Tag Archives: Osteoarthritis

Sorry I’ve been away so long

Tall-Trees1183-1-of-1  I find myself at a new place in my life.  I find that I am content.  I am at peace.  I’ve accepted all the things that are wrong with my poor old body.  And, yes, someday one of those problems will probably kill me, but in the meantime, I’m dealing with it.  Doesn’t mean I don’t have days when my knees just kill me to try to walk on them. Doesn’t mean I enjoy days where the smoke or the dust or the heat or the cold make it hard for me to breathe, doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days anymore, it just means I’ve come to accept that it’s a part of my life and I’m just going to have to deal with those days when they come.

I’ve also found that I’m not constantly angry any more.  I don’t feel the need to get up on a soapbox every other day or so.  Yes, there are still lots of things that I am very passionate about, but I don’t get made at the whole human race, like I use to, when one small segment pisses me off, and they still do.  Actually, it saddens me to realize that there are so many wretched people in the world.  And animal and child abuse still makes me very angry, idiots who think that just because they’re unhappy or mad or stupid that gives them the right to shoot up a mall or a school or a military base, people who are so set in their ways and their view of the world that they feel it is necessary to destroy  a whole country’s history so theirs is the only point of view.  These still annoy the crap out of me and still make me very angry, however, as long as I do whatever I can do to make my little piece of the world better and happier, then God can take care of the rest of the stuff.  And I think, that’s really the bottom line.

I can’t say that I’ve “found” God.  He was never missing from my life, but I didn’t always pay attention to Him.  He’s always been there, through everything, helping to make the way smoother, when I would finally get out of the way.  I think I have finally learned how to get out of the way, to listen when God sends me a message, and to thank Him everyday whether I can see what He has done for me or not.  A lot of things I expected to go sideways in a bad way lately, haven’t.  And for that, I am so very thankful.  God is good.

So, while I try to figure out what I want to do with this blog, I may be silent for awhile, but I will do something with this, just don’t know what just yet.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back soon.

Well, when did this happen?

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Yesterday, My Mom, Sister and a family friend and I went garage saling.  Before we got started, we went to McDonald’s for a quick breakfast.  When Cindy was ordering, I realized that she ordered a Senior Coffee for me.  When did I become “a Senior”?  And do I really want to be one?  It’s not that I mind taking advantage of all the benefits that come with being “a Senior”, I’m just not sure I’m ready to admit that I am one.  I certainly don’t feel like it.  Except on days like today, when the barometer is in the basement and ankles hurt and knees hurt and shoulders hurt and back hurts.  For a change, the only thing that hasn’t hurt today is my sciatic hip.

Okay, so I’m now on oxygen 24/7, darn asthma and COPD, (and no, I have never smoked, just bad lungs, badly cared for when I was growing up.), I have trouble walking long distances, thanks arthritis, my right shoulder is now starting to give me grief, I find the occasional silver strand of hair from time to time and sleep and I have not agreed on sleep times for quite awhile.  There, that is my list of complaints.  There are a few more things, but they’re little and only bother me on  rare occasions.

So, here’s the thing, I still FEEL like I’m in my forties or fifties.  I know, age is a matter of mind, if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  And most of the time, I could care less how old I am.  Sometimes, though, I feel old.  Today is one of those days.  Low barometer, wind, and heat – 76 degrees today, March 6th.  76 degrees.  In March.  It’s a little scary.  I don’t do well in heat.  I’ve had 2 “episodes” of heat sickness and the last put me in the hospital.  So there’s another thing that doesn’t work so well any more – my internal thermostat is shot to pieces.

Still, I guess I’m really not too upset about the Senior thing.  I just don’t know exactly when it happened.  And why…

I am content

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I moved into my little house a year ago.  A lot has happened and a lot has changed.  I don’t think there’s much that is the same as it was a year ago.   I find myself more and more comfortable in this small rural town.  Yes, there are still lots of things I miss, but mostly, surprisingly to me, I am content.

I have another vehicle.  Used, but in good shape.  I still have the monster truck, she’s sitting in the garage, mainly because I really don’t want to sell her to anybody here in town.  Silly?  Yes it is.  All the same, I’m thinking of donating her to PBS or other charity group.  She’s in good shape for how old she is.  Somebody out there, not here, could still get a lot of use out of her.

Snug in her new home

Meow-Yen is finally herself again.  I’ve worried so about her.  It was a lot of trauma for her.  Everything that goes with moving, twice in 2 months, then getting fixed.  Then me, going off to work four, or five days sometimes, a week, after not going anywhere for longer than a couple of hours for almost a year and a half.  But now she’s snuggling again, and sleeping on the bed with me and just being the Velcro kitty I had before.  (She’s curled up on the floor on top of my feet right now.  Again, I’m happy.)

My health was for crap when I moved down here.  Bronchial pneumonia, asthma out of control, exhausted.  Now, while, my asthma is still not as controlled as I would like, it’s so much better.  The down side is that my osteoarthritis has gotten worse and I am beginning to have back problems and I have atrial flutter and I finally slipped over in to the diabetes zone.  Still, I actually qualified for Medicaid and can now afford the medications I need to take to keep me healthy.  I have even, finally, started to lose weight.  Not a lot and not quickly, but I’ll take loss to gain any day.

My mood is finally, slowly starting to improve.  That is because the sun and Spring are coming back.  But, I made it through one of the colder, darker, snowier winters I’ve had to deal with in a long time.  And I’m proud of that.  It wasn’t easy and I’m grateful I have tolerant and understanding friends and family cause they all understood and helped as much as possible to keep me from becoming a hermit and never going out at all.

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My roof, however, is still not fixed.  The guys came in one week, when it was nice, and put a drywall patch on my ceiling and cleaned things up a bit.  Then said they’d be back the next Monday to paint.  That was over a month ago…  And I still have just the patch on the roof.  And the City sent them a Cease and Desist Order because:   1 – no building permit.  2 – they are not licensed, bonded or insured. and 3 – the foreman didn’t return any of the calls the City made to him regarding all of the above.  I so wish this was my house.  I have all the information for another roofer – licensed, bonded and insured, with references, that I would call in a heart beat.  But, and this is the ridiculous/stupid/complicated part – the foreman is my land lady’s friend.  Been friends for 30 years.  And yet she didn’t know he wasn’t  legit.  She also paid him all the money first.  And now, he’s in Mexico.  He promised her he would get right on my roof and ceiling and finish them up as soon as he gets back.  Whenever that is…  I’m definitely learning patience…

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I’ve even got involved in giving back to the City.  I am officially on one of the City’s many boards.  I’m on the Lower Arkansas Valley Area Agency on Aging.  Ain’t that a mouthful.  I’m so excited.  My first meeting is March 18th.  I’m only a lowly Alternate, but it’s a beginning.

So, all in all, I think moving back here was a good thing, even if I miss my friends in Denver and some of the things I used to do.  I have new friends and a boy friend, of sorts, so, I am content.

Oh for the joy that is sleep

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A couple of weeks or so ago, I slipped on an icy patch while dragging my trash can to the curb for pick up.  I didn’t fall, I caught myself.  Unfortunately, my body went one direction and my left knee went the opposite direction.  Yes. it hurt, but as the day wore on, it didn’t seem so bad.  Of course, I was also a bit distracted.  This was the day The Big Snow started.  And, as I have stated many times, to anybody who will listen, I don’t like winter.  Or in this particular case, snow.  When all was said and done, it was 6 to 8 inches of snow that fell over night and through out the following day.  They closed the city.  The snow stopped the evening of the second day and the city plows got to work.  Now, I must explain here that where  my driveway is, three streets come together.   Most of the time this makes it easy for me to pull into or out of my driveway.  Not at the moment.  Our wonderful city plow and snow removal people deposited all the snow they scraped off of three streets  at the opening/ending of my driveway.  And so my car has been struck there for, 6 or 7 days.  fortunately, we have a “bus” that goes to where I work, so I rode the bus.  And this brings me back to the gist of my story…

On the third day after I slipped, I was waiting for the bus to arrive.  It was the bigger bus and I had a few steps to climb to get in.  I could hardly get in.  My knee screamed at me every time I tried to use it.  Same thing happened when I got off the bus.  Not good, I thought to myself as I limped slowly into work.  This is not going to be a fun day.  4 hours later, I knew that getting through the rest of the week was going to be a bear.  By Friday, every time I tried to use the knee, it felt like some one had shoved a knife in the knee and was twisting it.  On Monday, I had an appointment with my Doctor.  On the good side, nothing was broken.  The X-Ray tech said she could see a lot of arthritis in my knee (yea, I knew that.  Duh.) but it looked like it was just a pretty good sprain.  Okay, I don’t know about you, but to me, a sprain is never good.  So I got a knee brace and was told to ice the knee twice a day, take some anti-inflammatories, and stay off it as much as possible.  As if I had never thought of that.  I told him I’d been putting heat on it and he told me that in this case, the heat was just making it worse.  Good for me.

So, I got aspirin and a prescription for anti-inflammatories and an ice bag.  Went home and iced the knee, after freezing the ice bag and taking a couple of pills.   The next morning, I got dressed, very slowly and painfully, put on the brace, took a couple more pills and rode the bus to work.  I couldn’t wait to get home, get the brace off and ice the knee.  I knew the next day was going to be just the same.  But, surprise!, it wasn’t.  Oh, the knee still hurt, and walking was both a challenge and a joke, but I made it through most of the day before it really started to bother me.  And so it went.

This morning, when I tried to put on the brace, I noticed it didn’t fit quite right.  The swelling had gone down enough that the brace didn’t fit anymore, no matter how tight I made it.  Now that made me very happy.  So tomorrow, no more brace.  The knee still hurts, but the little guy in there with a knife has vacated the premises and I can walk almost normally (for me) again.  And the sun finally came out today and it got up to 55 degrees and the city snow plows were “cleaning” up the streets.  Did they remove the big pile of snow in front of my driveway?  Nope.  Not even a little.  But I’ve decided that it’s okay.  It’s melting and in a day or two, no one but me will ever remember there was a big pile of snow blocking my driveway.  And even that’s okay.

And now for the reason this is called “Oh for the joy that is sleep”?  It’s almost midnight and I haven’t slept properly in 3 days.  Here’s hoping I will get some sleep tonight…

So, on to try number 2

I got my letter from Social Security Disability. And I was denied. So I get to start again. Evidently, being denied the first time is “normal”. Doesn’t help. Today was a bad day. I thank God for getting me through the day. I hurt in so many places that walking out to my car this morning was an ordeal. I get really tired of hearing that Osteoarthritis isn’t as bad as rheumatoid arthritis. From my point of view, both hurt when the weather turns icky. And we’ve got a storm with the possibility of rain/snow coming in. Barometer is falling rather quickly. Knees hurt, hips hurt, back hurts, shoulders hurt.

I also have RLS – Restless Leg Syndrome. And it’s going to town right now. Leg muscles twitch and jerk and tingle. While it’s not painful, it is annoying as hell. Makes it nearly impossible to find a comfortable position and with the knees hurting, walking it off is not something I really want to do.

I have asthma, which has gotten worse since I moved. So I moved from a big city, Denver, to a small, rural community, Lamar. Lamar, don’t misunderstand, I love Lamar, it is my home town, is situated on the High Plains of Colorado. Southeastern Colorado. Smack dab in the middle of Colorado’s worse drought area. We’ve got a lot of rain, for the area, this year – close to 7 inches. So you can do the math. When the wind blows, so does the dust. And the wind blows – a lot. There’s a joke down here – depending on which way the wind is blowing, that goes – Kansas sucks and Oklahoma blows, or Oklahoma sucks and Kansas blows. Nothing against either one of those states really, just the way the wind blows.

So to get back on topic – Evidently, I am not disabled enough. Yes, SS says, I am partially disabled. Yes, there is damage to my knees and my lungs aren’t working as they should. Yes, I can no longer do work that requires any long distance walking, any standing for extended periods of time and can no longer lift heavy loads, I can still work. All I have ever done in my life is retail, which includes all of the above. Don’t know if I can do anything else, so I’ll keep trying to get my Disability. Took me 6 months to get the first denial. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take that long for the next try…

This is the week that was…

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Actually, this has been two weeks that was, er, um, were,… Oh well, you know.

Went to my Doctor two weeks ago and had some blood work done. My A1c was 9.4. Wow. It’s been 4 or 5 for years. Then I thought that maybe because October was such a stressful month, and I do tend to emotionally eat, maybe that was the problem. When they did a blood sugar test in the office, my blood sugar was 277. I was very surprised and a little worried so when the Doctor gave me a prescription for a very high dosage of Metforman, I was sure that would solve the problem, even though I was a little unsure of the high amount. After a week of absolutely no drop in blood sugar, I started wondering. Maybe there was something else that was causing the rise in my blood sugar. (And yes, I did all the things one is suppose to do – no white foods; no bread, no milk, no salt, no sugar, no pasta, etc.) I even tried to reduce my stress level. (Not so successful there, still have stressful issues in my life that I’m trying to deal with.) I started doing the research I should have done in the beginning. After searching through several websites and reading several articles (didn’t know there was so much out there regarding blood sugar increases), I found several studies that have shown that there are several things, other than “sugar” that raise the blood sugar levels. Diuretics can raise blood sugar (I’m on diuretics), Asthma inhalants can raise blood sugars (I’m on corticore steroids), some decongestants and antihistamines can raise blood sugar levels (I take antihistamines for seasonal allergies), Glucosamine will raise blood sugar levels (I take Osteo Bi-Flex for my Osteo Arthritis). Stress can also raise blood sugar levels. There were at least 10 other items that raise blood sugar levels. Hum.

So that brings on other questions. How do I lower my blood sugar? Do I stop taking most of the meds I’ve been prescribed by my Doctor, or do I go to a high level of Metformin to lower my blood sugar? So many questions for my Doctor on Monday.

Next, I’m getting a lot of pressure from several different people about getting some sort of health insurance. Really? Have you met my budget? There is less than no room to budge in my budget. With my hours being cut for the rest of the year, at the very least, I can’t afford insurance. So finally someone hit on Medicaid. Seems I might qualify for that. So I need to see about that on Monday. I also have to see about withdrawing some money from my IRA to cover my rent for December… *sigh*

And I thought October was difficult…