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Obstacles? or Changes in Direction with RA??

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I have some "problems" which should not be looked at as roadblocks...but merely as detours. And who knows? Sometimes some good scenery can occur on detours...or unexpected discoveries. For example:

I had thought it was impossible for me to strength train, due to hideous problems with bad joints from the disease , PA, that I have (PA is almost identical to RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis). My elbows and shoulders are all needing to be replaced ...my elbow surgery was scheduled for tomorrow...And was cancelled permanently (after three other temporary cancellations due to various health issues of mine which caused concern for the doctors. So now, it looks like I'm stuck with these joints...pain or no eradicated my ability to strength train. i couldn't pick up even a five pound weight without yelling in pain, I'm sure. But what about resistance bands??? And wouldn't they help to strengthen the joint? About this, I really am not sure...just guessing. But it would make sense that if the muscles surrounding the joint are firm and strong, it would help to hold that joint in the socket...No?? I say YES! And I'm-a gonna try it! Tomorrow I will begin that ...and I have just the right video to help me.

2-Range of Motion. Now my immediate impulse is to say "Ziltch - don' have ANY!" But really I have a tiny bit. And I"m sure that with daily practice and motion...I can develop it further. Who knows what possibilities this may open up for me?? Maybe even putting a shirt and a coat on by myself! :)

3- Stretching ...Now my first impulse, here too, is to say, "REALLY bad idea!!" But why? Stiffness is an enemy for RA and PA. It limits our motion severely. Keep us captive in a tighter and tighter box. We should certainly push our limits here and push on the boundaries until they open up wider and result in more "room" for us to move and function in. Of course it must be done with wisdom...with GREAT caution on failing or newly replaced joints...and very gently always. But should not be abandoned. I have a video of an 80+ year old ballerina...who still dances for hours every day and has made a series of videos. She is beautiful and looks a million times better than I look at age 49! Most people by that age are crippled and restricted by OA...yet she moves freely and gracefully. I'm sure that her efforts at stretching have greatly greatly aided her ease of motion.

Cardio.---Honestly , this one has had me scared. For multiple reasons. 1) asthma has once more reared its ugly head . NOTE: only after I'd gotten inactive and regained weight did it once more become problematic. If I beat it once, I'm sure I can again. I'm also very very afraid of falling. AFter all , just this morning. ...doing - LIFE - I fell twice. With brittle fragile bones and joints...falling is a scary prospect...and with RA/PA there's always a great danger that once down, I won't be able to get back up by myself. Last year, my cardio was comprised of outdoor walking and hiking on these mountainous roads and doing Walkng off the Pounds with Leslie what's'er'face. Now this year. I really don't feel so up to either one of these. So what are my options? Well, I have a brand new (to us) treadmill sitting downstairs...I want to try it (nope , have been scared to get on it :( ) and need to start slowly I'm sure. But why shouldn't I be able to walk at a slow clip on that? and 2: My ergometer. With this I need to really PEDAL at a good clip to get any cardio benefit...and for a fairly long period. The other day, I did a couple of miles...and only burned 130 calories...because I took a fairly slow and easy clip...Next time I will push it harder...and for longer.

As my friend LInda's signature says on her comments: Every time a door closes...I simply kick down a wall. Good advice. Sometimes. But it results in a heck of a lot more freedom than does sitting huddled in a corner of the room. :( which is essentially what i've been doing; letting this disease kick me around. Time to kick back.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thanks for the update, Cynthia. I agree with the others. Track your food. Update your calories allowed first so that it reflects no exercise and then just try to stay in your range and hopefully, you won't gain any more weight.

    Do you have a nursing home with a pool near you? I do and they have classes for the public called Gentle Waters which is for people with mobility issues and/or arthritis. It might be something to look into.

    You might also want to check out your local chapter of the Arthritis Society. They often have physiotherapists on staff that could help you find ways to move that don't hurt and I would expect if you had to pay, the cost would be minimal.

    Keep us posted.

    Take care.
    3204 days ago
    Look out for falling wall bricks!

    Aw man Cynthia, I am sorry that your body has tapped out on you like this. I hope that you will remain on Spark, and even if you don't exercise much, keep up with us on here, and maybe just use the diet tracker. This upcoming year can still be good--it will just be different. I keep praying for you--something good has got to come to you!

    As an aside, so far I really haven't been exercising much (a few minutes here and there, but nothing like the first few weeks). Eating mindfully was a major battle with the pred, but seems to be my main "key". Don't stress about the exercise. Stretch when you are stiff, but don't push already painful joints past what they want to do.

    And yes. I have come back and edited this a few times, I just keep thinking of random things to add.
    3204 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/14/2011 3:35:16 AM
  • _LINDA
    With your current state of extremely severe active disease, you really need your Dr.'s advice on anything that you can do that would be safe for you to exercise (along with a physiotherapist -they are trained and knowledgeable about your whole body- if anyone can figure out something for you to do safely it would be them) Really, I think a pool would be the safest place for you to do gentle movement without risk of a fall. I am lucky I will have access to a warm therapy pool designed for people recovering from surgeries. Is it possible for you to get access to anything like that? I tell you it feels good just to get in the water and have your weight supported by the water, never mind if you can't move that much. There is nothing like that feeling..It does loosen you up and allow you a little more freedom of movement.. I was interested in getting some hydrotherapy I saw advertised once, but it was really expensive. Something to think about. I really think the treadmill is far too dangerous for you to even think about, again, your Dr. should know best, please consult them..
    Take care of yourself and know my thoughts are always with you in this horrible struggle..

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    3204 days ago
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    Oh sweet Cynthia, I'm so sorry you've been so down with your pain and your inability to do what you want. We're all here for you. I just want to say that my Rheumy told me about my exercising, to remember to stop when it hurts because one could really cause damage like you had heard. I like what Chris said and so many others to just go slow and see what you can do. I know of some that have gotten success with chair exercising. There's a video for it I guess here on SP. That may be an option for you. Water exercising would benefit you I would think, but maybe you don't have a club near you, like I don't. At any rate, I'm thinking of you so much, dear friend!! Hugs, Karen emoticon emoticon
    3204 days ago
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    Cynthia, thank you for the update!
    I have really been beating myself up the past week because I have not been doing my daily walking DVD. I am still moving, but it is like I take steps back when I do the concentrated walking. I hurt worse the next day...
    I am not lazy! I am not lacking in motivation... I just do not like the resulting pain when I walk specifically for a set time. I am not saying I cannot ever walk anymore, but it is ok for right now to not do it. The walking does seem to give me more energy, but the pain detracts from the energy... if that makes sense.
    Thank you for being honest... I want to be honest with myself, too.
    I cannot defeat my disease, but I CAN take care of myself and deal with it better. SP is helping me to take care of myself. SP gives me the tools I need to do what is best for me!
    May tomorrow be a better day!
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    3204 days ago
    A follow up:
    I tried to workout this AM...chose one of my simplest exercise videos.....And didn't make it even halfway THROUGH THE WARMUP! Collapsed in real pain...and shortly after passed out in "dead sleep" for three hours completely exhausted. It was a really rude awakening to the fact of the serious progression of this disease. It isn't a matter of 'working through the pain'...I do not have Osteo Arthritis. I have PA; a system wide destructive inflammatory, rheumatic disease....And in fact, if you research it; exercise during a flare , will cause really serious damage to the joint. And I have been in a state of constant flare for the past two years.

    In a sense what happened this morning was a good thing. It scared me. It showed me how disabled I've really become. And it took some of the pressure off of me that I'd been putting on myself to workout more. It showed me that I am not "lazy" or "unmotivated"...I'm in serious, debilitating weakness and pain. And this is not going to change or reverse. This disease never retraces its steps . It is a one-way train ride. So I am going to stop calling myself names and just try to eat reasonably...especially when on steroids.

    OH well. A year ago (almost two now) was a lovely memorable year. I was at a place then where I could still force my body to cooperate and exercise. And I worked my butt off. i worked 60 pounds off! I will treasure that year and never forget it. But it will not happen again. I need to look for memory making material elsewhere.
    3204 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/13/2011 8:19:37 PM
    I think your on the right track . I would proceed with extreme caution. Goals have helped you in the past. So making some crazy goal like before may not be the thing to do. Start off small and work your way up to a decent goal. I think a goal of walking around Walmart would be a good one to be a final goal for example. So you make 50 small goals to reach that one. Then break those down to small daily goals even. If you have done very little due to all these many issues start with just 5 minutes or may be 2 ..Then build up to 10 (cardio eventually). I think you can do it just be very careful and listen to your body . I think the light stretching and exercises will help eventually but will be painful to say the least. God bless you friend ! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3204 days ago
    Be careful while kicking down those walls--sometimes they can fall in on you!
    You have a great attitude for getting yourself going on your journey, and I pray that you find this particular journey a relatively easy one!

    As for resistance bands--I have had pretty good luck with them EXCEPT when I have to grip the bands. I end up wrapping them around my arm or wrist instead of holding them in my hand (I don't have the fancy grip type bands). They have helped immensely with my range of motion while not causing the strain of free weights. (I am just using my body's "free weight" against my muscles for now... eventually I can work up to weights if I want)

    Good luck and keep at it! Don't forget that some doors are still unlocked, even though they are closed. That may be easier than the wall ;)
    3205 days ago
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    Sorry about the surgery, but you are right... one door closes, and another WILL open!
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    3205 days ago
    Be careful, Cynthia. These all sound like good goals but have you ever seen a physiotherapist? They definitely know the correct moves that will strengthen our bodies and make us stronger and they also know what moves will or won't hurt us. I strongly advise talking to one first before you try the stretching/cardio and strength training activities. The last thing you want to do is break something (else?)!

    Take care.

    3205 days ago
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    Cynthia I am so sorry they are unable to operate ...
    But it may be a blessing in disguise.
    I have managed to build up muscle around my knee joints and I don't need a replacements now!.
    So it can be done .... just takes time and pushing through the pain
    Hugs Susie emoticon
    3205 days ago
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