Me and My Knees, That Thing Called Arthritis – Part Two

It’s now 2015 and I still am not experiencing any pain to speak of. In July it’s time for another visit to OASIS. The physio at OASIS showed me my X-Rays; then explained that my left knee on the inside is now bone-on-bone! She also was surprised that I was not experiencing any pain! She tells me of patients whose X-rays show their knees are not as bad as mine and they are in agony…go figure! Apparently now is the time for that chat about that knee replacement surgery…she gives me anywhere between 1 and 2 years before my life will become so impacted by the arthritis in my knee, that I will need to have the surgery.

DSCN0026 nx2I have, by this time, finally listened to Dr. Joy…my fabulous physician, and purchased good Nordic Walking Poles and joined a community centre where I can attend “Joint Works” a pool programme for arthritis sufferers, twice a week, plus joining a chair-fit class. Why the hell I didn’t listen to her before I’ll never know…just stubborn I guess! The poles are making it a lot easier for me to walk, keeping my posture correct, and making me mindful about my alignment, they also take 15 lbs. off the knees. I am unable to walk as far as I could 1 ½ years ago because I get tired more quickly and I have slowed right down, which is frustrating to me, a big time walker. About 1 mile is about it. Back in the day that was a slam dunk!

Fast forward to October 2015 and we are off to Rome again. I’m equipped! I’ve got my Nordic Poles tucked into my suitcase, along with my freezy packs, lots of Tylenol for Arthritis and Advil’s and some of those instant freezy packs in my purse just in case I begin to have pain on the flight. The day we left I went to the pool for the morning class just to be on the safe side. The flight was an overnighter to London then on to Rome and I had no pain at all….the only pain being it’s a pain in the ass on the plane…it’s so cramped, even if you have an aisle seat (helps if you can stretch your bad knee out once in a while) and I never seem able to sleep either! I would say slow and steady was how our time was spent in Rome; we still walked a lot but took many breaks. Each time I got on the bus or subway, someone would always offer me their seat! This doesn’t happen here in Vancouver! We saw a lot and did a lot but had to take a pass on some things, it’s the stairs you see! So even though Villa d’Este and Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli was on the agenda, we knew I would be either unable to do it or would not be at all happy with what I could not do and see. A lot of time was spent icing my knees in the morning and at the end of each day. There were occasional days I just had to take a few hours off and not do anything but sit, leg up, ice-pack on knee and write in my travel journal…so not a total waste of time! My husband, Joe, also pointed out to me one day that my left leg is now “bent” or “bowed.” Not a good thing!

But then…but then…the flight home! Not fun at all and ever since, I have been experiencing additional pain and much stiffness in the knee during the day. I tried a medication for pain that made me feel horrible so after 4 days I discontinued taking it and felt a lot better. The pool and chair fit programmes help a lot with relief in the joints, I use a prescription salve for knee pain, which isn’t awful…just feels like the knee is burning up sometimes! The good news is, touch wood, I do not have night pain when I’m trying to sleep. Apparently lots of people do. I’m a bad sleeper at the best of times so this is a bit of a blessing. The only time it’s problematic is if I turn the leg in a strange way. You quickly discover what positions work!

Click here for Part 1 and Part 3 continue the journey.

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