The extra bits...(Under construction).

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Have I mentioned my knees II .....

     Way back in November last year BN (Before Nelly!) I wrote a post that, when now reading it, seems a whinge tinged with hope so to speak. My mind was not in the best of places yet the dog was at bay, my knees were giving me all sorts of issues yet there was talk of dietary change and even exercise at the gym. So I thought I would give you all a short update upon the health of John.....

     Firstly I'll mention my knees, a subject that I rarely talk about, ahem. A short summation of them is that yes there are still bloody knackered but after a visit to physiotherapy this morning I now know why the little ungrateful bastards are causing me so much pain and discomfort. It turns out that I have the early stages of Osteoarthritis or as some call it 'wear and tear arthritis' which my physiotherapist told me is a tad misleading as the condition is not brought on by the amount of work the joints have done. Basically it is the deterioration of the cartilage in the joint which then leads to other things such as bone thickening, swelling of the joint etc. oh and aches and pain, have I mentioned the pain? And the great thing about osteoarthritis is.... it's not curable, bugger!

     But tis not all doom and gloom as the condition can be managed. I have an exercise sheet now with the aim of gently increasing my knee joints strength, I'm already, albet slowly, losing my puppy fat which will take pressure off my joints and, this is the best bit, I should be able to resume walking the trails with careful management, in fact my physio stated that I should build up to walking more....result! I'll tell you what though, this age thing does not come on its own.

     As for the other moaning in that BN post... Well I did stop going to the gym as I thought, wrongly, that the exercise regime would increase the damage in my knee joints. But now, after physio, I realise my mistake in this assumption and that using the joints will not accelerate the condition and long term would more than likely help. But I was warned today that the initial startup of exercise will increase the aches and pains at first but hopefully this should reduce as the knees strengthen. Will I return to the gym once my knees hopefully strengthen? I don't know, yes I did get a buzz from the exercise but bloody hell it was boring. Also I think that the best practice/exercise for anything is actually doing that thing so expect more walking posts to appear upon the electronic horizon.

     My weight loss attempt indeed stalled, the reduction of exercise trying to protect my knees (oh foolish mortal), coupled with then not having the motivation of exercising certainly did not help me focus upon a healthy diet. Having said this I'm still half a stone lighter at fourteen ten than my original weight so it's a good starting, or resuming?, place to be. Coupled with this my cholesterol has stayed high although tis no worse, but this is probably a direct result of the above.

     As for the 'Dog'......


     ...... well he is still at bay and I'm coping with him reasonably at the moment. I certainly feel that this is reflected in my recent blog posts and in my life in general. I know he is there, fangs bared and jaws dripping with anticipation, yet so far he has been unable to drag my mind back to his abyss and with spring knocking on the door maybe it'll be some time before he has a hold upon me again? 

     With two things now to manage, the 'Dog' and me knees, life certainly does have a habit of loading a person as age draws you inevitably back to the soil.

     So there we have it, a most tedious post but one that I wanted to put down on electronic paper. Oh if any of you kindly folk know of anything that may help my decrepit knees feel free to put your two penneth worth in. I'm hoping to trawl the net after two more nights at the grind to find out if there is anything else that I can eat or do to help. 

     Till the next time, take care...

John

43 comments:

  1. Hubby has the same problem in his knees but after the second MRI they did find floaty bits and torn wotsits so we are waiting to hear if there is anything they can do. He walks as far as he can manage every day even if it is only to the end of the drive sometimes. The weight is always going to be a struggle if your on certain medication and sometimes it's just a challenge to stay the same.

    I will always be here to encourage you onwards as I totally understand what your going through. Hubby and I often joke that we couldn't make a well person out of both our body parts!

    Pilates and gentle walking helps here as I dont' make a very good gym bunny ;)

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    1. Thank you Julee....."gym bunny", now I'm smiling medear x

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  2. John, FWIW, I am struggling with similar rheumatoid arthritis issues due to the best of "poor-white-trash" genetics, multiple wheeled/motorized conveyance accidents and 50 plus years of general use and abuse. Knees, ankles and hips are shot. Falling 25 feet and breaking both ankles 30 yrs ago on a construction site accident made a nice mess if things as well. I have bone on bone contact on my right shoulder from 30 plus years of swinging a hammer, pneumatic nail gun. Had to give up kayaking a couple of years ago as the pain-reward ratios were decidedly not in my favor. A steady dose of over the counter pain pills are barely managing to keep me functioning, but there is no telling what it is doing to my kidneys. In my case exercise only aggravates it more and increases the pain. No solutions as of yet. If I were a horse I have been sent off to the glue factory long ago.

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    1. Mr Silvius....I feel quite embarrassed now whinging on about my knees.....though I probably won't stop going on about them ;-)

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    2. No need to feel embarrassed John, just letting you know you are in good company LOL. Beyond the PWT genetics aspect, it is largely my own fault and a result of an excess of "piss and vinegar" and a rather reckless attitude towards the future. There was a time when I was invincible. The foolishness of youth you could say. Then I got old and became a wuss. Pain has a way of making you know that you are mortal. Had video cameras and cellphones been as prevalent at the time, It would have made for some spectacular footage on those TV programs that show people doing stupid crash and burn stunts. The hardware in my ankle does make for a good barometer though. Michael

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    3. Have to agree with feeling immortal when a youth....age and its gifts bring you back to reality with a bump don't it!

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  3. Hi John
    I too suffer with oesto arthritis in my knees and fingers - I found a hydrotherapy class run by volunteers at our local hospital which used to help a lot - problem I had was that the classes were run when I was stuck at work so couldn't keep up going to them - but it's worth seeing if there are any classes close to where you live - the water was so nice and warm and made the movement of my joints so much easier - trouble is all I wanted to do was have a cup of tea and then snooze when I got home! xx

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  4. Hi Trudie, I was thinking of swimming even though I swim poorly, to take the load of my joints yet still use them. I know exactly what you mean about a brew and a nap, when I used to managed walking the hills once home that was all I wanted.

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  5. Hi John,

    I sure am sorry to hear about the pain in your knees. There is nothing like chronic pain to take a toil on one's emotions. Good for you for making slow steady progress with improving your diet and exercise. So what if it's slow and you have setbacks? Setbacks are inevitable, the thing is to keep moving forward when you can. You should be proud of your efforts!

    I was also wondering if you have access to a swimming pool? Swimming would probably be a great form of exercise for you as it would relieve the pressure on your joints. Just a thought.

    Regarding the Black Dog.....I've been there, my friend. I don't talk about it much on my blog, but I've suffered (off and on) in my life with OCD. For the past few years it's been under control, but a few times in my life it's gotten out of hand. For months at a time I would suffer crushing anxiety and black, black depression (almost despair). Finally finding a medication that worked and getting on a low maintenance dose made a world of difference. If there is one piece of advice I could give you, it's this: Depression Lies. You have to continue pushing to live a normal life and to do normal things even though you might sometimes feel like nothing is normal, nothing feels good, nothing matters. Those things aren't true. Sometimes you have to just show up and go through the motions of normal life until the tide passes and your brain chemicals right themselves again. Fake it till you make it! Staying as involved in the good stuff as you can---your dogs, the people you love, nature, hobbies, blogging---is good medicine.

    Hang in there, my friend. You are worth it!

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    1. Don't know what to say Jennifer, thank you does not seem to cover it. The Black dog is a bitch (pardon the pun) but I seem to be keeping her at bay right now. Medication was changed before Christmas and this has certainly helped me with highs and lows much less drastic now. I think a few months ago the news about my knees would have dragged me down but I feel that now I've accepted it and am being positive about the steps I can take to manage it. Thank you again m'dear x

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  6. Poor you, I know what it feels like I have rheumatiod arthritis, and at the moment I have a bad back,hubby's back is knackered they say its wear and tear, I suppose we all get these problems as we are getting older :-( Take care, keep your chin up .

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    1. Thank you SL, isn't knackered such a wonderful word? ;-)

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  7. Hi John, yes, pain can really drag you down. I suffered a back injury way back in the 1990's which still flares up at times and now I have pain in my hands, hips and feet (though not so bad in the knees thank goodness). My GP recommended swimming but I swim like a stone :( I tried the Gym but, like you, found it so terribly boring (and expensive) so I just try to walk when I can. I always feel better in the warmer weather so it won't be long now, Spring is on it's way! Well done on trimming the weight too. That's something else I will need to get a grip on soon. I must lose 10lbs...repeat...I must lose 10 lbs :/

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    1. Its the pain that really tests me PP, but agree with you about looking forward to warmer weather and feeling the sun on my face.

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  8. I know I'm stating the obvious but walking will be good for your knees and your mind. Shame we don't live near each other, my cocking back is playing up again so I'm trying to walk often. Not looking forward to sitting at my desk all day tomorrow, think I might be hitting the codeine phosphate wahey !
    Twiggy

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    1. Thanks Twiggy, I'm chuffed to bits that I'll be able to start walking once more, it certainly helps my sanity, Agree about it would be good having walking buddies, decrepit ones at that ;-)....maybe we should set up a bloggers walking club where we all set off at the same time and report back here on our mini adventure?

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    2. That is an excellent idea, could take pics and everything. I hobbled home tonight like Mrs Overall, glad it's half term now. Those poor kids at school today probably thought I'd had a personality bypass and a sense of humour removal !
      Twiggy

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    3. You know what Twiggy I do believe it would be an excellent thing to organise.

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    4. Ok John I'm in, and it sounds like Dave could be too?

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    5. Well that makes three, I think I'll put it out on my next post...just have to think of a way to organise it and tie the posts off everyone together.... Bit of a numpty at this web page ma larky

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    6. Hi John, glad you are starting to feel a bit better. I have tried to post several times (I don't blog so hence "anonymous"). I have a friend who has osteoarthritis (sp?) and as I will be going to England to see my mom soon she asked me to get her some cod liver oil with glucosamine sulphate tablets while I'm there. She has been taking them for about 6 months and swears they do her good. She is severely overweight so we are hoping that if she can start taking gentle exercise that will come down too. If you are letting "foreigners" into your virtual walking group I would love to join too as there is no substitute (I think) for fighting depression and I want to walk more. Plus frankly it's daft to live in such a beautiful area and NOT get out and appreciate it. (Just one thing, can I just do half the time you all do because I live in the alps?). Well just joking, I would love to give it a shot (but I'll make mine all downhill). Anna (in France)

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    7. Hello and welcome Anna, many thanks for taking the time to read and comment it always surprises me when people do. Of course you would be welcome into the walking group, especially as you'll be able to share pictures from such a lovely area. I'm working on the idea this week so watch this space :-)

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  9. This is a good post, honey- an honest record of things and what to do to improve them. Lots of folk take Glucosamine and chondroitin (health shops/ on line etc) for arthritic conditions, a capsule of cod liver oil a day would help boost the synovial fluid between the joints (it pads the joint ends which rub together in arthritic conditions causing pain). Arnica is a homeopathic anti-inflammatory that's gentle on the stomach and drinking lots of water helps flush toxins out of the system which also helps with weight control as well as keeping joints clean. Massage (gentle type) and exercise (again, gentle so build up slowly) both boost circulation which helps to carry toxins out of the body. Stretches (gentle ones) would be good for muscle and joint health. Walking is the best exercise. Can't stand gyms personally- give me the Great Outdoors every time :o) Good luck- there's plenty you can do to help yourself :o)

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    1. Thank you CT and some good advice methinks. Already picked up some cod liver oil and garlic capsules today and I'll take some time to look your other advice up when I finish these two night shifts.

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  10. I was going to say, It's hell getting old, but that doesn't seem to apply here. I was also going to say that, like my friend in Missouri told me, If we didn't do what we did when we were younger, we wouldn't be in the shape we're in today. That doesn't seem to apply either. So I'll just shut up for now.

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    1. Guess it's a state of mind Mark, just glad that I have been able to remain positive about this.

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  11. You have poorly knees? Why is this the first I've heard of it?? Tut. *shakes head*

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    1. You there...at the back of the class, pay attention young lady!!!!
      ;-)

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  12. I like your idea of a bloggers walking club John. Can I join?

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    1. You know what Dave the more I think about this the more appealing it sounds. Perhaps I should test the water and set something up?

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  13. So sorry to hear about the knees - must admit mine are "knackered" too - so you have my heartfelt sympathies. Glad to hear you are keeping the Dog at bay. Plenty of walking as others have said is good for both. Not a gym lover myself - would far rather me rambling round the countryside :)

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  14. Rambling around the countryside sounds damn good to me Robin :-)

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  15. Sorry to hear about your knees. Glad to see you are getting some good therapy and you seem positive to make a good impact on reducing the pain though I bet it is frustrating to know it will never be fully alleviated.

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    1. Hi Atlas. Yes its frustrating yet also this has given me much more focus I feel.

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  16. i do hope your knees can get stronger and stabilized - at least enough to allow you some freedom and comfort tromping around. regular exercise saves me in numerous ways - helps me control my weight (because i love food!), helps me control my blood pressure and cholesterol (inherited bad tendencies of both) but it also improves my mood, too. so i'm hoping spring time, building up strength, weight loss, will all help you continue towards more mobility and better health!

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    1. Thanks Tex, looks like this may have started something judging by the comments here... Blog walking! Looking forward now to just getting out there for all the reasons you've just listed m'dear.

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  17. Exercise is good, and I find that walking can be the best of all. Go slowly and be gentle on yourself - if I have a problem, it is that I am too impatient and can push myself too hard and injure myself to the point I have to slow down and wait and start again. Slow and steady wins more often than not.

    As to the Black Dog (actually, the picture looks like our own dog, Syrah the Mighty), congratulations on the progress. Sometimes in my own struggle if feel like I am making no progress at all; it is only when I look at things over time that I see the forward motion. Perspective can be a wonderful thing.

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    1. We sound very similar TB, in that I to tend to push to hard rather than build gradually but this time I'm definitely going to have to manage myself far better and take things slowly...... Though I still want to summit Snowdon and walk striding edge in the lake district before the summer's end.
      It does sometimes take a pause and look back at my progress with the dog and see that finally there is a little progress yet looking back can also bring back terrible memories that I'd previously blanked out. I guess that one day they may fade and not hurt as deeply as they do now.

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  18. I take glucousamin tablets everyday. I also have some really wonderful cream that is an herbal mix with glucosamin in it. It takes the pain away immediately. The tablets help so I don't get many flare ups. I too fight the dog and will be so happy to see spring, though in my part of Canada, it will be April before we get decent temperatures.

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    1. Hello Jean and welcome....that cream sounds interesting, does it have a name as I'd like to try it out? It's not the cold that bothers me just the long hours of darkness. ..it'll be good to feel the warmth of the sun though.

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  19. Hi John, there is truth in the saying "youth is wasted on the young". I say that every time I hear a creak where there hadn't been one, or feel a pinch, pull, strain when I'm doing what I have been for years. Bloody ageing ! It causes me to be a very unhappy camper believe it or not :) You've received a lot of good suggestions and taking it slow is the best. We aren't 26 after all. When a joint becomes cranky I use either ice or Tiger Balm which provides heat. If you don't have it there, mix cayenne pepper into your favourite lotion ( all men need lotion so don't roll yer eyes thinkin' but but but I'm a man! and we don't use no lotion ), and use it as a rub. It releases heat into the joint. As for the black dog, ummmm, the more you think about it the more likely it will reappear so banish it from your thoughts laddie. Focus on the positive. Even if it's something as simple as I walked 1K today in the sunshine and felt restored. Positive John, always think positive. :)

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  20. Hi Cheryl, I'm a tad overwhelmed by the responses I've received on this post, well actually upon any of em! But you're right about the advice given and thank you for yours. Never heard of tiger balm so something else to look up and as for lotions? Well my caveman's attitude is softening about em :)
    You're right about the Dog but I do still find myself thinking about the bitch everyday, I thing it's my way of being aware of trying to spot the signs of falling again as when I do I have no idea that I have or how I'm actually interacting (or not) with others and that is when I spiral down further hurting loved ones on the way. But, at the moment I'm managing ok and generally positive about things. Thanks again for your words m'dear.

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