On Sunday, June 9th, 2013, some of my family members came and walked with me in the Walk to Fight Arthritis. It was my first time walking in this event but it won't be my last.
As mentioned in my earlier post I have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis in my ankles. Since then I have also been diagnosed with Cervical Osteoarthritis (in my neck) and it's causing my discs to 'slip'. Both cause me daily pain. Some days are really manageable and I can almost forget about it. Some days I'm in bed because nothing is helping.
I feel old. It's hard to describe being in your 30's and suffering the daily pain that you don't usually experience until your 60's or 70's. I feel so limited and restricted. The hardest part is knowing that this is just the beginning; from here it's only going to get worse.
For the most part I try not to let it get me down but it's hard to do when I see my weight creeping up. Those 5lbs that took me 4 months of hard work to get off have reappeared. When I do something slightly active my muscles let me know they have been forgotten about for the past 4 months. It's very difficult going from being a very active person to a very stationary person.
So, what does one do? I compromise. I'll never be as active as I used to be or I want to be so I find ways to feel like I'm at least doing something, anything.
I try to sneak in a little bit of extra walking in a day with my nice orthopedic shoes. I have a Fitbit that helps remind me when I need to put in a little extra effort and take a few more steps in my day. I also try to bike here and there though it gives my knees some trouble (we're still going through tests to find out what's wrong with my knee). I try to space out my times on the bike to give myself time to heal.
My husband bought us a weight set so I can focus on doing some weights that help build up the muscles around my neck to try and take away some of the headaches.
I drink more water. After first being diagnosed I let myself eat whatever I wanted because I was depressed. It was my way to feel better without crying in front of people or constantly talking about it. I love food, LOVE FOOD, and will always let myself have treats because to me, that's part of life. But I am curbing how many I have by trying to fill in the snack spots with more water.
And I read. I like going online and reading the blogs, tips, discussion boards, etc. offered by the Arthritis Society. It helps me to feel less alone. It makes me feel like there are people out there trying to do something to help the millions of people like me. It makes me feel comforted.
So I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who supported me in my Walk to Fight Arthritis. Your money went towards education, research and support programs. I thought about each and every one of you while I did my walk. I also think about you often when I'm having a bad pain day; I think about your support, your encouragement, and your shoulders I lean on. And to my family who walked with me, I can't express how much it meant to me, mad love!
Thank you so much everyone!!