Friday, January 18, 2013

New Journey

Starting in December 2012 I made my a step into getting my physical life back. I was put into physical aquatic therapy. Now in December I was stiff, swollen, achy and everything hurt including my back. I was in the pool for an hour each time twice a week. The water felt so amazing on my achy joints and I could move pretty well in the pool regardless of how bad I hurt on land. At first the excersises we did hurt my knees, ankles, back and hands but as time progressed my muscles got a little more stronger, therefore my joints had less pain. The stronger the muscles around your painful joints are, the more stability those joints have and you have less pain. Its common sense really. As the weeks progressed I slowly got stronger and noticed I had a little less pain as the month came to a closing, but the natural athlete that I am I was bored being in the pool and wanted to get into the good stuff. Now dont get me wrong, after the first week of pool therapy my muscles HURT and were so sore. I mean I havnt done work like that in almost 2 1/2 years so I new I was going to be sore, but it was a good kind of sore. My joints even showed retaliation but I kept telling myself, if I can get my body stronger this pain will get better.

I also started to see a special chiropractor in Nov, that was my first step. He also has helped my physical journey along with his massage therapist. They are all a wonderful team and have helped me both physically and mentally. They give the the extra touch I need in my life. :)

On Dec 31 after being in the pool for a month I went back to my physical trainer for evaluation. My knees were still weak and I told her I didnt want to be in the pool anymore because I wanted to strengthen my legs with land therapy. I still couldnt bend my knees straight out because they were so stiff and still hurt. So she decided that I will start doing simple exercises to strengthen my core, quads and knee muscles along w my arms. At first everything was difficult and I was super stiff, but I was determined to get my body back into that strong machine again. I did the exercises  she gave me everyday at home and saw her twice a week for my 'work outs'. Slowly but surely I noticed that my knees were hurting less and my back wasnt on fire all of the time. 

I'm in my 3rd week of land physical therapy and on top of that I am in the process of becoming gluten and sugar free. For two weeks now I have been eating more fruits, veggies, and nuts on a daily basis to help my pain subside. I'm staying away from processed foods, some dairy, and meat [i've been a vegetarian since aug 2011]. Its been hard to cut out gluten and sugar, especially sugar because I LOVE chocolate but I have cut those intakes down more then half now. I've noticed that with physical therapy, eating a more plant based diet and also seeing my chiropractor twice a week my body is slowly starting to have less pain. Yesterday my physical therapist said my progression so far has been amazing and that she can see that I am determined to fight to get my body back, which was amazing to hear :)

Sure, you can sit back and let RA take control of your life and feel sorry for yourself. Some people with RA and comfortable with the pain, for awhile I was. I figured nothing I could do could help my pain go away. I mean if the medications dont work then there was no hope for me. Then my back started to hurt so bad that I had finally had enough. I was fed up with hurting, with feeling sorry for myself and seeing a special relationship in my life fall apart. All I needed was some extra pain and a special friend to give me that extra shove towards the road to getting my life back.

If you honestly think that you hurt to much to do any kind of physical therapy, I feel sorry for you. The amount of pain I was in was unbearable. But I had enough of the pain. Its a slow process when it comes to physical therapy, especially with RA patients. Our joints are so fragile that we are afraid to do anything but in reality thats what we need to be doing, something to make our muscles and bodies STRONGER!! If you lay in bed or sit on the couch all day your muscles are going to weaken and your going to hurt more, and i'm talking from experience. Its just the way it works. But if you get off your bum and say "I WONT BE A VICTIM ANY LONGER" you're already one step closer to having less pain. And its not going to be a easy journey, trust me. My muscles are like "WTF are you DOING?" along with my joints. But i'm fighting for them, not against them. I plan on making a video soon about the exercises that i'm doing and how to do them correctly. They are simple and help build up your muscles so your joints have more stability to hold on to, therefore causing less pain like I said earlier and its so important to understand that. I'm also going to be talking about how diet plays a key role in RA and how to fight RA with good, wholesome food. If our body can heal itself on the outside, why couldn't it heal its self on the inside? Think about it. 

Yes, I still have aches and pains, but the are getting less and less each week. I'm excited to see my body slowly get stronger and feeling less pain. I'm more energetic, happy and also I can feel my bodies overall health go up. And all you need is a little push towards getting your life back, and you would be amazed at the results. Anyone can do it, you have just to WANT to do it. I want to run again, that is my ultimate goal. I want to run marathons and half marathons and show people that just because you have RA doesnt mean you are doomed. You have to want that freedom. And by golly I WANT my freedom! 

I'm making a stand against my Rheumatoid Arthritis, are you?

-Little Wurmie-