Tag Archives: joint pain

Barking Dog Shoes

During one of several conversations with Chronic Babe (aka Jenni) at ePatient Connections, our convo turned to shoes. This happens whenevver women converse for more than 10 minutes, or so I believe based on years of experience. Since my Crohn’s manifests in joint pain and because my hips are chronically out of whack, I need to wear comfortable flats, despite the fact that my inner badass would rather be in 6-inch Laboutin stillettoes. Jenni’s shoes were adorable AND looked comfortable, and she highly recommended her friend’s site Barking Dog Shoes. Holy moly, this place is a relevation.

They’ve got answers for any type of foot problem (although it seems to just be for women, sorry guys.) They try out and recommend brands. What a fantastic resource.

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It’s Getting Dark in Here

Since the PT said I can start exercising again, I’ve been going out again in the morning. All summer long, 5:15 a.m. was a joy – the sun was rising, it was the perfect temperature. Now, not so much. It’s cooler and so dark that I’m too creeped out to use my ipod, even though we live in a totally save neighborhood. I’m getting nervous about keeping up with this through the winter, when it’s icy outside and my bed is still nice and warm.

Physical Therapy

I lurve my physical therapist. Luuurve.

I was able to get an appointment immediately, because I’ve gone in the past. After my daughter was born, my hips were out of whack. (It’s not easy having a ginormous baby on my tiny frame. Or any frame. Anyway.)

This PT specializes in women, and was able to get me back on track last time. This time around, I’m already having the same positive experience. It’s a different therapist, but it’s the same – caring, capable.

She told me my knee issue is actually my hip issue all over again. She said I need to keep doing my hip exercises for life (I’d kept on for a few years but evenually stopped.)  And most importantly, she told me I WILL be able to run again. Hip hip hooray!

So I’ll be going weekly for a while, as she adjusts and manipulates and basically turns me from a NYC pretzel into a Philly pretzel.  Until then, I’ve started with power walking. Not nearly as therapeutic as running, but better than nothing.

Image from Walgreens.com

Oh and I get to wear a snazzy knee brace while I do it. It’s uncomfortable, but on the plus side it makes me look like even more of a dork keeps me from injuring myself more.

Chondromalacia patella

Chondromalacia patella. It’s not really arthritis behind my knee, as Dr. Max said. The physician assistant at the orthopedist told me it’s more about the way my knee is set. So, here it is, my knee:

As you can see, my kneecap is way over to the right. It’s the same in my right knee, so it was only a matter of time before that one would start to hurt too. He said I can’t run. Then he said I could run, but that I’d have to experiment a lot with pain killers, and that ultimately it’d be about how much I can tolerate.

So how much can I tolerate? I haven’t run in about a week, and because I’m so confused I haven’t really done any exercise. Meanwhile, it’s not like life has become less stressful (although that would be nice, to be able to turn off the stresses of life while you get your act together.) So, I still have stress but don’t have a way to deal with it. I’m grumpy. No, I’m angry. I snap. And because I can’t snap at my coworkers or I’ll face serious reprecussions, I’m snapping at my husband and my daughter. And they don’t deserve that. I don’t like how I’ve been acting over these past few days, and it’s all because of my stupid knees.

The PA said I should go to physical therapy and if possible, get a personal trainer who can help me find an exercise that I love that won’t hurt my knees. I plan to do both.

Hmnh

I love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, and one of my favorite characters is Lula, a spicy former hooker with tons of attitude. Whenever she hears something she doesn’t particularly like, her standard reply is “hmnh.” It’s perfect, you can just hear it off the page.

Dr. Max said I have chondromalacia patella, which he said is like arthritis under the knee. He said it’s not related to my Crohn’s, but that I probably shouldn’t run. Ever. Hmnh.

He also said I should try for physical therapy instead of going to the orthopedist, and that I should do the eliptical instead of running. But that I can do brisk walking as long as it doesn’t hurt my knee. Hmnh.

Actually, there are other four-letter words I’d rather use than hmnh right now, but this is a family blog.

Running Therapy

I’m trying hard to go about my life, but I keep having to go to doctors and get blood tests and put everything on hold because of my stupid body. In other words, same old. But this time, it’s not because of Crohn’s.

As those who’ve been reading know, I started running about two months ago. I’ve been doing Chubby Jones’ couch to 5k in an effort to get in shape and not lose my mind. But a few weeks ago, my knee started to hurt while I was running. Then it started to hurt even when I wasn’t running. So here I go again to the doctor, but this time it’s the orthopedist. And at the same time, I’m still doing my weekly blood tests that I’ve had to do since the miscarriage, so they can see if my hormone levels are still raised. (Ben and Jerry’s can tell you based on how well their stock is doing that yes indeed my hormones are still raised, but that’s another topic, thankyouverymuch Chocolate Therapy.)

Image from Ben & Jerry’s website.

Anyway. Since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s about a decade ago, going to the doctor is pretty much old hat. But for the first time in a while I’m going and I don’t really feel confident that I know what I’m doing. Should I be going to an orthopedist or Dr. Max, my rheumatologist? Does my knee hurt because of the running, my stupid Crohn’s, or the miscarriage maybe? So I’ve been doing what any geek worth her salt does today – crowdsourcing. I’ve been asking EVERYONE’s opinion. My sister, who runs triathlons, told me I’ll have to get an orthopedist someday so may as well do it now. My friend Eugene, who does Tough Mudder (crazy bastard) thought it was weird that I was having knee problems and told me that I should be having shin splints instead. My friend Mo, who doesn’t run but does have RA and takes Humira like I do, told me I shouldn’t be running at all and that instead I should ride a bike. He’s never seen me try to ride a bike, so I can’t blame him for the recommendation. But watching me trying to ride a bike is like watching a toddler try to send an email. It’s a little cute, mostly awkward, you know it’s not going to work and probably someone is going to get hurt. Last time we went for a little afternoon ride, a man my dad’s age in a car pulled over to shout encouragement out his window – it was that clear to passing motorists that I was a mess. Anyway.

So I made an appointment for next Friday at the orthopedist’s, and I’m going to give Dr. Max a call today. I’m also going to see my new GI next week, so I feel like I have all the bases covered.

Because here’s the thing – I need to keep running. Before I started, I was sliding into a deep dark place that I don’t think I could have gotten out of any other way. I joke that running has saved my sanity, but joking aside – running has saved my sanity.

Where I Injected Humira Last

This past Saturday, left upper thigh.

I know, it’s more than a week early. I called Dr. D and updated him on what’s been going on, and he said he wanted me to try another Humira dose before going to the emergency Prednisone. He said I should start feeling better by Monday…but I woke up feeling mighty achy, so we’ll see!