Kill or Cure?

Somehow, whilst touring New Zealand in November last year, I managed to strain one side of my jaw. I suspect that a gaping yawn might have been the cause. Since a knackered jaw hinge made eating, an activity of which I am rather too fond, a painful exercise, I initially resorted to daily doses of Ibuprofen. Their advertised anti-inflammatory effect didn’t seem to be making things as comfortable as I’d have liked, so I added the pain killing action of Paracetamol. The combination did make things a little better.

Off to Spain and still on my drugs combination, though twice a day rather than the permitted four times a day, I rediscovered walking in the mountains, an enjoyable activity for winter time when my insect friends are not around to provide my entertainment. In the space of two weeks I thoroughly enjoyed six walks of varying grades with a couple of different walking groups. I even invested in some new Spanish walking boots.

Though at the time I suffered absolutely no ill effects whatsoever, it seems my right knee may have suffered something of a delayed reaction. Whilst visiting friends in Peñíscola, where we walked but not up and down mountains, my knee began by grumbling and ended up approaching painful, the knee cap seeming to click into place rather alarmingly on occasion. It seems a little puffy compared to its neighbour, so I now suspect an outbreak of Housemaids Knee. P’raps I’d done too much, too fast?

Bless the Spanish. On a visit to Valencia, we toured farmacias purchasing supplies of Paracetamol tablets – my imported supplies were running low – but not those wimpy 500mg jobs, oh no, these were 1g tablets and about the size of horse pills. At least I had only one to swallow, albeit twice the size.

Murla Cross #2Ignoring the available walks completely was getting tedious so today I took my drugs and went for a kill or cure approach, accompanying our Monday walking group on a walk from Parcent to Murla, where we ascended the mountain behind to see the cross. Part of the climb turned out to be just that, a hands-required scramble. My knee did seem to warm up a bit as the drugs worked their way around my alcohol blood stream. Oddly, perhaps, my knee seemed better going uphill than downhill, and we made it to the top. [This is Pete, our companion, rendered by Samsung’s usually crappy phone cameras, master of all he surveys.]

Hill-topping SwallowtailHere, whilst catching my breath, I was pleased to be briefly entertained by three new season Swallowtail butterflies which had made the same uphill journey with much less effort than that required by we humans. Wildlife really does put us to shame, even our crème de la crème Olympians. This so-called hill-topping behaviour is a mating strategy amongst some insects, so they’ve clearly got energy left after the journey. [I hadn’t lugged my camera up the mountain so here’s a picture from last year on an easier mountain aided by a more cooperative knee.]

We have now discovered that those delightful Spanish farmacias sell Ibuprofen is larger doses, too. As well as single tablets of 400mg, you can get 600mg jobs, which is like a UK dose and a half. For now, I’ll stick to the 400mg dose and see how much adverse reaction I suffer.

Kill or cure? At least with double-dose single pills, I won’t rattle quite as much.

Posted in 2017-2018 Winter

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