Let’s face it arthritis pain is why we are here.
Arthritis in ankles, arthritis in knees, arthritis in shoulders, hands, the spine, just about any joint you could think of.
We all suffer from similar arthritis symptoms and we all desperately seek to relieve arthritis pain.
I remember being told I had severe arthritis, that it would limit things I could do in life and that I would need further operations in later life.
On the outside I was dismissive and refused to accept that was my future.
Inside I was crushed.
My mind raced with flashing images of all the things I would never be able to do again, as the images hurtled through my conscious I became more defiant.
Adapt or perish
Before my accident I had never really struggled with any injury or broken bones besides my nose getting bust a couple of times.
When the accident happened and I lay on the floor examining my foot that was pointing the opposite way to my leg, I felt disappointment.
I felt that my body had let me down, it had failed me.
I wondered why and how it had come to this and I didn’t have to look far.
I am a man of faith and philosophy, I believe things happen for a reason, I believe that each bad experience gives us a chance to learn and create better ones.
Up until that point I had been mistreating my body by fueling it incorrectly and expecting ridiculous feats of exertion from it.
I would drink, smoke, eat fried foods, foods laden with refined sugar and carbohydrates, I am embarrassed to say at the time I was even drinking energy drinks.
I recently saw an experiment that showed an energy drink was a more effective cleaner on things like oil and grease stains than any other chemical cleaner was.
I would put this in to my body daily, frightening to think now.
Although I wasn’t obscenely overweight due to a very physical job, my body was being fuelled incorrectly and I had lost any clarity and strength mentally.
I needed a change, what’s more I needed a reason to change.
At the very moment the morphine began to wear off and the pain started to flood in to my nervous system, I laid in the hospital thinking ‘this can never happen again’.
You have to adapt to your situation, if you don’t you will, in the end, perish.
I began reading, experimenting, reading and then repeating that process over and over again.
I still do to this day!
Over the last 5 years I have made incremental changes that have dramatically changed my life and who I am.
- I no longer smoke.
- I have dramatically reduced my alcohol intake.
- I avoid fried food.
- I avoid refined sugar.
- I focus on eating whole, non-modified food where possible.
- I meditate.
- I supplement with vitamins and minerals.
- I exercise.
- I have a new and improved outlook on myself, my life and my opportunities.
- And of course I never touch an energy drink, I even avoid caffeine at all cost!
Do you want the truth?
My life is better with arthritis
Yeah I said it, better.
Since my diagnosis I have completed numerous qualifications in different fields, giving me a choice of work and the potential to earn MORE than I was doing before arthritis.
In addition to some of the points above, since having arthritis I have been on holiday to Bruges and walked round the cobbled streets which is enough to give ‘normal’ people ankle pain.
I have travelled miles and miles walking my dog.
I got married.
I remembered the importance of my faith and practising it.
I became resourceful and was able to supplement my income from home.
I am stronger physically and more importantly, mentally. I have been hardened by pain.
I have incredible people around me for support, people who were always there but often went under appreciated.
I have daydreams again!
Since being a young school child, I now have daydreams again, I have more purpose and objectives.
I want to keep turning the television off and any other modern distraction, I want to be outside in God’s green Earth soaking in the wonder that there still is.
When I think of all the places I want to visit and experience I become giddy with excitement, like a child again.
I want to find a place to live where the air is pure and natural untouched beauty surrounds it.
My life is better with arthritis because I now recognise who I am again. If I could go back and look at myself as I was then I would feel pity for him.
He wasn’t living he was existing, going day to day in a crappy job for crappy money yet working like a dog and relying on all the wrong things to fuel him.
Though he may not have shown it, inside he was sad, depressed and had been sucked of any hope that he had for the future.
I know many won’t agree but maybe God looked down on one of his children and thought he needs a reason, a reason to remember who he is, at his very core and have a reason to dream again.
Year on year I do more and have less pain, that’s not a person who has a degenerative disease that is a person who is telling that disease I AM IN CONTROL.
Feeling a part of something
One of the things I found again since my diagnosis is my love of writing.
Talking with all of you really does give me a lot of joy!
When people tell me how much I have helped them by recommending something or simply just making a suggestion I feel useful again.
Since creating this website over a year ago and our social media sites as well, I get to talk with people who understand each other, who support each other.
People often say there is no human kindness left in the world and that people don’t care for each other how they used to.
I get why it’s easy to think that but I have the benefit of seeing people help and support each other every day.
Many of you know I warn of the danger of modern technology but when I see people help each other on a Facebook group or forum it reminds me of what wonders the internet can do when used correctly.
Obviously there are bigger groups than ours, in England there is Versus Arthritis that does great work and in your respective countries hopefully you have a voice and an output.
That’s what I want to continue to be a part of, a group of people who share their experiences and information so that somebody else who is just receiving that crushing diagnosis has somewhere to turn.
So that they have information they can implement straight away to give them the best chance possible of taking back control.
When people hear you have arthritis they will feel sorry for you, sometimes we have to accept responsibility not pity.
I know sometimes disease occurs and it isn’t a persons fault.
Arthritis developed in me when in truth it could have been diabetes, Crohns disease, gout even a stroke or heart failure.
The fact is something was always going to happen because I was living in the wrong way, I needed to be reminded of the basics and reassess where I had gone wrong.
There is a very common analogy that I like to use, we buy a car so we can travel around in it.
Well our bodies are vessels that we travel through life in.
If we fuel it incorrectly then, like a car, at some point it will break down and we can only blame ourselves.
With the eve of a new year I wanted to take some time to look back and reflect, selfishly for my benefit as much as yours.
It’s good to remind myself just how far I have come and how much I have changed myself and my life, it’s good to keep having little daydreams and feelings of hope.
Myself and my life is better with arthritis, who knows maybe it will continue getting so good that one day arthritis gets fed up and leaves, that is the dream after all isn’t it.
What would your arthritis review look like, as always we look forward to hearing from you friends!
Happy New Year