Saturday, October 6, 2012


Arthritis is rampant on both sides of my family. I experienced pangs in my shoulders during high school. My left knee began to indicate forthcoming rain/snow in my 20s, it is sensitive to air pressure change. During my 30s my hips, ankles and right knee would occasionally hurt. No big deal a pain murderer would block the discomfort.

When I turned 40 my body began to deteriorate. Eyesight worsened, fatigue, insomnia, and the joints in my hands began to swell and ache. It probably doesn’t help that I am overweight. The strain only places more pressure on my joints. Naughty me.

I watched my paternal grandmother bow over with a dowagers hump as her osteoporosis destroyed her spine. Her hands shriveled into stumps as the arthritis twisted the bone, muscle and tendons into claws. My dad has some arthritis but his sisters and niece are badly affected. My maternal grandmother Daisy had aches but died before they wrecked her body. My mom’s back hurts so much that she was immobilized for most of last winter. Her arthritis is made worse because she was born premature and her body didn’t quite develop correctly. I suspect that it is spina bifida but I don’t know if she’s been diagnosed.

I have a very mild case of spina bifida. One of my spinal bones is not fully formed and it slightly exposes the tender bits. It wasn’t diagnosed until six years ago. I was in a car accident (not my fault) and I had to see a chiropractor. The doctor took x-rays and it showed the slight abnormality. That explains why an old beau would hurt me when he would sweetly offer to massage my back and press in that area – the pain was excruciating. Unwittingly, he could have caused me great harm if he’d pressed too hard on the spinal nerve. I don’t blame my mom if my condition is due to lack of folic acid. The research wasn’t available at that time. I just have to be careful not to press that area of my back since it will always be vulnerable.

Back to the joints. Lots of research but little progress to stop or reduce arthritis. You can only block the pain. I have found that taking a glucosamine supplement does help to reduce the swelling. It is sad to watch my fingers start to twist. The joints are slightly swollen most of the time and hurt some of the time. This year my left elbow began to constantly ache. The pain is most apparent while trying to sleep because I can maintain some type of distraction during the day. I need to lose weight and join a Hatha Yoga class as soon as I can afford it. The stretching and breathing has always been helpful.

Getting older sucks.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

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