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!