist said that I "had a high pain threshold" Ha! Your negligence is delightful and all hospitals should be inspired. Soon it's time for my annual inspection at the rheumatologist and that day I put on my only sensible shoes ... in a few hours. Then I immediately change to the heels. Eye Servant - yes!You are such an inspiration!

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  60. Love this post, you really are brave Vix, but I love your attitude. And damn right you shouldn't let pain take over. It's easy to get in that mindset but you are staying strong and looking beautiful as always.
    Love that waistcoat.
    xx

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  61. I'm glad your hospital visit helped, good for you for soldiering on in that splendid waistcoat : )

    Loving your bag too.

    xx

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  62. Muy bonito el vestido!!!
    Recuperate pronto.
    Besos
    http://judithbysucre.blogspot.com.es

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  63. So glad to hear you are feeling better after your short visit to the hospital! I'm 24 & also suffer from hip problems, but hell I'm not going to let that stop me dancing in ridiculous shoes until 3am. I'm so scared to stop sometimes, as when I stop, there it is, just waiting... the pain ready to bite you. But it's not getting me this time or ever. Thank you for sharing that blog post, it was really wonderful to read. Amy xx

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  64. Of course you soldier on! You're British. One of the things I've always admired about British people, having moved here from another country. Good on ya, girl! (Although I would take any handouts going.) I wouldn't consider that defeat. Just more money to do what I want to do!

    Much love from Rosemary from,
    www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

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  65. Well done you gorgeous soldier, so glad the injection has helped! Love the photo of you touching your feet oh YEAH!

    Fascinating to read your take on your arthritis and how you deal with it. I admire your stance. You're right, moaning only alientates people, but I'm glad you feel you can write about the pain here, and so glad that you swallowed your pride and did take that injection.

    I'm part time carer for my father who is severely disabled with MS, wheelchair bound unable to move on his own or do anything for himself except use his right hand. His attitude, like yours, is to try to make the most of life, to follow his passions and be grateful for what he has. He and Mum (his full time carer) taught me this from an early age and it means every day I try to celebrate my health and the beauty of being alive.

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  66. "Give pain an inch and it will take a mile. " - FACT.

    Pleased that the injection helped some :o)

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  67. Oh Vix I had no idea that you were in constant pain. You really are an inspiration, I'm glad the injection has helped x

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  68. That is one of the most evocative descriptions of chronic pain I've ever read. Complaining constantly doesn't lessen the suffering and it does alienate people, but at the same time, if there is relief out there available to you, perhaps you could avail yourself now and then. No one would ever accuse you of being weak. I do understand the fear of being dependant on others as someone who has had to look after herself from an early age.

    Carry on being your inspiring, fierce self!

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  69. Way to go Girl!
    That is the only way
    If something ever happen to me, I want to be just like you -
    Fuck the pain, Yes Life!

    Happy that you feel better

    Arianexo

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  70. Rum makes everything feel better.

    Or so I'm told.

    So happy the injection worked for you. You look fabulous!

    There is nothing worse than being vulnerable in hospital. After my surgery mishap 5 weeks ago I can sympathize with you.

    Arthritis is a real devil. So glad you don't allow it to control your life.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  71. You are an inspiration. I love the way you look, I love the way you feel!

    You rock bigtime.

    <3

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  72. I also deal with chronic pain on a daily basis. I have bone spurs on my spine, which are essentially calcium deposits that form spikes which irritate my nerves and muscles. I have been dealing with it for years and have been exhausting all my choices for dealing with it naturally since surgery scares me to death and they can't guarantee that they won't grow back. I totally feel your pain and hope you find something that helps you cope with it.

    vintagehoneybee.blogspot.com

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  73. Hey Vix Thank you so much for this post . Chronic pain is such a bitch for sure and though I don't let it get the best of me in the long run there are days it does, I need to know how others deal with it and just know there are others that deal with it. Few know (other than some family and a few close friends) that I do deal with it so severely and oft it has been said by my wonderful bloggy friends I live an enchanted life ~ life is indeed what you make of it despite the odds. I still horseback ride ,farm, create , and surround myself with my best world on a limited income. It is sometimes a lot more effort to put your mind over the matter ... but so worth it as I do love what I make of my life yet I would so welcome less pain ! Rarely will I take a pain killer ... I'd rather seek nature to soothe me, not a fan of being vulnerable to docs.
    Hugs to you my friend from someone who understand exactly what you are saying !

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  74. As Gayle said, "no wonder we all adore you." Three cheers for diminished pain and rum - and being swathed in men in uniform, which is bound to bring a spring to the step of many women. You said it - looking fab is good medicine. I'm glad the injection is working.

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  75. I love your positive attitude! Glad the steroids are helping... you're looking fabulous, as ever :-)

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  76. Ok, so I need to know where I can get me some of this soldier fabric before Monday. I'm going in for a knee replacement, at the ripe old age of 41, and still haven't decided on fabric for hospital pants. The instructions were loose tracksuit pants and elastic slippers, but I'm not dead yet!

    Glad the cortisone is working, it's done wonders for me in the past. x

    Sophie.

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  77. I love you I do. You're a total pleasure to be with. I can't be having whingers and complainers. Moaning and bitching takes so much energy...all the energy that should be used for living. Have a great weekend.xxxxxx

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  78. this soldier waistcoats is perfect to celebrate what a soldier you are, if you don´t want to hear you are brave than i say you are strong and i admire the way you see the world and don´t let you put down by pain and looking your best everyday instead! i´m glad you already feel a bit better now!
    have a great weekend!

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  79. Ouch! I feel like complaining on your behalf - steroid injections hurt. You are a marvel - inspiring, witty and stylish! xx

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  80. You're simply the best, Vix, that is all. Inspirational and bloody fabulous! Yes wear brights ans heights! I completely agree. xxoo/Madison

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  81. Glorious in blue, OMG. Take advantage of whatever your health system has to offer. I'm glad to hear you've gotten some relief. You're right about the "noise". I have issues, but they're not constant so I get a chance to breathe.

    Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy that rum. :-). Therapy comes in many forms, right?

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  82. Vix I am so glad you are feeling better. You are a strong beautiful woman who I admire hugely. Always looking fabulous and never following the crowd.

    Enjoy your rum and have a relaxing yet glamorous weekend hun.

    Hugs
    X x

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  83. inspiring........I believe potatoes are not good for arthritis and should be avoided if this is any help.....looking fabulous as ever!!x

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  84. You're TOUGH chick!! I'm like you. I can't stand feeling weak or being at the mercy of someone else to heal me. The last time I went to the ER was because of some abdominal pains that literally brought me to my knees and the time before that was because I cut my eyeball with a comic book and could actually see the skin flapping around in there. Gross. Sorry. But yeah, in order for me to cry uncle and go running to the hospital, something would need to be broken, or something needs to be sewn back on.

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  85. Thanks so much Vix - I have to just say, I TOTALLY get it. As you know, I've had endometriosis for 10 plus years and its tough at times. But I really hate the sympathy, the "oh you poor thing" I hate it when people treat me like I'm some kind of useless invalid, I basically want to punch them in the face. I feel like some people thrive on seeing an otherwise vibrant person down and out and they will drag you down if you let them. Here's to being fabulous despite our less than perfect bodies!! I hope you're feeling much better.

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  86. I'm with you on avoiding doctors Vix, I probably leave things too long really, but I'm not very good at asking for help. Glad to see you got some pain relief at last though, but I'm sure your positive attitude is what gets you through the toughest times. And a bit of rum helps too! xx

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  87. Vix, you are my soul sister. I hate handouts and have resisted them because I don't want to owe anyone. I hate mainstream medical and only go in when I have to be sewed up because I can't do my own stitches. It hurts me to know that you live in this pain; one of my best friends has this too and she suffers so much but takes all the drugs to cope. The upside to avoiding the drugs is that you have saved your liver and other organs and now you are younger inside because you bit the bullet without those meds and still moved forward. I have a handicap too Vix. It is an emotional one that was given to me at 6 years old by a man who should be in prison for what he did to me. I understand totally what it is like to live in pain. Thank you for this post. I feel very close to you now, even though you are very far away. XOXOXO

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  88. Glad the injection is working Vix. You are bloody inspiring. I am with you on getting on with things. A knee problem left me unable to get around 2 years ago (much better now, I did the exercises I was told to, made all sorts of changes). The worst part were the maning minnies I met in lifts etc who loved to compare illness notes. 'Ooh, your knee will never be right again' etc. oh thanks...
    P.s I like the arrow. Hot woman here.

    Xx

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  89. Every time I go to the hospital and have a hideous procedure I treat myself too! ooh - you should go scrumping again and make some apple rum. I think that soldier fabric is brilliant, well done for rescuing it and making it into something wonderful!

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  90. So glad the injection is helping and you are getting some pain relief at last. I have Spondylosis which is a constant pain in the neck (literally!) but I have learnt to just get on with it too. This year I have started going to a chiropractor/acupuncturist for the first time and I must admit he has really helped with removing all the tension that had built up from me tensing with the pain.
    With your determination you'll still be touching your toes when you're 102! Take care hon ... M x

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  91. Having chronic pain & being dependent on others is the absolute worst! Its really hard to admit defeat when it becomes overwhelming, but I've learned the hard way what I need to do to "soldier on". That pic of you touching your toes brought tears to my eyes, happy ones as I can imagine this is a great feat for you! So glad the injection worked! You're too gorgeous inside and out to be in such pain, so if there's a next time (I hope not!) make sure you get help sooner rather than later? Pretty please? As usual you look fantastique! Love, love, love XXX

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