Ros retired some years ago from her job as library manager in Uckfield. At first she and her husband ‘lived for our holidays’ and visited exotic places. In more recent times she has become a full time carer for her husband who has Parkinson’s and has to keep herself fit to look after him and push his wheelchair.
Last year her knee which had been aching for a while gave way as she walked down a hill and the ache turned into noticeable pain. Two days later she went shopping with a friend and her knee collapsed again. This time she was in agony but managed to struggle back to the car. The shopping trip was over.
Her GP recommended physiotherapy, gel at night and a steroid injection. The injection did not make any difference but in October she had her first appointment with a physiotherapist at Lewes Hospital.
“She was very thorough, really good and efficient”, she said. “She told me that my back was quite strong but my thigh muscles were not. This was not helping my knee. She described and recommended that I do a course, called ESCAPE-Pain.
“It was a mixture of education and exercise. We had to step up and down, do squats, walk on a treadmill and other things – but it was all doable.
“What I really liked was being encouraged to have weekly goals and we were given leaflets so that we could keep a record of our progress and the pain stopped.”
Ros decided that her main goal would be to visit a National Trust property, be able to push her husband around the grounds and have tea. These trips had been highlights of their weeks but for some months Ros hadn’t been able to walk properly or push so they hadn’t been able to go.
“Just after Christmas I did it!” she said excitedly. “But with Christmas interrupting my normal routine I haven’t been doing the exercises and I know that my knee is starting to hurt more again.
“I’ll dig out the record and make sure that I do my exercises twice a week from now on!”