stinky old arthritis

Friday, August 1, 2014

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know that I have had two knee replacements. They have made a huge difference in my quality of life. Before I had them my knees were bone on bone and I couldn't stand for 30 seconds, while microwaving, without being in terrible pain. Now I cannot only stand, but I can walk, and most mornings I take a 30 minute walk. I love it. 

This morning I couldn't take my walk because I couldn't tie my shoelaces. The arthritis in my right hand suddenly flared up so bad last night and this morning that I couldn't move my fingers because of the pain. That happens randomly for no apparent reason. It is starting to ease up now so I am carefully typing. 

I have had all kinds of blood tests and x-rays. No, it is not rheumatoid arthritis. No, it is not lupus. They diagnosed me with severe degenerative arthritis. Mine started early, and unfortunately I can't seem to tolerate any of the medications. As you know from my post here, I am looking for a new doctor. 

Okay, this post is not about a poor Laura pity party. It is about aging women and the changes we face in our health. Osteoarthritis is a big one. Osteoarthritis, sometimes referred to as wear and tear arthritis, affects more than twenty million people over the age of twenty five in the US alone. Mine started in my thirties and has an hereditary component. My grandmother had it and so does my mother. 

The NIH has a website devoted to arthritis. If you are interested it has a lot of useful information here. I particularly like the self help info as I can't take and don't like meds. 

Some of the suggestions:

1) Get educated: learn everything you can about your disease and seek out help. (support groups are good)

2) Stay active: learn which exercises are good for osteoarthritis. Walking is a great one and so is swimming.

3) Eat well: I am a great believer in a healthy diet and experience has shown me which foods have a negative effect on my arthritis. For me chocolate and refined sugars are no nos. 

4) Get plenty of sleep: It helps you cope better with the effects of the arthritis.

5) Have fun: Focus on the things you can do rather than the things you can't. I am all for this one.

6) Keep a positive attitude: This is one I work on every day. It is sometimes hard when the pain is really bad, but I try to focus on the good things and before you know it I am feeling better. 

See, just talking about it has made me feel better already and without thinking about it I was typing away before I knew it. 

Next week I will talk about the uh oh I found something suspicious on my body and what I did to get it taken care of. 

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  1. Sounds really painful Laura. I am lucky that so far I have escaped most joint pain. My biggest health issue is reflux and when I don't watch my diet and/or stress it can be so painful. I agree about being proactive about your own health. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. So sorry to hear of the pesky arthritis.

    I have some sort of arthritis in my hands. In fact, I have a pointer finger that can point around a corner without even trying! :-( I have found that if I eat dairy, within two hours my hands ache like crazy. Well, I shouldn't say all dairy, because I can eat cheese but not yogurt or milk or ice cream, etc.

    I hope your flareup settles down. It's miserable, and hard to concentrate on other things when you're in pain. All the best, Laura.

  3. so sorry to hear your arthritis is acting up, hope it settles down, also hope you find a new doctor, I thinks its always a good thing to be proactive with our health, like you are!

  4. Laura, this isn't good, I'm sorry that it's bugging you so much. Not being able to use your limbs, joints, fingers..must be so frustrating. Does the weather bother you, humid, or hot, cold?

    I get flare ups in my eczema on my fingers, and although it's nothing at all like arthritis it hurts like the dickens. My heart goes out to you.

    I'm so glad that you got the knee replacements, life is better with mobility.


  5. Laura, I have sympathy for you. I have arthritis in my ankles. I can walk one day and have to rest the next. I only take tylonal for my pain. I do think diet helps. Get some rest when you can, or soak your hand in warm water maybe. . Blessings, xoxo,Susie

  6. I feel your pain, literally. I have arthritis in my hands, knees, ankles, and feet. It is miserable indeed. Yoga helps a bit. Please don't feel bad about complaining!

  7. I'm sorry to read that you're in pain. Can it be linked to the weather? I've noticed that humidity is bad for my old injuries... Which is kind of ironic since I live next to the seaside..

  8. So sorry you are hurting and I hope you find a doctor that can help.

  9. laura,not fun to have pain . take care and good luck finding a new doctor.

  10. I wanna tell that stinky old arthritis to leave my sweet little Laura alone!!!

  11. What a gorgeous flower photo! I have it too. In both hands. Many nights I wake up and can't stretch out my fingers. Mine started early too. Have had a lot of hand and wrist surgeries. Thumb too. That's why I don't sew anymore. Well, take care of yourself and don't overdo!

  12. I can sympathize, Laura. I haven't had knee surgery, but I broke my ankle, much like Brenda did, many years ago. Uncle Arthur (my name for it) moved right in and now I can predict the weather changes almost as good as the weatherman! I have some in my hands, too. I've read that eliminating night shade plants from your diet makes a difference, but I've never been able to give them up entirely. I hope you find some relief from your pain! Take care!

  13. I can sympathize Laura too. I am only 56 and some days feel like 90 with my joints hurting. I have issues with one knee and my hands sometimes. I am glad to hear you walk I think by keeping the joints in movement helps a lot too. Hope you get a great doctor that listens and wants to help. Good luck.

  14. oh I hope it gets better soon. I sometimes get that sort of pain in one of my hands...sometimes from sewing but sometimes I think it is coming from my neck and how I slept that night. Then the other hand will act up another time! I have braces ( carpal tunnel for the one and a sports thumb sort of the brace for the other ) from the drug store and I've learned put them on and wear them for a day or two right away if I feel any sort of symptom or I'll be sorry. Hope you get the help that you need but if you don't already have any sort of brace they do help !

  15. Sorry to hear about your arthritis flare up. I would highly recommend the Propet Leather Walker shoes, which are a slip on sneaker. I wear them when I'm gardening, and I can easily slip them on and off when I come inside for a break. You can order them from Zappos or Foot Smart.


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