Osteoarthritis in the morning.
I saw this search term in my stats page. I decided to write a post about this, because there are other people seeking some validation that they are not the only ones who go through this.
Osteoarthritis is a disease that attacks the joints in the body. It creates inflammation, which is extremely painful. From my personal experience, the pain is most disabling in the morning.
When i wake up in the morning, I am afraid to move. There is extreme pain upon starting to move my body in the morning. Pain screams from my cervical spine, my lower back, and my shoulders.
Slowly, I turn myself to the side. I very slowly draw my legs out of the bed and over the edge. Sitting up is difficult, due to the severe stiffness in the body that does not want to move.
I have to sit for a minute first and I try to do some very slow movements with my neck. I slowly lower my chin towards my chest. I very very slowly roll my head to the right side and then back to the front again. Then to the left side and back to the front again.
The neck has to move in order to reduce the stiffness and the searing pain coming from my herniated discs. After a few of these, I do complete neck rolls, very slowly all the way around. One way and then the other.
By this time, my bladder is calling to me, so I have to find a way to stand up, in spite of the pain. I have to reach for furniture to hold onto
I recently got a cane and that was a very good idea. It helps for me to make it ti the bathroom in the morning, without falling.
There have been many times, when I stood onto my feet in the morning, that I actually collapsed into the wall or other furniture, because it was so painful to stand and put pressure on the joints.
All of the muscles are stiff and reacting to the inflammation in the bones. The bones make creaking noises as they move, The knees sound like rice crispies when you straighten and bend them.
The pain sears in my foot, with has arthritis and PTTD, which is a kind of tendonitis that deforms and alters the way the foot can stand and hole weight.
I grab my cane for dear life as I make my way to the bathroom. My bathroom is in a dangerous place for me, as far as mornings go. It is right at the top of a huge flight of stairs. As I approach the stairs, from the hallway that leads to them, I feel the fear of falling down them.
It would be easy to lose my balance and fall. I lean into the wall as far as it goes, until there is no more wall there to lean on.
Then I balance myself on my cane and get to the door of the bathroom. I grab the door knob for balance and open the door. Every morning I make it to the bathroom, I am thankful for not falling down the stairs today.
Then I have to make my way back, with pain searing through my back, my knees , my hips and the balance being very difficult with my bad foot.
I make my way back to the bedroom. I struggle to get pain med bottles out of the cabinet and open one. I consider what combination might work today
I take two or three different types of pills, One for inflammation, Maybe a half of one of the nerve pain meds. Sometimes a muscle relaxer, but I like to wait to take that one, because it can make me sleepy.
I lay in the bed and wait for the meds to kick in. After an hour , I asses if they are working well enough and whether or not I need to take another anti-inflammatory pill or if I need the muscle relaxer.
I try to take the minimum that will work, because I need to be able to function to take care of my kids.
I cannot go anywhere for hours, as far as leaving the house. The times that I had to leave within the first hour, were stories of extreme difficulty and probably unsafe driving, due to the pain level.
After the meds kick in a little, I have to walk around slowly and try to do some yoga stretches. I will tell you that yoga stretches can do wonders, once you can move at all.
Here are the Yoga Stretches I Do
1. Mountain pose – standing upright
2. Slowly reach down towards my toes – I repeat this several times. Each time I can get down a little farther
3. squat with feet between hands
4. Cobra – lay flat on stomach on the floor. Press hands to the floor and push with your hands to stretch up the head and upper back, while leaving the hip bones on the floor
5. repeat the cobra as many times as i can, very slowly
6. Twists of the hips – lay on back, Bring knees up to chest. Take the knees to the right and your head and chest to the left. The bring the knees up to the chest and bring the knees to the left while the head and neck go to the right. This twist helps a lot for the lower back and the hips, where i have a lot of pain.
7. Warrior poses – warrior pose 1 and warrior pose 2. I used to be able to do warrior pose 3, but it is too difficult for the morning. I cannot balance it.
These stretches help. You must do the slowly and with attention being paid to your body, in order to respect any limitation, which can vary from one day to the next.
Once i do the yoga, I sit in the bed and blog for a while, hoping for the pain meds to kick in more. On bad days I have to take more gabapentin (neurontin for nerve pain) or I have to take extra aleve, which I try to keep to a reasonable amount because it can cause other problems.
Sometimes I have to take the muscle relaxer but I try the yoga first because the tizanidine can make me sleepy or sluggish.
I may make a video of my routine, although I am no expert on yoga. But I do know what helps me.
You can try ice on very painful areas. Ice helps to numb pain and reduce inflammation.
You can try heat, like a heating pad, or a rice bag in the microwave for 2 minutes. You can out regular dry rice into a sock. No more that 2 minutes in the microwave and better to do 1 minute and then 30 second increments.
Wishing you less pain,
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