X-Ray ready - not a good look

I've had to give up doing the downward facing dog, which is a shame,,, Picture: Getty Images/iStockp

I've had to give up doing the downward facing dog, which is a shame,,, Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

In 2013 there was the knee replacement, now the hip is playing up and I’m back under the doctor.

Did I tell you about my hip?

I didn’t? That was an oversight. Now, are you sitting comfortably? I’m not.

My right hip has been increasingly painful and I went to see the doctor who, I think, secretly checked how old I was before prescribing some tablets, giving me a contact card for the physiotherapy service and filling in an X-Ray form.

Her advice was that if the physios think I might need to be referred for surgery, they will refer me to the hospital physios who will carry out their own assessment.

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Lots of hoops to jump through, even though the hip makes jumping out of the question.

The worst daytime manoeuvre is getting in and out of the car. My legs no longer like being separated and when I do part them (no silly jokes, please) it hurts. And so I have to find spaces in the car park that give me enough room to swing both of my legs in or out of the car door together. There have been a few occasions when I have had to abandon a space because I can’t get out of the car.

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I imagine anyone who sees me engaging in this practice might think it is due to extreme modesty - that I am keeping my legs together in case I flash my underwear. That is not the case and I am not that modest. On the other hand, if anyone has observed me getting in or out of the car, why? What are you doing?

Night-time is worst, however. I have two comfortable positions in bed. One is flat on my back, the other is lying on my left side. As I move between the two, I tend to pull the duvet off my husband who wakes up and mutters something before conducting a full-scale duvet grab-back.

Convinced my hip problem was temporary, just a pulled muscle, I put off the X Ray for a bit. Some R&R over Easter would make it better, I was sure.

The R&R, even with added chocolate didn’t much improve matters so my husband drove me to the hospital, early in the morning, for my X-Ray. The reason for the early start was two-fold. First, we might find a parking space and second, I might be in and out of X-Ray in minutes.

It went well. There were several parking spaces - something you don’t often see. By the time we returned, vehicles were circulating the car park, going round and round like the hopeless clutch of passengers walking around the corridors in The Poseidon Adventure. As we approached our car, we could feel the watching eyes of the space-hunting drivers. One of them would hit it lucky and get our space, the others would carry on, driving round and round...

We paid £2 to park and set off on the trek to the X-Ray department. In the reception area for diagnostic imaging, only about six people were waiting. Result. The plan had worked.

I booked in and sat down, ready to read the paper but hadn’t even turned to the sudoku before I was called through. This was brilliant, I would be in and out in minutes. But I had reckoned without the second waiting room. “Take off your clothes from the waist down and put this on,” said the hospital person, giving me a cotton gown and passing me a plastic shopping basket for my clothes.

I went into a cubicle, took off my trousers and knickers, leaving on my socks, shoes and jumper. I put on the robe, exited the cubicle with my basket and sat down with a number of other women, all similarly clad in what must be one of the world’s most unflattering garments. Do you remember the school unclaimed clothing box? If anyone at primary school lost an item of clothing or, as in my case, the elastic went in their navy blue knickers, you would be provided with a temporary replacement. One of my grandsons has a pair of pants with “John” written on the label which leads me to suspect that John has a previously unseen pair with “Tu” on the label.

I was impressed to see one of the women in our little group had managed to fasten her gown at the back, somehow tying the little tapes.

When I had my appendix out in an emergency op at Liverpool Royal Infirmary in 1974, I woke up in the same sort of gown. Bent over, I shuffled down the ward to go to the loo and no one - not one person - told me the gown was open at the back and I was baring my bottom to patients and staff.

Back to the present and, after about 20 minutes, my name was called.

I picked up my little basket and clutched the gown around me.

Ushering me into the room, the radiographer confirmed my date of birth and my address and said: “Take off the gown and lie down on the bed,” said the radiographer.

I took off the gown and stood there in naught but my socks, shoes and jumper.

“You could have left your pants on,” she said.

Now they tell me.

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