Probably a non PC term these days. Perhaps I should say “alternately abled” or “mobility downgraded”.
Nonetheless, crippled is what I am. I limped around at work yesterday barely able to stand. Several times during the day, involuntary tears trickled from the corners of my eyes as I perambulated. I sleep once more with a pillow between the knees, to try and keep them at a comfortable angle.
Today not as bad, but bad enough. My left knee is the one giving me gyp. This time last year it was the right. Go figure.
I dare not ride the bike at present, because I suspect that if the weight transfers to the affected leg while stationary I will not be able to hold it, and I if I dropped it I certainly would not be able to pick it up.
When I was in the pharmacy on Tuesday to get some omega-three oil as the doctor recommended, I saw they were selling Lyprinol, the famous extract of New Zealand Green Mussels that was shown in clinical trials to be good for arthritis. I bought some, which possibly reveals a lot about the desperation I felt. Incidentally, though the doc prescribed fish oil for its high omega-three content, the pharmacist gave me flax seed oil. Isn’t that interesting?
But I digress.
Twelve years ago, when I changed roles at the Ministry of Health from the Food Team to Investigations and Enforcement, my first big case – investigation and prosecution – was of the then manufacturers and distributors of Lyprinol in Australia and NZ. Not content with steady sales of their product to old codgers with arthritis, they had begun touting Lyprinol as a cure for cancer, following some hypothesis that the metabolic pathway it follows in managing inflammation was similar to a hypothetical model for blocking cancer growth. Their marketing was aggressive, and cynically misleading. With no scientific evidence to go on whatsoever, or even a scientific rationale, other than a vague hypothesis, they hyped up the product as the great breakthrough everyone had been hoping for in the battle against the Big Crab. I had a close friend dying of cancer at the time, and I saw first hand how his family clutched at every straw. It was unfair, but who could deny them even the tiniest ray of hope?
The prosecution was a success. Good fines and costs awarded. Made me proud to be on the side of right. The case also got me my first hate mail. But then as an investigator, if you have not pissed someone off, then you probably have not been doing your job.
Subsequently of course the research being done produced no evidence of any cancer curing or preventing properties in green lipped mussel extract. The cure for cancer remains elusive. Not that there will ever be one cure for a disease that is as varied as cancer.
It seems ironic now that I am trying out this product, even for something it is reputed to be good for. Of course, I shall never know if it actually helps me in my particular case, or if my knee improves all by itself, as it usually does. One person just cannot tell. That is what clinical trials are for. All I know is that osteo panadol and diclofenac are not helping either, right now.