Tuesday, April 12, 2016
J is for Joints
People always make jokes about the aches and pains of getting older. The increasing frequency of how often we walk into a room and forget why we went in there. The frequent urination. Sleepless nights. The incredible difficulty of getting our bodies to start cooperating in the morning. The frustrating forgetfulness. I understand all of it and have experienced them all as well, but I have one particular one that I need to take some action for.
I have incredible joint pain.
Actually, I hate to use the word incredible because I associate that word with great things and what I experience is not great. It's quite the opposite of that. It's pretty ungreat (Not to be confused with ingrate. That is something else entirely) and I really don't enjoy it.
I have written many times in the past about my recurring shoulder pains. When they are at their worst, I can't even let my arm hang by my side without horrible pain. I have to support the weight. It took a while, but we finally found the issue and it means surgery. However, the doctors say that I must wait as long as possible for the surgery because it will only last 10 to 15 years and cannot be done again. In the meantime, I've been taught some stretches that seem to alleviate the pain somewhat, but it still gets quite painful at times.
For the last year, my shoulders haven't been my biggest concern. Something is going on with my hands. My fingers will swell up and I have trouble making a fist. I can't hold anything when this happens and it lasts for a few days. They are very tender during this time and I lose all dexterity. I can't open jars. I have trouble lifting the tea pitcher to get myself a drink and taking care of my bathroom needs becomes rather challenging.
These pains are spreading. It occurs in my feet, wrists, ankles, knees, hip and other places. One morning my alarm went off and I discovered that I couldn't walk. I had to crawl to the clock. I have no problem with not walking as long as I have access to a remote and a good wifi signal, but I was supposed to go to work. It didn't happen that day. My foot was swelled so big, I couldn't get my shoe on anyway.
My wife is grateful that I just made a doctor's appointment last week. It's a general practitioner, but it's a step in the direction of getting some of this looked into. I don't know why men don't like to go to the doctor, but I am guilty. I have just put up with this forever, but it's reached the point that it can't be ignored any longer.
I just hope he doesn't try to make me change my diet. I'll go without movement to be able to stick my face in a plate of steak fajita nachos.