Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Few Things I have Learned In Life So Far

RA

RA has taught me that I am resilient.  I work 12 hour days and most days I am hurting moderately to badly by the end of a shift.  Many nights I can barely walk, my feet hurt so bad.  After a good nights sleep (8 hours minimum), I wake up ready to go again.

I used to try to make sense out of RA.  After some 7+ years, I have realized ... you can't rationalize RA.   If my right hip is bothering me today, there's a good chance it will be ok tomorrow.  Tomorrow, it will be my left shoulder that is hurting.   

I am not alone in my fight against RA.  I have made some great friends and through talking with you and following your blogs, I realize we have most of the same struggles, obstacles and we often do the same stupid stuff.  Thank you for your friendship.

Laugh daily.  Learn to laugh at yourself, yes I still get frustrated with myself when I am dropping everything I touch, but it makes your day go better when your laughing rather than mad at the world.

RIDING

Off Road riding boots are NOT made for walking.

You can ride farther in 30 minutes than you can walk in 4 hours. (see above lesson) 

You never need to go to the bathroom until after you have your leathers, jacket, fanny pack,  back pack, helmet, googles and gloves on.  
Terry's theorem: How badly you need to go to the bathroom is directly proportional to how much gear you have on at the moment.  ie a rider with a jacket, fanny pack, backpack and helmet needs to go 4 times as bad as a rider who only has a fanny pack on. 
Terry's corollary:  you never realize that you forgot to replace the toilet paper in your backpack until you look for it.

DOGS

If you stare at someone long enough, eventually, you will get what you want.

They are always excited to see you come in the house, even if you have just walked to the mail box and back.  Too bad humans can't show that emotion for each other.  Then again, it's good that humans don't pee on the floor when another human walks in!

If you could find a picture next to the word loyal, it would be our first dog Bear. He was Wolf/German Shepherd and loved our daughter so much, we often joked that he thought she belonged to him.  He would sleep in her room when she was young and if she would whimper or cry, come get us.  She grew up loving him and even though he outweighed her, we were never worried with her being around him.  He went blind shortly before he died and even blind, when she and her friends would play in the yard, he would place himself between them and the neighbors kids who were older and more rowdy.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Terry, I was REALLY having problems with my feet (balls of feet which have widened considerably over the years from the RA - and with the heel, mainly plantar fascitis) from working on them all day for 8 or so hours. I finally went and got some of those Dr. Scholl's shoe custom orthotics/inserts (about $40)- the one where you stand on a machine at Walmart and they measure the pressure areas and recommend which one to get. The machine may be in the pharmacy area if it's not in the shoe area.

But I didn't try to put the orthotics/inserts into fully closed shoes. Instead I bought some open heeled shoes, also from Walmart, only about $30. I bought them in a bigger size to accommodate the insert (from top of foot to bottom), and to accommodate my wider front foot. The shoes are listed for women, but look neutral style to me. I cannot tell you how much better my RA feet feel now! The combination of the insert and open heel are quite comfortable and I've never slipped in them and work on wet floors all day. The difference is night and day.

I'm really hard on shoes and did have to replace these in about 6 months or so, but noted after wear on the soles (and melting them some from standing on some hot surfaces, that these particular shoes had a metal bar in the sole. I had one other pair of shoes like that, and those metal bars make a big difference with heel pain and problems. Both pairs were cheaper shoes and the metal insert was not advertised about them - I just noted it after I wore the soles down enough. The other (closed) shoes were "I (heart) Comfort) which I found at JC Penny's. I know someone mentioned a more expensive shoe maker who does or can put those bars into shoes.

Now, other RA and OA pain elsewhere like hands, wrists, shoulders, knees after a long day of manual labor? Well, that's ANOTHER story!

Dr. Scholl's custom inserts:

Earth Spirit shoes:
http://www.planetshoes.com/item/earth-spirit-jenny/9033/119

Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot the other link.

Dr. Scholl's custom inserts:

http://www.footmapping.com/footmapping/home/index.jspa

tharr said...

I have some Spenco inserts that I wear in my steel toe work boots and they do make a big difference. I first bought some 6 years ago at an outdoor store locally. They had the device (linked to a computer) that you stand on and it pinpoints where your pressure areas are. I thought the price (then $60) was steep, but had heard others at work say the inserts helped your feet. I have since bought more of these inserts for my work boots.

Cathy said...

Terry,
You are so right. We can't make sense out of RA. The only thing that brings relief during a difficult flare is knowing that you will come out of it eventually.

I love that dogs are so happy to see you no matter how long you are gone. My sweet Izzy is always waiting at the window when I come home and then meets me at the door. I love it!

Happy Holidays Terry. I am sorry we met this way but have really enjoyed reading your blog this year. I hope 2011 is gentler for both of us.

tharr said...

Cathy, the only positive side to RA has been building friendships with some really great people that I have met, both online and in person. Thank you and I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a much better 2011.

By the way, life around our house would be quiet dull without our dogs. We might get more sleep, but it wouldn't be the same without them!

Shauna said...

Terry!!!

It has been awesome getting to know you over the past 3 years we have written our blogs---can you believe that it will be 3 years???

You are such a great writer, I laughed OUT LOUD reading the line, "If you stare are someone long enough you will get what you want."

My sweet Roxy was 14 this year and passed away in May. She, too, was blind for about 6 months before her death and still was the most faithful, 'follow Shauna everywhere' puppy, just a bit slower and needing my help to lay down on my recliner with me. My son and I miss her (and her hubby who predeceased her a few years ago)...so very much.

I am so glad that you are out doing what you love Terry, you are one of the first people I met online after starting my blog--I hope that the New Year brings us health, happiness and MORE HEALTH!! lol :)

Happy New Year Terry!!

Gentle Hugs---<3
Shauna

tharr said...

Shauna, it's so good to hear from you. No, I can't believe it has been 3 years already. If there's a good side to having this disease, it's been meeting people and making new friends through our blogs.

The statement "If you stare are someone long enough you will get what you want." is what my dogs live by. They keep staring at you as if they are saying, "Is he really that stupid?"

I'm sorry about Roxy. They become such an important part of your family that it really hurts when it is time to let them go. Our little inside dog grieved for 2 weeks after Bear died. You just forget about them hurting until you see it.

We had some great weather New Years Eve, so I got outside and out in a 110 mile ride through the Ouachita National Forest. Nice way to help bring the new year in. Yesterday it was 70, today the high was 34.

I wish you a Happy and healthy New Year!