The disease will dictate your new reality. Was it easy or difficult to accept your new reality? Why?
Big into denial
- OA snuck up on me. I've always pushed through difficulty and thought I could do the same with OA. I was diagnosed several years ago and referred to a rheumatologist. I didn't follow through, figuring I could research and manage on my own. I can't. My pain is constant I used to be very active and now I can barely make it through the day. I overestimate my ability to get things done and sometimes just getting through the day is a feat in itself. I have a constant headache and feel trapped in a vessel of pain. I will be keeping my rheumatologist appointment this time. I am 56 and very sad.
Trying to keep positive
- I have just been told I have osteoarthritis in both shoulders. I knew that I would end up for sure having it in one as I had an arthroscope and was told at the time it would happen. I was 30, now I am 42 and have 2 young children -- one 4 and the other 6 months. Sometimes I'm in pain, other times I'm ok but I think I just have to be careful of what I do. It is hard as I always have been so active. That's the hard part.
- —Guest Terry
Accepting New Reality
- I am 61 years old and will be 62 in October 2012. I have been in pain and or numbness since my forties. I was a Kindergarten teacher but could no longer jump, skip, or sit on the floor with ease so I decided to try an older grade but that did not work for me. So I sought a new career after sitting at home for a time wondering what next. My new career took me into the health field and the care of the elderly. I became a Certified Nurse Aide. I loved caring for the elderly but my physical limitations started to get worse. I could no longer lift, turn or walk a full shift. So I tried private duty sitting. I could not get up fast enough and it just was not safe. So now what. I just had a total knee replacement to alleviate immobility in my left knee and I had my right knee repaired. I am diligent with my exercise in spite of the pain. Tutoring adults or children or both in reading this Spring. Setting my own hours. I am in the church choir because I love to sing. Life is out there. Grab it.
- —Guest Martha Clarke
36 yr old - osteoarthritis is awful
- Loved basketball..tore my knee up good. Had reconstruction. Never the same. Now osteoarthritis on my mind on and off all day. What a bummer!
- —Guest Erich76
- This was easier in the beginning. Thought just a little back pain I can deal. Well 6 years after that initial dx I have OA of the entire spine, 3 lumbar surgeries done, bilateral elbow surgeries, my ankles are bad my hands and now knees. It's hard, really hard. I had a dream job I had to leave. I have trouble managing the pain. I just don't know what will crop up; this morning I woke up, on my back and both legs were numb. Some days it's my arms, how can both arms be numb at the same time? Some days it all hurts from head to toe. Well doctors don't have much to offer. PT is hard to get to and my copay is so high now I could not manage to pay it for the standard 3 sessions a week. A lot of meds, too many. I am lucky I have 3 wonderful grandchildren that keep me company and keep me moving, a daughter who does so much for me without question. I am luckier than most in that I have support with my family, I am not alone. Feeling very old, trying hard not to look it.
- I am 36 years old and was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I had surgery on one of my knees and it was discovered that my condition is severe enough that a complete knee replacement would be recommended if not for my age. Unfortunately, there is not much they can do for this condition, and I have had to give up many activities such as running and volleyball. The daily pain and joint stiffness, along with never knowing if it is going to be a "good" or "bad" day, make this a very frustrating disease. On the other hand, it has really hit home that I need to maintain a healthy weight, and the daily pain has been a motivating factor in losing weight. I am starting injections in my knees next week and am hopeful it will help to me get back to some of the activities I love - at least for a while. And, in the end, I know that I will need to accept my limitations, but have not yet found a way to do this.
- I was diagnosed with OA at 36 years old, and it was easy for me to adjust to because I knew it was arthritis -- but I didn't know what type. I had arthritis in my hips since I was 24, and neck and hand pain since the age of 30.
- —Guest Paula Welsh
Accepting the "New Reality"
- I started having symptoms of osteoarthritis in my early 40s, and basically just ignored them. I had always been a healthy person, very active in sports in high school, type A personality with multiple projects going on at the same time. It didn't really start to sink in that I had a disease process that could lead to disability until my late 40's, when my knees gave me extreme pain. I had a partial knee replacement at 52, it was done incorrectly so ended up with a total knee replacement last year. I am just coming to terms with my anger over having my activities diminished, and possibly having to have more surgery in the future. I try to keep a positive attitude, eat healthy and keep my weight down. But on those cold, rainy days, it can be frustrating. I try to remember what I can still do, and maybe have to do things in a different way from what I am used to. It just seems so unfair at times - I didn't expect to feel "old" at 55!
- —Guest Babysteps74