Weaving my way around Rheumatoid Arthritis.


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Woke this morning with most joints back to baseline, most edema back to baseline. Every little thing was at a 2 or 1 or below, and I was optimistic. Oh, how quickly things can change.

I used my sit-to-stand desk for standing more than sitting, and  logged 5000 steps between meetings in different buildings, then, for good measure, I added a couple of sunny noon time laps around the building. My knees were mad at me the rest of the afternoon.

I left work early, and for my grand finale, stopped at the library on the way to PT. The closest parking spot was at the far side of the lot, so I had about a block walk. I strolled around for 30 minutes, adding books to my pile until it grew to ten, then held them for about 5 minutes as I stood in line, and carried them back to the car. Now I know why I haven’t been to the library in 2 years. My knees and shoulders did not have a single nice thing to say! Lava swirling around my shoulder joints, from carrying 10 books for 5 minutes???? Will the surprises ever stop????

I did see another woman with a rolly cart in the library – I may add it to my wish list. I still ponder whether getting the cart in and out of the car and stores would cost more than it gains. I have stepping-stones to my door, it would be of no use getting things into the house.

Saw PT2 today. Since my knees have been hot and bothered all week, she decided to start there. Put me on the stationary bike. After just ONE minute, at an easy pace, my right knee started talking, softly, turned bright red, and hot to the touch. I secretly enjoyed watching her amazement as she actually saw cause and effect so clearly and quickly – RA is usually so invisible.

We abandoned the bicycle idea and moved in to the quiet room, where PT2 worked her magic for an hour, then sent me on my way with happy knees and a whole new set of exercises to do – range of motion for my knees and strengthening for my quads and core. My knees were happier when I left, my spirit was lagging a bit. MORE exercises, just where do I fit those in?

I’ve seen PT2 weekly,  for a year, and every few weeks she hopes I have gotten to a place where I can start using weights or the bicycle or some other piece of equipment to start building strength, and every time, I have to step back to gentler range of motion, joint stabilization, flexibility exercises. The pace is frustratingly slow, yet looking back to a year ago, I can actually count major wins.

Perhaps I need to get one of those anatomy charts of a skeleton, and put big smiley faces on all the joints she’s helped me rehab. It might cheer me up, help me remember how far I’ve come.

A year ago I couldn’t turn my head to look over my shoulder in either direction.  After weeks of PT, my range of motion is back. Some days my neck creaks and clicks and pops, but it still moves, and most days it pivots smoothly without any complaint at all. I want to remember to celebrate those wins, shift my focus from the loses.

So today’s celebration: no ice bags on my knees tonight, as I sat and read my books!

My shoulders, however, are another new chapter.


Written by wovensongs

September 1, 2011 at 4:08 am

Posted in Joint Protection

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