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Physiological issues

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(**Warning...venting allert. No advice necessary, just need to pout and mope. All is well, I promise!**)


My dad picked the wrong week to go on vacation. Dammit.


Usually when I have questions on certain subjects, I go to him. One is physiology. Not because he's a doctor or has any medical training whatsoever. Instead, he's someone who has done a ton of reading, has felt pain of pretty much every position on the spectrum, and is a logical person. He's the person who taught me that not everything needs a pill to make it better...in fact, most things don't need a pill. Rest, ice, heat, refraining from certain activities...you know, common sense.


I have pre-arthritic conditions in most of my joints. Translated into English, I've got crappy joints, due to being a tomboy who grew a full foot in 2 years. Pretty much since the age of 11 I've had bad knees in particular, and most of my other joints creak, crack, and the like. While most of the time it's no big deal, when I change my exercise routine, wear my high heels too often, or other such pressures on my joints, I tend to feel it. But I've learned over the years to block the pain mentally, do stretches, and for me the use of glucosamine has helped quite a bit (although it doesn't work for everyone...don't know why, but it doesn't). I'm used to this...in fact, it feels pretty good to crack my ankles, as not doing it leaves them a little stiff. From the start I've had to change activity levels, figure out what I can do and what's off the table...and constantly change it. When I was heavier, I constantly complained about my knees. Funny how losing weight and becoming active aliviates the pain most of the time.


Anyway, for the past couple of weeks my left knee (the more problematic one) has been overly stiff...and there's a swollen area in the back. When I went in for a massage, the masseuse pinpointed the location...typcially, it's the ligaments and tendons which are the problem children, which is the story of my life. Yesterday I went to the gym for a typical workout, and decided to test out the knee more than usual. I purposely did movements and exercises which forced me to push off my left leg, to test the strength...yeesh, not much there. Tried stretching, but that didn't help. I've iced down my knee to the point that it might be permanently blue, but I'm not sure that it's made much of a difference. But the odd part is that there is zero pain in general, and only a twinge when I do certain movements, which is normal...yet I can feel the swollen stiffness. I need to pick my dad's brain...he knows me well, and can help me out.


And where's Dad? With Mom, celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary (which is today), reliving their honeymoon in the same resort in Acapulo, Mexico, that they went to 35 years ago. I have to wait a week for 'an appointment'. Same as a doctor, no less, but less BS in the result.

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Hey, congrats to your folks on their 35th! Did they remember to do the absentee ballot thing before they left for Mexico?


As for the knee thing... Ouch. Doesn't sound like fun. When I get joint pains I get in the hot tub. Do they have one of those at your gym and, if so, does it help you?


-- Nephele

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Yep, they're permanent absentee voters, like me...they put their ballots in early.


The hot tub helps me to stretch more, in that the heat combined with the 'weightlessness' that one feels in the water helps me get to the 'hard to reach' places. On cold days, the sauna helps more; I hate humidity, so the steam room is reserved only for when I'm so damned congested that it's the only relief. What seems to work best is common sense stuff: when I ache, don't wear heels, take an ibuprofen if absolutely necessary, and don't go on any 6 mile walks :D I'm lucky that it's relatively easy to control...and hopefully it will be for a while. But, considering arthritis runs strong on both sides of the family, well, who knows.


The part that's frustrating is that I don't know what I did, what's causing the more-than-average swelling. Usually I can pinpoint the cause or activity...and this time I can't. It doesn't really hurt...just feels, well, extra-cushiony...kinda stiff, but no pain. Only when I'm testing my range of motion in various positions (sitting, standing, prone, supine, etc.) do I feel any pain, and it's enough to remind me to stop what I'm doing. So that's what's making me mope and pout. It pisses me off when I can't figure out a solution (and in this case, without going to a doctor who will want to put me on meds or cut me open).

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