broadsideblog

What Billie Jean King And I Have In Common

In aging, behavior, Health, Medicine, news, seniors, sports on September 2, 2011 at 12:12 am
The Tin Man. Poster for Fred R. Hamlin's music...

He's a cutie. But you don't want to feel this stiff, ever! Image via Wikipedia

Not what you think, smarties. Not tennis. Not sexual orientation.

OA. That’s osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease that grinds away your cartilage and bone and makes it really painful to walk, dance, lift, carry and just get on with life.

So the Arthritis Foundation is running a new campaign to get the arthritic among us — all 50 million of us! — to keep moving.

It’s a little bizarre, but true, that the more you hurt (and you do!), the more you need to get moving, as often and vigorously as possible, to lessen your pain. After only three or four days of inactivity, I feel like the Tin Man, the pain in my left hip so excruciating I wake up at 3:00 a.m. to gulp down a painkiller.

I recently wrote an essay about my addiction to exercise to stay flexible, fight weight gain and avoid depression from my constant arthritis pain for Arthritis Today. It has not yet appeared; I’ll link to it when it does.

Do you have a physical disability or chronic issue that makes your life tougher?

How do you deal with it?

  1. I’m sorry that you have to deal with arthritis, and I’ve always find it strange that even when it hurts, you should move around, but it does keep up the joint fluid and overall improves it. I have arthritis of the jaw, which actually is worse with using it more. You’re supposed to eat more liquid foods, like yogurt, though I can’t keep eating like that for the rest of my life so I just watch what I eat and stay away from beef jerky.

    • Poor you! I have never heard of that and how horrible…we have to eat and drink, and it’s one of life’s great pleasures. Do you take a lot of painkillers to cope? Does anything help?

  2. Does pregnancy count? It is a “condition” right? I kid, I kid. I’m fortunate that I currently do not have chronic pain…and I try to take care of myself.

    • Congrats! It’s a temporary condition, we know that. :-) Glad you’re in good shape.

      When I worked retail, our 26-year-old assistant manager had to go out on bed rest at the end of her term, and she had suffered serious back pain before she got pregnant.

  3. I sustained a knee injury almost 2 years ago that left me unable to run, or walk for long spans of time. It was seriously depressing. I have never been a running nut, but I did go for long runs from time to time, as they were my only way of blowing off accumulated steam. I had not given much thought to my mobility before then.

    I’ve recently started clinical pilates at with a physiotherapist that my husband had been bugging me to go to for ages. After 3 months of this, I managed to go for my first run 3 weeks ago.

    It wasn’t much, a 15 minute jog at a speed half that of my usual walking one. But I did it without pain, during or after. I don’t think I can describe the utter thrill of this – being able to run again when I was told I might have to give up on the idea completely.

    I’m still going for short 15 minute runs every few days, as I have to take it fairly pretty until all my ligaments and tendons and things are up to scratch, but my word, the absolute freedom of being able to bounce into a gait I thought lost to me forever, is incredible.

    • So sorry to hear this! It is terribly frustrating to be slowed down physically when we’re still young…and dealing with pain…and not having that essential stress reliever.

      I think by the time you’re in your 60s, 70s and beyond (I DREAD it) you know there will be some loss of strength and mobility. But I hate every tiny bit of it!

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