I started my life like every other person, had plans for the future. I want this, I want to become that.
But life happened as usually, the way it happens to all of us at one point or another. It was in 2016, when I began to feel sudden brief but sharp pain in my hip.
It was difficult to stand or sit, even bending was painful as hell. I thought it would get better just like other minor sickle cell caused pain that hit me.
Days went, weeks, it was getting worse. Really worse. After weeks of excruciating pain and hospital visits, I was finally diagnosed of avascular necrosis also called osteonecrosis or AVN.
That day, I was sad. Like every one when they first get their diagnosis. It was a bad thing, I thought (well, it is).
Fast forward, three years after, I am here with so many lessons. a lot of things learnt.
Here are 10 things I learnt living with avascular necrosis
1. There’s always something to learn even in a hopeless situation.
Firstly, I do not believe that a situation is hopeless (yeah, I’m becoming a motivational speaker). Life is like a magnetic pole that has the negative end and the positive end.
To see and learn the lessons life has to offer, you have to look from the positive end. I couldn’t have started this blog or writing if I looked at the negatives.
All I am saying is that there is something to learn when you have a positive mind towards whatever happens to you in life.
Trust me, the pain of avascular necrosis is no joke. Yet there is something to learn.
2. Avoid procrastination
Having AVN has taught me to avoid procrastination even though I haven’t learnt how.
I had dream of becoming a model and actor. I know I can still be whatever but it would have been much better if I started then.
It is way more difficult to start such careers as person living with avascular necrosis
3. Learn everything about your illness
I learnt that I was supposed to know everything about my illness. The history, the diagnosis, the complications, anything possible.
When you learn about your illness, you stand a greater chance to defeat it because you would work towards avoiding what needs to be avoided and embrace what needs to be.
4. Exercise can reduce AVN pain and increase mobility
When it started, the doctor told me to use a walking stick which I did. But he did not tell me to start physiotherapy. Someone else did.
Thankfully, I did more research online. Found some YouTube videos, met a physiotherapist once, and gathered exercise that I did at home everyday for the past two years.
What I found out was that, the pain reduced (not stop), my range of movement increased as well.
After more research, I found out that these exercises actually help increase blood flow. Watch this video for some exercises for people with avascular necrosis.
5. Avascular necrosis can spread
When AVN starts it usually affect one joint. But without proper care and healthy lifestyle, it could spread to another joint.
This happens mostly with the hip joint.
6. Stay active
When avascular necrosis is caused by sickle cell, read other causes here. It is mostly caused by inactivity.
I learnt the importance of staying active the hard way but anyways I learnt.
When you engage in physical active and exercises, blood will flow properly and AVN will be prevented.
7. Avascular necrosis might reoccur
Although I haven’t confirmed myself but a doctor told me that once you have AVN, you have it.
Even when you do a surgery to heal it, there is a possibility (although little) that it reoccurs.
But it still takes me back to lesson number 6, stay active and you will prevent it.
8. Take small daily actions towards your big goal
No one knows what’s going to happen in few hours, and time is so quick. I learnt to never wait for something to fall in place before acting on my goals.
You might have a big dream that scares you. The only way to achieve that is to have and take small steps that will lead you to that goal.
9. Life with a walking stick is stressful
I have been seeing young people use walking stick and when the table turned, it was my turn to use the walking stick.
Pheew, it wasn’t easy. Forget the eyes that follow you like plague and the look on their faces. To walk with a walking stick is tiring.
10. It only gets better
No matter how long it takes it only gets better.
You might also like;
- Avascular necrosis pain; Ease pain with exercise
- Five lies you believed about sickle cell disorder
- Seven sickle cell warriors to follow on Instagram
Avascular necrosis is a bone condition that affects joints causing it to collapse and degenerate. It is such a painful condition.
Living with it for the past three years has been rough. But life throws whatever at us to make us learn lessons.
And like every other person, I learnt a lot in three years. So, I decided to share.
- There’s always something to learn even in a hopeless situation.
- Avoid procrastination
- Learn everything about your illness
- Exercise can reduce AVN pain and increase mobility
- Avascular necrosis can spread
- Stay active
- Avascular necrosis might reoccur
- Take small daily actions towards your big goal
- Life with a walking stick is stressful
- It only gets better