Staying Young When Arthritis Causes Me to Feel Old
Posted Oct 03 2008 11:31am
I’m sure I’ve said it before in a previous post that I’m feeling better in my 30’s than I did in my 20’s, but I’m wanting to make that point again. For about 10 years I was quite a bit miserable, in a out of hospital for so many reasons from stomach and back issues, to having strokes and surgeries. By the time I turned 30 my medical chart was over 2 inches thick and I felt old. There was a 30 year old face in the mirror, but I felt 90. The biggest reason was the <em>Rheumatoid Arthritis</em> that caused me to feel creaky and rusty like the tin man in Oz before the oil can relief!
So why am I feeling so “awesome” now? I’m learning to live with a different mind set, instead of putting others needs first, taking care of myself has become priority. Let me explain before I get called a selfish wench! How can I help properly when I’m barely able to get around myself? I might as well do nothing because I’m not going to do a lick of quality good for anyone. When I’m healthy and happy I’m in a better position to participate and people actually enjoy my presence because I’m not cranky!
The first step was to inform myself about arthritis and what arthritis causes. I then used my medical history along with professional health care advice to map out the supplements and medications I would be able to take to reduce pain and damage. The next process was getting physically active, starting out slow and doing things I truly enjoyed.
I found my hobbies to be a great source of therapy. They not only gave me physical activity but my mind was taken off the disease for the time being. Playing the guitar and piano, painting and other creative outlets provide amazing exercise for my hands. Gardening, walking and muscle building has improved my knees, back and feet.
I’m not saying that everyday is a bowl of sickly sweet sunshine, I do have the occasional heavy storm clouds rolling in, but they’re not as severe or frequent as they were, even a year ago. It’s a fantastic feeling to look back upon my day and see all I’ve accomplished despite the fact that I have <em>Rheumatoid Arthritis.</em>
Everyone has interests or hobbies that keep them active - can you share your story?