January 23rd, 2016

beyond your front door

Knees, Stairs, and Attitudes

I've been out-of-sorts (feeling grumpy and vulnerable, mostly, sort of mixed up together) since my visit to the physical therapy doc, mostly—I think—because not being able to go up and down the stairs whenever I like makes me more dependent on Shannon, makes me have to ask him to do things for me, makes me inconvenience him. I don't like feeling dependent on someone else and I don't like having to bug Shannon when he has enough of his own stuff to worry about. Also, I feel trapped when I can't go where I want, which is never pleasant.

Of course, my being out-of-sorts means that I'm not only bugging Shannon, but being sort of pouty and unpleasant while doing so, which makes it 100 times worse. So I'm trying to change my attitude, trying to focus on the fact that the current stairs limitation is temporary, just until I've improved the strength of the muscles to protect my knees, and that I'm strengthening those muscles every time I do my exercises (twice a day). So I may need help in the short term, but it's because I'm doing what's necessary to make it such that I need less help in the long term, because I won't be blithely going on permanently damaging my knees and will instead be improving their state.

The damage that has already been done to the cartilage in my knees is not fixable, and the arthritis will probably gradually continue to advance as I age, but I can significantly slow down the future damage by following this doc's orders and building up my protective strength. I need to stay focused on the positive: that we caught this early enough that exercises like these can still make a difference.

Plus, I think I'll take a nap this afternoon; maybe it'll help with the grumpiness problem.