Sunday, January 17, 2016

I can walk!

I've never been totally unable to walk, of course, except during most of my first year of life.  But about two years ago, I had to stop going for those brisk walks I'd taken for years.  My knees just couldn't take the pounding.  Four years ago I had a knee replacement on the most painful knee, my left one, so I could once again go for my walks.  For a year or so, I took my walks; then the replacement knee started hurting just as painfully as before the surgery.  Obviously, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't have the surgery.  As I understand it, nine out of ten people who have knee replacements are thrilled with the results.  My good results just didn't last.  Truthfully, though, I don't know many people who have had the surgery who challenge their surgical joints by walking vigorously for forty-five minutes daily, so maybe I should have just turned into a couch potato.  But hey, I could have done that without having surgery.  

I've had people insinuate that I probably didn't do my therapy as I should have.  Believe me, I did.  

One of my pet peeves is hearing others who are happy with their new knees tell me, "If you had gone to MY orthopedist, you would have had better results."

Really?  How do you know this?  I think I just happen to be that one person in ten whose results weren't the best.  Get out there and pound the pavement for an hour every single day and see how happy you are with your replacement.  End of rant.

And now, on to my topic.  Arthritis is a strange and unreliable thing,  The pain will sometimes get better or worse for no apparent reason.  Cliff and I have discussed this a lot.  Either of us can be in pretty extreme pain with "old Arther" for six months or a year, and then one day we realize that we haven't had to take a Tylenol or Ibuprofen for weeks.. it just happens.  Of course we've seen it go the other way, but personally, I always thank God for the respite.  I'm never pain-free, but if it's enough improved that I don't think about it all the time, I'm grateful.

I stopped taking any sort of supplement for arthritis some time ago and was expecting to have more pain, but this just happened to be a time when I started feeling better.  I'm sure it had nothing to do with ceasing to take glucosamine; I've started and stopped taking it many times in the past.

For years, Cliff and I went for walks in our pasture together, unless it was pouring rain.  Even in single-digit temperatures  It's amazing how quickly your body warms up when you're walking briskly.  As long as I kept moving, my feet didn't get cold, either.  I used to walk alone along the highway, but after Cliff had open heart surgery, he joined me; that's when we took to the pasture.  He kept on walking for a while after knee pain stopped me, and then one of his knees started to get gimpy too.  He tried to push through the pain, but alas, he just couldn't do it.

This is the first time we've attempted to get back on track with our eating habits without being able to walk for exercise.  Notice how I refuse to use the word diet, because that implies it's a temporary thing.  It has to be permanent, something we can live with; I think the closest we've gotten to "permanent" is a couple of three-year stretches, but maybe some day we will stay with it.  

Anyhow, not being able to do any decent exercise, along with our being older all the time, means the excess baggage is really slow to leave.  I'm putting in fifteen to twenty minutes on the stationary bike, but in my opinion it's a pathetic excuse for exercise.  Oh well, "do something, lest you do nothing" is my motto.

On an unseasonably warm afternoon a couple of weeks ago, I was meandering around the yard and thought, "I wonder if it would put me out of commission if I just walk to the back of the pasture."

Off I went, and made it just fine, although admittedly, that wasn't such a long walk.  Still, it's the first time I had gone back there under my own steam in a long time.  

Yesterday I decided to take it further and see just how much of our old walk-in-the-pasture I could do without paying consequences.  However, I resolved just to mosey along, because I know if I went at the pace we once did, it would batter my knees and I'd be hurting for days.  It's bone on bone, after all.  OK, the artificial one isn't, and I have no idea why it hurts exactly the same as the other one.  But it does.

I poked along at about the speed one uses when window-shopping, taking over an hour to go the distance that used to take thirty minutes.  But I suffered no undue pain afterward, and I felt no worse for the wear when I got up this morning.  

I don't intend to make this an every-day thing, but just the idea of getting out in nature once or twice a week thrills me.  I have missed it so much!  I especially need it in wintertime, because sitting in the house constantly really gets to me.  

I know "Old Arther" will be on the upswing at some point, but while I can, I will be going for an occasional walk.


Back Porch Writer said...

So glad you were able to get out for your walk and bring some cheer. My right knee bothers me but mainly up and down stairs. So I know as I age I will have issues. I have noticed that Vit D helps and nutrition. It's good for us to walk if we can. I walked 3 miles yesterday in the house just cleaning up all day. lol That's how messy. I noticed from a post you posted this morning, it snowed. We have snow in our forecast this week. But I hope we don't get any accumulation. They really have a hard time with it at work and dealing with people being out so I dread it. Take care and have a good week.

Charade said...

I don't normally pass on health "advice" to others, as I know just how little I would appreciate it myself - but - when my husband and I were complaining to our prevention specialist about arthritis joint pain, she insisted we eat no nightshades for the next thirty days, and report back how we felt. Within three weeks, we were both completely joint-pain free. Eggplant was already off our list due to my seasonal allergies, but potatoes and tomatoes were the hardest to give up. Peppers don't seem to bother us. A slice of tomato on a hamburger is no big deal, but any more than that is noticeable. A baked potato once every three months while out to eat is no big deal, but every time we buy a five-pound bag for the holidays, it's noticeable. For over five years we've only had that morning arthritis when we've brought it on by eating potatoes or tomatoes. Just a thought... And my apologies for the "advice."

Donna said...

I always appreciate someone caring about me enough to offer advice. However, tomato sauce, paste, and salsa play such a big part in my eating and cooking that I just can't think about giving them up. Right now potatoes would be easy for us, since I'm counting calories and we don't have potatoes over once a week. But I doubt if I try this. That's just me: I'm fairly sure I have G.E.R.D. and am going to see a doctor about it before long. However, I refuse to give up coffee, even though I know that would probably make a difference.

Southern Gal said...

Oh Donna, I'm so glad you enjoyed your walk and pain free the next day. I've had nerves burned off in my back last summer. It' didn't really help me either. I take my Ibuprofen and go on. The spasms are what get me. Enjoy your walks when you can.