Monday, November 12, 2012

Doing what I must

I find it ironic that as my internal life comes back to an order I recognize and embrace, my physical is running into walls of pain. It's frustrating, because so much of it seems completely random and out of my control.

See, the women in my family hit their forties and get attacked by arthritis. Though I'm relatively new to that club, my body seems to not care and is throwing a lot at me all at once. I've known I had arthritis in my left hip for two years, but just a couple weeks ago, my rheumatologist announced it's in my toes and hands, too.

Just great.

I've been having problems with my left foot all year, and a trip to the podiatrist decided that the bunion I've tolerated for a decade has now demanded attention. I have surgery for that scheduled in January. Meanwhile, having issues with that foot has affected the other one and my hips, because my gait has changed to accommodate the pain. I strongly suspect I'm developing arthritis in my right hip, now, though I'm holding off on going to the ortho for confirmation until after I've recovered from my surgery. I'm hoping that when things have improved with my left foot, it'll take the pressure off the right side, thus negating any further appointments.

It sucks, because my options are limited. I've been slowly losing weight, or trying to, since I know that it will help relieve the pressure on those joints. This week, I'm headed to the gym to see if they have a personal trainer on staff who's familiar with pain issues so I can start strengthening exercises that will help. I take all the recommended supplements, but because I know I have a lifetime of struggling ahead of me, I avoid painkillers unless I really need them. There will come a day when I won't be able to tolerate it as much as I do now.

Of course, I also have hip replacement surgeries in my future, too. Isn't growing older grand?

Yesterday was a bad day. They've been frequent lately because of the feet issues. But I'm charging through as best I can, because honestly, what alternative is there? Life is too short. I'll hate my body for it all, of course, but that won't change the fact that I will do what I must.

That's the biggest lesson I've learned this year. It can all be taken away from us at a moment's notice. I'm getting as much out of life as I can.