Living With Arthritis Pain

Living With Arthritis Pain

Read Time5 Minutes, 15 Seconds

In this post, I want to take a little time to talk a bit about living with arthritis pain. People with arthritis will all have their own stories, they will have similarities to mine and differences as well.

The diagnosis

As many of you who have read my previous posts will know, I suffered an accident at work and broke my ankle and leg in multiple places as well as dislocating the ankle.

I came close to losing my foot as the dislocation had caused bones to overlap and cut off blood supply to my foot.

After having the ankle manipulated back into position (the worst pain I’ve ever had), the month after a wound site got infected with MRSA (the second worst pain I’ve ever had).

The delay in getting back on my feet coupled with the trauma of the injury meant I had already developed osteoarthritis in my ankle.

I was offered an ankle fusion but I declined, after reading about the procedure it just felt like it would be reliving the whole experience again within a year and I couldn’t face it.

I’ve since been told that they would have to fuse my whole foot and not just my ankle now.

I’ve heard from a lot of people who have had a fusion and felt no benefit, in some cases, it’s been made worse.Doctor, Security, Office, Hospital

The last time I saw a consultant he told me the only viable option was amputation.

I declined again and I’m not a man who likes to say no, though at the age of 31 I didn’t see it as a viable option.

I know what people are thinking, these days there are a lot of amputees living strong independent lives, but considering all the things I can do I didn’t think it was the best option for me at that time.

Side effects of arthritis

I talk quite a bit about the side effects of drugs on this site and encourage using natural alternatives where possible.

The problem was these side effects I was experiencing were not due to any drugs.

I tried, as I always have, to remain positive but there are times when that isn’t easy.Window View, Sitting, Indoors, Girl

After being diagnosed with severe arthritis, unable to move my ankle joint, muscle wastage, swelling, struggling to walk, not to mention the accident itself and losing my job oh and the prospect of this being the norm or getting worse for the rest of my life, it’s fair to say I would get angry and upset occasionally.

I started to think of all the things I was unable to do, I couldn’t do my regular job anymore.

If I eventually have kids I wouldn’t be able to play with them, if they ran out into the road I wouldn’t be able to get to them in time.

It might sound a bit stupid and far-fetched but in the early days it was all that went through my mind. These thoughts spiralled…

Fear, Anxiety, Emotion, Worry, Scared

As my mobility wasn’t very good and I was using crutches I began to fear leaving the house.

In all honesty, it would make me feel pretty pathetic, I was a 27-year-old man who worked hard went to the gym lived life how I wanted but now I suddenly felt vulnerable.

I don’t live in the greatest area and I would be concerned that if I went out the house I could be mugged and not be able to do anything, or I could fall over outside and re-injure myself.

When I knew I had to go out of the house for something I would go into a cold sweat, feel sick and sometimes struggle to catch my breath.

I even made excuses to not go to things, I would initially feel a wave of relief when I had made my excuses and got out of going.

Relief would be followed by a wave of anger because I didn’t feel my old self and I would never be the same again.

Refocus, retrain

I overcame my anxiety thanks in part to a supportive wife and family.

I tried to refocus my mind to think about what I was still able to do and what I thought I may be able to do so that way I had goals to aim for.

I had to retrain my body and mind so that I could try to focus on little tasks that I had completed and use it as a way to measure progression.

As my body became stronger and I was able to do more, my confidence grew and I began to see some light.

We got a dog.

I’ve grown up with dogs and always had a love for them, one of the reasons we bought our first home instead of renting was so we could have a dog.

In late 2014 Maisy arrived in our home and I had a reason to go outside, to walk the dog.

A simple task but one that has probably helped me make massive improvements.

Look for the light

I still have painful times but for the past 3 months, I’ve had little to no pain and taken no painkillers.

In the dark days when it’s painful, it’s easy to sink into anger and frustration or even anxiety.

Remember what you can do and what you want to be able to do.

In the past year I go out to work, I’ve had 2 holidays, got married and continue to improve my leg strength to give me the best support and stability.

There are obviously still things I want to do, the main one is simple, I just want to run around the park with my dog, for now, I will have to stick to walking her.

Conclusion

The mind is a powerful thing, harness that power and make it work for you!

This I believe is vitally important. Of course, there are other things I do that I believe have helped me gain control over this disease.

I’ve shared some with you already and I will continue to.

I encourage you all to like, share and comment on this post.

Spread awareness far and wide, share your own tips with each other surely we stand a better chance of beating this if we all pitch in!

Stronger together,

Andy

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14 thoughts on “Living With Arthritis Pain”

  1. Wow! Thank you for sharing. I have never experienced anything like that and yet I could feel your pain. An article written from the heart!

    • Thank you Derek, talking from the heart hasn’t always come easily to me. There is something about doing it in a blog when it isn’t face to face that makes it easier. I hope others will find it easier to share as well.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. As a guy that because of an accident I also have developed arthritis I know exactly how it feels and how frustrating it can at some moments. It needs a lot of strength and will to overcome it. Great read, thank you for the article!

    • Hi Stratos thanks for reading and commenting! Sorry to hear you suffered as well.

      Yeah I think it does take strength, especially mental strength!

  3. I hope that you feel a lot better now!

    My husband had a broken arm (he broke the same part twice!) about eight years ago, and not the scars from the surgical operations are still reminding him of the pain. It was really hard for him to get through too, especially when he had to give up continue playing basketball (which is his favourite sport). But now he’s getting a lot better! He says the key is to adjust your mind and move away to relocate the other favourite things in life.

    I hope this helps and wish you all the best!

    • Thanks Crystal I appreciate your comments. Sorry to hear your husband suffered and I am glad he has got better.

      I seem to be able to do more each year so I take the positives and keep moving forward!

  4. Thanks for sharing, yes and a well written post. Seems you had great support and quite a determined mind yourself. Like you said “harness that power and make it work for you”, and I see you are doing it yourself now. As I get older, I can see that as bad as experiences are, they are just a means to an end, a pathway to where we ultimately need to be. Continued success to you!

  5. Omg, that sounds just dreadful what you’ve gone through! I don’t have anything like that, but depending on what I eat, I get pains in my joints. So naturally I avoid those things, but sometimes you just forget or you just feel like eating or drinking it anyway. Too much coffee always seems to be causing a bit of a problem. Have you experienced that too? It seems that if I get too acidic, it gets worse. Have you tried an alcaline diet? Well done for getting back on your feet (literally) and developing such a healthy and strong mindset!

    • Thank you Petra, yes I try to avoid coffee now and drink green tea. I do try to avoid acidic food and drink in an effort to keep inflammation to a minimum.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

  6. Hi Andy! Your article was very inspirational! You’ve been through some tough times, but you’re right, the mind is a powerful thing and can overcome anything. Wishing you all the best on getting better and better each and every day 🙂 p.s your dog is super cute!

  7. Thank you for sharing – that is an incredible story. It inspires and shows what can be accomplished despite what may seem like overwhelming issues. Your are right, the power of the mind is paramount to understand so that it can be used to turn life’s obstacles into triumphs.

    • Hi Donna thank you for your kind words!

      Yes I want to turn it in to a real positive. I want to look back and think that was the event that changed my life for the better.

      I have grown stronger particularly mentally and I take better care of my body and wellbeing.

      Thank you for reading!

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