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Movement

The light is starting to return. The seed catalogs are flowing in at a rate of several per day. The very first signs of winter ending are starting to happen.

This winter has been a tough one for pain. My doctor took me off gabapentin because it was having terrible side effects and put me on another drug (Lyrica) that doesn’t work as well. Add in the cold and I am not moving much some days. This has me worried. Because I’m close to sedentary on many days. I want to move, it just hurts too much.

How do you get movement in around your pain?

Me and my partner hiking, a few years ago. I do love hiking, when I can do it.

Things that are not working for me

1) Getting up and walking around the house – some days up and down is the worst. And my house is kinda boring to walk around.

2) Yoga / chair yoga. – If I’m home alone, I fear that if I get down on a yoga mat, I won’t be able to get back up

3) Going for a walk outside – Nope – the pain in my knees and ankles is enormous right now. Walking is supposed to be the straightforward thing to do, but it’s not.

4) Going out into my garden – This one normally works for me. I love my garden. A walk around looking at the plants normally ends up with me doing some weeding or other tasks. Right now, my garden is a mess. Gumballs and sticks are everywhere. I know the only thing out there to do is clearing. So I don’t want to go out into my garden and my motivation is gone.

Things that might work

1) Waiting for spring – Is this even a valid option. Can I not move all winter and come back in the spring?

2) Some stretching in my chair – It wears me out quickly, but at least I can feel that my muscles still exist.

3) Puttering around the house – It may not be much, but folding laundry and cleaning the bathroom sink do require movement – and movement of different muscles.

Once upon a time, I went to a gym. It was grueling. They put us through a baby version of cross fit, and it hurt terribly. I did this for about 3 months until my shoulder hurt too bad for me to continue. I thought it was arthritis – and some may have been – but it turned out to be a gall-bladder that had given up. Of course, bad gall bladder in the gut hurts the right shoulder. Someone should write a book about this. Maybe I will. An owner’s manual of what could go wrong with your body and how to tell it is going wrong.

I also used to walk everywhere. Through graduate school, I walked to campus and back every day (at least a mile each way). I had a car, but it was generally easier to walk to restaurants and shops on High Street. All my friends walked (or took the bus) and it was just a normal part of the lifestyle. Then, I got a job. And walking doesn’t fit in well with the requirements of a job. Dress professionally and walk to campus? I lived way too far away. So I drove.

I’m sure both age and stopping the walking have increased and advanced my pain from arthritis and fibro. The weight I gain whenever they switch my psych meds has gotten large (and so have I). I can feel the weight pulling at my bones and hurting more. But losing it is the perpetual question. I’ve tried starving myself and that doesn’t work. I’ve tried exercising, and that didn’t work. I eat healthy food and not too much of it. The real problem seems to be getting me moving. But I cannot as it hurts too much (in a way that won’t go away once I’m into the movement.)

Catch 22

I’m sounding off here, hoping someone who reads this has solutions, large or small, that they can post in the comments. Maybe movements that may hurt less or ways to squeeze in some extra movement on days that are rough.

By Johanna

Writer, reader, person living with a disability, cat-mom, learner, mystic. J.D./Ph.D. from Ohio State. Can be found writing a speculative fiction novel, or about women's soccer and life with chronic pain.

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