Growing up as a “pew baby” in church, I often heard people say during testimony service that they were thankful for having “the activities of my limbs,” meaning that they were thankful for independent mobility. I’m thankful right now that I don’t necessarily have to have a cane, etc. to move around, but for how long?
I found myself cutting back on activities that involved a lot of walking due to fear of pain, but I also recall my rheumatologist telling me that moving around would actually help with pain. For real? How can moving help my pain if it hurts when I move?
I couldn’t see the logic behind this initially, so I decided that whenever I moved a lot, I could mentally note how much agony I was in and prove that moving wasn’t good.
I’m not quite sure how to explain it, but I’ll try. I traveled to New Orleans for several days for a convention, and I not only had to walk from one meeting room to another, hop on the escalator frequently, catch elevators, etc., but I also walked quite a bit downtown for dining and entertainment – IN THE SUMMER HEAT. I was certain I would die, but I didn’t. Imagine that.
The weird thing is even though my feet swelled up and my arches were on fire, the endorphins still kicked in. I was in pain and felt good at the same time.
The following weekend, I went with my family to a water amusement park. I figured this would be a good experience for me since my neurologist recommended that I take up water aerobics. Other than almost drowning while being thrown off a floatie while exiting a water slide, I had a great time in the water, giving my knees and back a break as I hung out in other less dangerous areas.
I learned from these experiences that in order to be more physically active, the following things would help me to carry them out:
- Walking with a buddy.
- Getting in the water for a good, low-impact workout.
I’m actually still sore now, but it’s the good kind that you get from something like working out in the gym for an hour. I actually feel pretty proud of myself for taking this all on. I rock more than I thought I did. 🙂
In the middle of a sunrise walk in New Orleans. I’m on the far right. Notice that I am wearing my Sjogren’s syndrome medical bracelet in case things didn’t work out that day. LOL