Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm A Pain Specialist

Most days I walk around as if nothing is wrong.  I like that for personal reasons, I am not one that likes attention drawn to myself.  However, that also means that when people find out that I am living with rheumatoid arthritis, they assume it is no big deal.  I wish that we could give certain people our pain for just one day so they could experience what we live with.  I hurt every day ... every step I take, my feet hurt.  Over the last eighteen months I have been tracking my steps with a pedometer. Over that time frame I have taken 13,988 average daily steps.  Thats 13,988 times a day that my feet hurt on average.  Then throw in my hips, knees, hand and shoulder pain on top of that.  RA is not for the weak.

Donna has been pushing for me to try an adjustable bed for some time now.  I actually went to a couple of furniture stores and tried some of them out and was shocked.  For me, when I would lift the feet and head up to the right position, it was almost like I could feel the pain disappear from my hips.  So I talked to my rheumatologist about using one and he said that if I was waking up from the pain through the night it is definitely something to look in to.  The down side of them is the cost.  Well ... we finally got a super twin 10 days ago with a Sealy memory foam mattress.  I cannot believe the difference it has made.  I have slept straight through several nights and have not woke up from pain one single night so far.  I am waking in the morning to little or no pain, yes it does come back through the day though.  But starting the day off without pain gives you a huge edge on your new day.

 3 bridges 150 feet apart, abandoned truss, concrete and RR 
 They tore down a beautiful 3 span iron truss bridge to build this
  I like to ride in small gravel, large gravel, deep gravel but my favorite is small, deep, loose gravel! 
  My bike loves these signs, it thinks they are challenging us
  Rode plenty of this stuff yesterday
This is a long time favorite bridge that is being bypassed by a 
new ugly concrete bridge.  It won't be around much longer. 
(btw - the bridge really isn't leaning, the photographer was)

I went out for a 165 mile solo ride yesterday.  Stopped and shot 7 bridges ... 7 Bridges Road just popped into my head as I typed this.  I'm not a big Eagles fan, nor is it my style of music but I really liked that song.  Anyway, the heat nearly did me in, I was supposed to ride again today with some guys but had to bow out.  The odd thing was I never realized I was getting hot.  With the exception of stopping to take photographs, I was moving with air running across me and gave me the illusion of being alright.  Despite drinking plenty of water on the ride, I could not get enough water or get cooled down til late last night.  I know better than this and was quite irritated at myself for letting it happen but I am feeling alright this evening.  


Candied Frogs said...

Great looking ride Terry... Love that old iron bridge! That's a long solo ride. You sound like me when I get out there by myself... The ride becomes a mission to photograph things and you attack them blow-by-blow in a very business like manner. :) I'm really pleased to hear about your new bed and how it's helping your morning somewhat. And you're dead right about chronic pain. If you've never dealt with it ALL the time, you just don't quite get it. Nice to hear you get something of a reprieve for the mornings!! :) p.s. lol...Only a biker and a civil engineer can break a gravel description down like that.


Wren said...

Wonderful news about the new bed, Terry! And wow, that was quite a ride. I love that last bridge shot. What an awful shame that they'll be tearing down the pretty old ones in favor of ugly new ones. You'd think they could, at least, make the new ones pretty, too...

I'm glad for you, Terry, even if the pain is still there every day, every step (did I ever GET that description). You're tough. And you're still smiling and still living well with and in spite of RA and OA. Sending some warm hugs your way, m'friend.

mary said...

Congrats on the new bed. Wonderful bridge pictures!

Anonymous said...

Cool beans.
Great to hear you are experiencing some relief.

Lana said...

That title is priceless! Me too! I think that fact that people see us functioning and think that RA is no big deal doesn’t do justice for us and other RA’ers. I got my orthopedic mattress last year and I have gotten a lot of benefit from it as well. Looks like you had so fun this weekend. I struggle with staying hydrated as well – I assume it is another one of those wacky RA symptoms.

tharr said...

Hello Andy! we are losing a lot of our old iron truss bridges so I have been photographing all of them I ride out to or by. I had planned on a225 mile ride but overslept by about 2 hours. lol About the gravel description, I'm not smart enough to be a civil engineer so I'll just stick with being a biker.

Wren, I would love to see some new iron truss bridges go up, won't ever happen though.
The new bed seems to be working out and helping, hopefully it is not just a coincidence. Thank you and I hope you are getting along well these days.

Thanks Mary, glad everyone is enjoying the bridge pictures. Maybe its not just me that loves these old bridges after all.

Thanks Phil.

Lana, thanks, unfortunately we all are (pain specialists) living with a chronic disease. Ours is a two edged sword that we live with. You're right, most people think that, by us not having anything visibly wrong, that RA is no big deal. It's not as long as you don't have to sit, stand up, take those first few steps, bend down to the floor, lift something, go up or down stairs. My doc has told me to be careful with sun and heat exposure due to my meds but you know me ... I gotta ride!

Squirrel said...

Wow, incredible how such a small thing can make a massive difference. I'm so glad you were able to get the money together for this mattress and long may you enjoy peaceful nights!

abcsofra said...

I keep thinking it is time to retire my 10+ year bed but it is the $$$$ that causes me pause. I am glad to read that this new bed seems to be helping with the pain. Could be you are getting a deep sleep too which helps as well. And oh the bridges...such lovely sites. It is wonderful that your are recording these beauties.

tharr said...

Squirrel, it is sooo nice getting a good nights rest now. Trul'y shock'e'd 'at how much better I am feeling.
btw, the newspaper just interviewed our daughter and ran an article on her photography business.

Hello Deb. We have been sleeping on a sleep number bed and we both like it. I know the cost of an adjustable bed with the Sealy memory foam mattress is expensive, but if it makes as big a difference with you as it has with me, it is definitely worth the money.
Thanks, I love the old iron bridges. I really hated to see that the one was already torn down.

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