Self Care – Taming the Arthritis Monster

My good Doctor has a great sense of humour. She was pretty pleased when she called me in the Mayan Riviera on my 50th birthday to wish me a happy birthday and to casually say “book an appointment for a routine colonoscopy as soon as you get back” “What?!” “Yep you’re 50 now” I know I heard a muffled giggle.  So, when she called recently to tell me that I had the beginnings of arthritis in my left hip I thought “Hahaha!! Hilarious!” Silence on the other end told me she was serious.

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The directive was to fill a prescription of Naproxen and get started on physio asap. Of course I was a little surprised by this, having just turned 50 I sure as hell wasn’t too impressed with this new development. Visions of a walker and loss of independence and a nursing home danced vividly in my head. I had to talk my self out of my crazy fears. I realized that this was self care and  something I had to do, that’s a good reason!

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I began my twice a week appointments with my physiotherapist who is the most amazing person ever!! She reassured me that we would get things back to normal although there would be some permanent changes that I would have to make, but I would be back to my old self in no time.  Did she just emphasize OLD? Nahhhhh!

Here are a few things that I have changed:

  1. I no longer carry around a 27-lb purse, apparently, it puts too much strain on the body etc. (I noticed the improvement in pain almost immediately) andddd you know what? I have always thought I needed to carry a big purse. Wrong! the world continued orbiting even though I no longer had a purse that contained 2 notebooks. 1 iPad, 3 novels, 2 makeup bags and a partridge in a pear tree.
  2.  Apparently, my walking speed was insanely too fast for my 5’4 height. Hello? I hurry to keep up with my 5’9 daughter, my 6’ husband and my 6’4 son. I explained to the fam and they agreed that in addition to me keeping up with them I rush around too much. (I’m not sure how they expect things to get done around here) but I reluctantly slowed down. I think the big issue for me was that I was equating slow with old. I noticed that things are pretty nice in the world when you slow down. Stop and smell the roses! Walking slower and appreciating things made for a happy Maryse.
  3.  Posture! Seriously?  Growing up my Dad constantly lectured me on the importance of good posture. No one tell him that he was right! So lesson learned! I have been practising better posture, walking, sitting and standing and what an improvement! My gradual return to the gym has made me more aware of keeping the “core” in line. Who knew?  Believe it or not there is truth to this stuff.

Today she told me she was proud of me and hell you know what? I’m proud of me too!  I will most likely be back at the gym doing everything I did before, within the next month. But, I learned a few things and I’ve made some changes that I will maintain. I also learned that slower might mean old, or it may not. Either way I’m okay with that.

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10 thoughts on “Self Care – Taming the Arthritis Monster

    1. Thanks for reading! Arthritis is still there and when it attempts to rear its ugly head, I’m reminded to put back in practice all the things I learned in physio. What a great help physio has been! Haney you tried that?

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      1. No, I’ve been taking Glucosamine and Chondroitin. I didn’t know there might be any physical therapy for arthritis in the thumb joints. (One day, long ago, I lifted one too many things that my hands couldn’t quite carry; probably twisted it in the process; and then didn’t go to a doctor). 😦

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