Arthritis is trying to steal my life


I am laying on a futon in my man cave surrounded by  various pain relief products. I have pills, some prescribed by the Veterans Administration and others purchased over the counter in the pharmacy. Next there are ointments, and essential oils. The latest remedies were purchased tonight from a store that sells hemp related products. When I retired 3 months ago pain was a strong motivator. People in my age group (I am a baby boomer) have a lot of these types of experiences. Especially in our hardworking joints: knees, hips, shoulders and elbows. And don’t forget the fingers and toes.

I mentioned in a blog post that I had a cortisone shot in my hip that lasted a couple of days. The VA scheduled me for an operation on my big toes but at the last minute,  I decided to cancel the appointments. It is difficult for me to figure out or predict how severe the pain will be. On Monday and Thursday I was very active, reaching my exercise goals, with more than 10,000 steps each day. But today I had hoped to be able to go out and be active. I was going to get a haircut, go to the gym and check out a podcast. The only one of those goals I accomplished was checking out the podcast.

Tonight the level of pain is moderate, mainly in the toes. I went to the hemp store with my significant other and got a couple of salves. I rubbed them on when we returned home and things are a little better. I want to be able to have more good days than bad ones by the time my new job starts in a month. I am trying to figure out what works, each day. Keep at it.

What would happen if you weren’t there?

I had a moment of impulse this week. I suddenly emailed the staff person for a committee that I co-chair I was quitting the committee. After thinking about what I had done I followed up by saying I was tired of the work I had been doing and was burnt out.

After doing this I stayed home and waited until my significant other, who is also on the committee, returned home. She told me that people were disappointed by my decision, even heartbroken, it seemed. They were hoping I would return. It was very touching and indeed I get a lot of positive reinforcement from my work on the committee. I am at the point where I would like to pick and choose how I spend my time: is it in work that makes me feel good? Is it doing something because somebody tells me I must? Am I doing something just to pay the bills? How would people react if you weren’t there for whatever reason? How would it affect your decisions?


man holding rope on both hands
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