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Monday, February 22, 2010

An arm and a leg

I have had trouble with my left arm lately, for a few months now really. It appears to be a joint thing, more arthritis, and that's what the doctor said when I went in to see if there was anything that could be done. Not much, apparently.

The pain comes on quickly when I make wrong moves with that arm. Sharp, radiating pain, nothing you want. It has made it hard for me to lift things with that arm, to stretch it to turn on lights, that sort of thing.

This pain, along with the persistent right hip pain, make it so I am not inclined to run out there and exercise much of the time. Not good, believe me, because I know this is the answer, at least part of the answer. Must keep moving joints.

I was in Palm Springs this last weekend, staying at a motel with a nice pool. Yesterday morning I thought I'd go into the hot tub before we took off. My roomie said she'd come out with coffee and lounge around while I "exercised", which made me think maybe I'd try to swim. I got into the real pool, which is a nice one, big enough to take a few strokes and feel like swimming. The water was also quite warm, probably for all us old folks! My first stretch with my left arm reminded me rather abruptly that swimming might be impossible. It shot through with pain.

So I lay on my back and did some fluttering with my hands and feet and made my way back and forth that way a bit. I then tried to swim freestyle again. Again, the hurt. But not quite so much. Stiff and resistant and not strong so I flailed around but I did it how ever weird it looked. As I tried more I was able to make stumbly swims across. I didn't do a whole lot of these but enough to realize that perhaps I really could relieve some of the pain if I do something like this more often. I felt hopeful.

Today I am home again and I haven't gone to swim or to lift weights (a similar kind of activity). It seems like a good idea, though!