I found this link from the comments box and thought I’ll join in and share my arthritis story.
To do so, I will answer the following questions:
1. What were the initial symptoms you experienced which prompted you to seek medical attention?
The initial symptom I experienced was actually the inability to stand up after sitting long enough in front of my PC. The word arthritis did not even come to my mind initially. I really thought I was just being so inactive and my legs are taking the toll. Sine I work full-time as a professional blogger, I have been spending most of my days online — something that is better down sitting down. I couldn’t stand up without help and I was weighing 165 lbs initially. My legs will turn stiff, numb and without strength. There was pain when I tried to stretch my legs. Each time I tried to stand on my own, my knees will buckle and I will fall over.
2. How was your diagnosis made?
To be honest, I didn’t do to the doctor right away. I thought I was just tired and stressed out. That and the lack of mobility and exercise. Though I am a person that never exercised my whole life, I was really quit mobile. I used to walk. A LOT. I was a hiker. I am someone who will not think twice on occasions I was invited to hike up a mountain. No professional climbing though, only leisure hikes. Leisure hikes that also involved work when I used to do field work with a team of soil microbiologists.
Then after 2 months of the same episodes, I decided to visit our family doctor – general practitioner. Blood tests were ordered: one for blood potassium and one for blood sugar. The tests turned out negative. My family has no history of diabetes anyway, so I am not even at pre-diabetes. Although I was weighing 165 lbs, I only stand at barely 5 ft. So I can really blame my doctor for thinking diabetes. After which, I was sent home with diclofenac, a common pain relief for arthritis.
Diclofenac didn’t give me relief for long, the symptoms were back and this time I was really worried. I couldn’t help thinking that what if my lower extremities are going to be paralyzed and I will spend the rest of my days sitting on a wheelchair?! That was a scary thought, especially for somebody like me who has not been dependent on anybody physically.
So I went to a decent hospital and sought a specialist. I told the story, my symptoms and the meds I was given previously, my job, etc. I couldn’t help peeking at the medical record where the doctor was writing on. I saw the words, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and the funniest thing were: spending long hours of inactivity; severe stress brought about by intensive computer-related job. But it wasn’t funny at all because the doctor has a huge point. Doesn’t he?!
This doctor, gave me the following prescriptions:
- getting up and stretching every hour.
- take a walk daily- either in the early mornings or afternoons.
- daily body massage (at the end of each day!) , especially on my legs and thighs.
- drug prescriptions (i wrote in this blog sometime but I can’t find it right now!)
3. What treatments do you follow – medicine, surgery, physiotherapy, exercise etc?
I dropped out on the prescribed meds, because the combination made me palpitate. The suggested physical therapy (massage and walking and stretching exercises) I still follow to the letter. Those together with daily doses of Vitamin B-complex, multivitamin, lots of Vitamin C, fish oil and calcium supplements.
4. In coping with the pain have you found any regimes that help you particularly?
Regimens. That the word! Sand and beach therapy, as long as the weather permits it. On top of the walking and stretching stuff.
5. What adjustments have you made at home/work to help you cope?
Definitely. Adjustments are important. I made huge changes in my diet. I am trying to eat healthier. Like less meat, more veggies and instead of meat or chicken, I choose fish! Not only the types of foods. I always think of the amount eaten in one sitting. Since I am not a dieter, I found that eating less amount but more frequent (every two hours!) has worked really good for me.
By doing so, I lost some 35 lbs in the first 2-3 months of this eating habits and in the process have maintained the 130 lbs-weight. Not my ideal weight but it has brought relief to my knees. My knees hasn’t buckled since. 😉
Well…I hope this has been helpful!