Out of the sinkhole

My body seems to have settled into a one-day-up, one-day-down pattern—which, while not perfect, is a lot better than the all-days-down sinkhole I was in last week.

After the initial hour or so of creaky, ouchful stiffness I wake up with every morning smoothed out, I was actually feeling pretty darned good Monday morning, so I went to the gym. I figured I’d do a lighter workout than I was doing before The Flare, just to give my hip bursae and joints a chance to get used to the idea again.

Once started on the recumbent bike, though, my hips and knees and ankles were fine with the work. In fact, stretching and using the muscles felt really good. Later, as I got started on the weight machines, I told myself that taking it easy was okay, that there was no need to overdo and plenty of reasons not to.

And again, my body felt great with the usual amount of weight resistance. My one concession was that on the machines that work the thigh muscles, I did just one set of 20 reps rather than two. (Wouldn’t you know that, vanity-wise, my hips and thighs are the part of me that need the tightening and toning effects of exercise the most?? Grrrr…)

Mike stopped by to razz me gently over my prolonged absence. I explained why I missed those days and discovered (as I’d suspected) that he was confusing rheumatoid arthritis for osteoarthritis. So I told him how RA is an auto immune, systemic condition that involves any and all joints in the body, among other things, as opposed to OA, which is usually the result of normal wear and tear in the joints. I told him about the crushing fatigue that can come with RA, too. And I told him that as much as I want to exercise daily for my overall health, there are simply going to be times when I just can’t. It’s not a failure of willpower that’ll keep me away.

So we talked a little about whether modifying my workouts might help. Since the regular routine doesn’t seem to hurt me while I’m doing it, I decided I’d continue, paying close attention, of course, to my pain levels following the workout. I had a physical therapy appointment coming up on Tuesday, too, so I told Mike I planned to ask the therapist about my workout and whether I was shooting myself in the hip (bursitis) by doing it. And if I was, I planned to ask about alternatives.

That’s how we left it.

And wouldn’t you know it? On Monday evening I got a call from the VA to tell me my PT appointment the next morning had been cancelled. Apparently, the therapist they’d assigned me was out sick.

So. I’m back to waiting for a new PT appointment date. And, for now, I’m doing my usual workout at the gym. C’est la vie.

Update: Just got a call from the VA. My physical therapy appointment has been rescheduled for tomorrow! I don’t have to wait another month, like the last time they cancelled it!

6 thoughts on “Out of the sinkhole

  1. I have no doubt this will all “work out” for you. You are a smart cookie and you have enough experience with your health issues to know when you are overdoing it. And rest assured, if you don’t know, your body sure will be giving you a hollar 🙂 Keep at it. You just might motivate me to get working.


  2. I am sorry that they cancelled your appointment, but I am so glad that the workout didn’t hurt! That’s terrific news as I know you were enjoying yourself doing them. You are so good when it comes to listening to your body, and that’s the smartest thing any of us can do!


  3. Wren: Good luck with all of this and congratulations on keeping up the workouts. Sometimes we just have to modify what we do. You’re a terrific example of not simply giving up. Thanks for the inspiration.


  4. I have hip bursitis along with my RA so I understand that it’s an awful thing at times. I really feel that I need to go to Physical Therapy, I’m hoping it will help me.


  5. Before I was diagnosed with RA, but was increasingly symptomatic, I could only exercise every other day. If I tried every day, I was quite ill after day two (I was confusing “flu-ish” with a FLARE). So, once I’m cleared by my rheumy on exercise, I’m going to be super careful. It’s a bear, since I know there are cardio effects with this disease. But flares probably do more damage. *SIGH* It’s SUCH a balancing act.

    Good luck in getting things sorted out. And thanks for the update. We’re all pulling for you.


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