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Monday, May 28, 2007

It's a change

The pain in my right leg and hip have overtaken, for the most part, pain in my left knee. I wonder if I have made enough of a difference in knee pain to have it take a back seat to pain I didn't even notice before, or noticed rarely.

Perhaps the program I am following works well for my knees but needs something extra for my hips. There is a section at the end of the book that makes recommendations on various types of arthritis and offers additional treatment for them. I will look to see if there are specific recommendations for what I am now experiencing.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Week 19

I am getting my glucosamine by mail from evitamins now, on a monthly basis. If you sign up for regular deliveries you get a little discount. Unfortunately, they don't have a version of ginger that I like, that I can include in that monthly delivery. That would save me trouble and postage.

My day off.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Exercise and arthritis

The doctor reporting on this study concludes that some exercise, even a type that is not recommended, is better for arthritis sufferers than none at all.

I have a friend who has had arthritis for a long time. He moved his head stiffly or not at all when I worked with him and one time he told me that he had seen a doctor about this stiffness.

"It hurts when I bend my neck," he told the doctor.

"Then don't bend it," answered the doc.

Terry thought that was great. A simple solution. Simple it is, but unfortunately not really the best advice. Finding a gentle way to move it and doing it often is a better way. However, if Terry is fine with the way he is I am not one to quibble.

Today I went back to the pool, to put in 30 minutes. I got in all of 11 laps, with several short breaks. It felt good to be there and to be done, later. I still don't love swimming. I believe, though, that it is one of the best things I can do for my body.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Week 18

Into week 18. I am having trouble staying committed. Days slip and I make the time up the next day. Last week I had so much pain in my hip I missed one day of walking.

Yesterday, though, I walked and it was okay. I still had some pain but it felt like it was easing.

Today I waited at the veterinarian's office, standing at the counter, and I noticed that I was not in pain standing there. I didn't even feel much of that discomfort, the tightness in my leg.

I actually started to imagine using some exercise videos again.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Week 17

So begins week seventeen. Last week I broke from the program. I missed one day of the exercises and didn't completely fulfill the walking another day. On the other hand, I noticed an improvement. Yesterday I went to see a production of Hair at a local theater. I had to stand in line for a while and then sit for over 90 minutes, yet when it was over I felt barely any stiffness when I stood again. A good thing.

I didn't slip deliberately. I just didn't get myself in gear. This week I am back. I shall continue.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


For the fourth or fifth day in a row I am having pain in my right thigh and hip. I suspect I have arthritis in my hips as well as my knees. This made me think that if I had surgery on my left knee I may still be in pain. Probably would be. Not a cheery thought.

I was listening to XMPR as I drove home from the market this morning, thinking about my hip, and this weekend is a marathon of Bob Edwards interviews. The one playing at that time was about the border. He noted that the value of marijuana confiscated from Mexican migrants every year is in the millions of dollars. I thought about that marijuana and where it has gone. Did they burn it? If so, did they stick around to breathe it in? It occurred to me that I have one of the conditions that is listed in the medical marijuana law here in California. I could register with the health department - I think that's how it works - and if I then have marijuana around for my arthritis it would be legal. And right now that sounds like a great idea.

Of course there is the matter of the potency. The last hit I had of marijuana was maybe eight years ago and it was far more powerful than anything I had in my youth. I would not want to be *that* stoned. I would just want the pain reduced. So perhaps I could find out about cannabis extracts that can be purchased - with a prescription, I presume.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Week 16!

I fear if I stop writing the week number I will forget which week it is. So there it is. Middle of the 16th week.

hanging in

I have been on three trips within the past couple of weeks, all by car. I seem to be suffering some aftereffects of the driving and being driven. The morning after I returned from the third trip my lower back was in a lot of pain. It was a walking day so I struggled to walk, thinking the pain would ease as I went on. But it didn't. The next day and the next I have had pain in my right thigh, reaching somewhat into my hip area. But the back pain is gone.

I didn't have any knee pain, or not much in comparison. However, the night after I rode in the back of a van, with my knees forced into a bent position that they do not normally like, I had muscle cramps in both legs.

Added to these whiney notes is the fact that after all these weeks I have run into some walls here and there. In the fourteenth week I almost talked myself out of doing the exercises. Today I have in fact talked myself out of walking. I could have tried swimming instead but I didn't. Sometimes the pain just makes me want to rest a bit.

Honestly, I am not a hard-working person! I just make it sound that way at times.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Sometimes an extra challenge is a good thing

Yesterday I miscalculated bus times and ended up having to walk home from downtown, which is a distance of about 2.4 miles as I recall, all on hard surfaces. This isn't a long distance but in my present state it is certainly a challenge. I could have called a cab or a friend but I decided to take on the challenge instead.

I started out relatively pain- and limp-free, which in itself was a good sign. By the time I reached home I was limping and stiff, and that stiffness remained for the rest of the evening. I had no cramps during the night or any weird twists in my knee. This morning I awoke very stiff and in some pain. It is already starting to ease, though, and I know that the walk did not harm me. It pushed me farther than I was ready to go on a regular basis but I believe such pushes, from time to time, give me some extra courage and belief in myself. I don't relish the kind of pain that I endure when I do things like this so I am not likely to go out there the next day and do it again. But I suspect that my next smaller walk will seem easier.