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Friday, March 30, 2007

Yesterday's walk

I walked part of the Bob Jones bike trail yesterday. I walked for fifteen minutes then turned around and returned. Along the way I took full advantage of the three benches I saw.

The trail is pretty but it's made of asphalt. My knee was hurting after ten minutes, so I really needed those benches. I think if I had a "shooting stick" I could do trails like this more often, because I would be able to stop and sit whenever I want. I took all of these photos from the trail - taking photos has a double use for me: I like to take pictures, and it distracts me somewhat from any discomfort. I get a feeling of accomplishment and I'm always tuned in to my environment.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


It has dawned on me over the past couple of weeks that I no longer feel discomfort or pain in the night. My knee does not give me that dull ache or weird discomfort. I can sleep comfortably. This doesn't mean that I am no longer stiff in the mornings. I am. But not as stiff; there isn't as much pain and I adjust and regain flexibility more quickly.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Week 10

Last night I went to an opera at the local performing arts center. I noticed that I was able to stand for short periods without pain, something that has become apparent over the past several weeks. I think this is the first noticeable improvement. My calf still retains its stiffness, that stiffness that started with the "flareup" a few years ago, but I don't have nearly as much pain. I also notice that I do not stiffen as much as I did before, so that when I stand up after sitting for a while I recover my flexibility more quickly.

I read a report on an extensive study that was completed recently that concluded that the use of glucosamine and chondroitin - both and separately - appear to be beneficial for those of us with moderate to severe arthritic pain. It's more difficult to determine if it is of any benefit to those with mild pain. This study recommended that people with moderate to severe arthritis pain try these supplements for three months, then evaluate the effects. Although it's impossible for me to separate the effectiveness of the supplements from the effectiveness of the exercises, I think it's safe to say the supplements can't hurt and are probably helping.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Week no. 9

I begin another week, still hopeful.

The other day I did a small hike, one that used to take 30 minutes but now takes 40 when I'm speedy, and that usually leaves me limping. The other day was no exception that way. But it seemed like the pain going up was less. And I could stand better, longer, which isn't long.

What I need to do is focus now on losing weight. The rest I'm doing.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I was talking to my sister Cathy about how to measure progress and she said she is in the same place with her fibromyalgia. She too has a few days that are not good, then better days that show improvement, and she has a sense of overall improvement.

What I notice most right now is that I am willing to go to places where I have to sit for a while, even when there isn't a large space in front of me. I find that I do not stiffen up as much when I get up and there isn't as much pain. It isn't definitive progress, measurable, but just the fact that I have discovered that I am more willing to chance these situations suggests that my body knows something is better.

Week 8

I continue to have ups and downs and am far from pain-free. I have found some differences that are hard to prove, though: both on airplane flights and in the theater I have been able to sit comfortably (as comfortably as these seats allow) for long periods and to get up afterwards without finding that I am extremely stiff. Yes, I'm stiff, but not as bad as I was before. I do wish there were a way to measure these things.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Week 7!

Today, Sunday, is a day of rest. I started doing the exercises and then remembered that I will be doing them tomorrow, so I stopped. Not that it would have hurt to do them one more day, I expect.

I am beginning to think about doing things that take more energy and a good attitude. I'm getting ready to tackle more clutter. It seems I do this in waves, but I want it to become a regular activity, one that I feel strong enough and pain-free enough to do every day. So as of today I am committing to just fifteen minutes of decluttering every day. I suspect that as I feel better about what I have accomplished I will in turn gain more energy just because I will like myself more.

I think my golden words are worth more.