Friday, December 25, 2015

My RA Advice To You

I have lived with RA/RD for 13 years now. I have run the gamut of emotions while putting up with my jackass friend. Determination, hate, sadness, pain, anxiety, stress, etc. It's frustrating (yet another emotion) that in this day of information at our fingertips, most people still think osteo and rheumatoid arthritis are closely linked. The one thing I have not done is give up. At first I was full of energy and commitment to beating this disease. I have tried numerous diets, OTC meds, every witch doctor remedy from do good friends and the internet, workouts (I still walk every day and do a mild dumbell workout on days I am able to), hot showers, cold showers, and so on.


Through it all I only have one simple piece of advice to offer anyone living with this disease. Enjoy every good day you have to the fullest. You may not be able to do what you once did but that's alright. Don't fight the bad days, the important thing is to not give up* and let RA/RD win.
*Giving in on bad days and resting or sleeping is not giving up.

I got the bike out and did a short ride two days before Christmas. It was 69 degrees and I was feeling ... just ok. But I was not going to let a gorgeous winter day keep me inside. Once out, I began to feel better, riding has a way of doing that for me. I did a short ride that took me up into the edge of the Ozark National Forest. Despite all of the rain we have had, the dirt forest roads were pretty dry. On the way back into town, I stopped to visit the old abandoned Colonial Motel.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Moonshiner's Cave

I was supposed to meet Greg at 10am Tuesday morning to ride out to Devil's Den state park. That got pushed back an hour due to a furniture repair guy running late. When we finally did head out on our way it was 11:30 ... not the kind of start we were looking for. We had the possibility of rain moving in late afternoon so we wound up slabbing I-49 for about 20 miles. Again, not the way we wanted to get there but hey, at least we're riding today.
Once off of interstate things started to get better. We were in search of an old cave in the Ozark National Forest. Soon we found the sign and parking area. It took walking down 3 different trails before finding the right one. We had some directions but they turned out to be about as useful as a can of dinosaur repellent.
It was not a brutal hike but not easy either ... at least not for a fat old man with rheumatoid arthritis. Up and down hills strewn with rocks, ruts and vines. I was also hiking in motorcycle boots (not a good move on my part). We hiked, tripped and slid our way through the forest before finding a small waterfall. After taking pictures we hiked east of the waterfall and there it appeared before us in all its crude but glorious state ... Moonshiners Cave. We spent the next hour taking photos from every angle you could take. After exploring inside and out, on top and down below, we finally started the long hike back out.
Once back on the bikes, Greg wanted to stop at Artist Point to get some of their spicy mustard. We also had to check in with Corky, the resident Cockatoo and he was in rare form today. Dancing, strutting, whistling and talking ... and throwing the ink pen in the floor. He's hilarious and works for the attention he gets.
It was heavily overcast and turning darker as we left Artist Point. We lit the throttle up and just beat the rain back home. It was a good day and yes, I'm paying for my fun now, but it was worth it. 

Getting ready to hike to the cave.
Small waterfall on the hike to the cave.
Moonshiners Cave

View of waterfall and front of Moonshiners Cave.

Front door plate says 1905.

The hike back out was long and steep for an old fat man with RA in motorcycle boots!

Meet Corky