I've logged in a couple of times thinking I'd post only to log out. Not for the lack of having something to say, but just nahhh why bother. October was a month of doctor visits as always. So, here's the latest.
Osteoarthritis-OA ever heard of it. I would bet that most have heard of that (spell check has) but not ankylosing spondylitis (spell check has not).
Facts on OA-
-OA may also be called degenerative arthritis
-it affects around 27 MILLION Americans
-its the leading cause of chronic disability in the US
-there are 2 classifications OA and EOA (erosive osteoarthritis-or inflammatory OA-EOA less common and more aggressive)
-studies show a link to siblings and it being hereditary
-often worsens with time
-there is no cure
-there are some treatments-medication, injections, or maybe joint replacement
and so on and so on. So, for me. I found out the 1st of October that my right knee was basically gone. My ortho doc diagnosed OA. I asked him could this be the AS and he said it's not AS it is OA and that I have both. great..sarcasm..yes! He says I'm too young for knee replacement and we will try lubrication injections first. So far his patients have a 70% success rate. Well, I'm like, what if? To his reply, "you're screwed". You may think that harsh or weird, but I like his honesty and we talk openly about my AS and OA. So, we're both hoping that I will fall in that 70%, if not, then I'm looking at knee replacement. Oh, I'm already looking at it, but hoping this will put it off a bit.
Lubrication injections are not cortisone injections which most of you are probably familiar with--
Lubrication injections. Injections of hyaluronic acid derivatives (Hyalgan, Synvisc) may offer pain relief by providing some cushioning in your knee. These agents are similar to a component normally found in your joint fluid. You have 3 injections a week a part. So, yes, I had 3 Thursdays in a row of knee injections. Let me quickly add that I'm thankful my sister was my DD. As she said, it was a huge shot. Then I had to come home and rest for 24 hours. Did it work? IDK, time will tell. For now, I'm still in the same pain.
In the middle of getting my injections I did have a visit to my Rheumy and she told me the AS has probably accelerated the OA...great...sarcasm again, yes!
So, I'm doing all my research on this OA and find some things amusing. The kind of info that gets a SMH (shaking my head-for those that don't know).
OK--so here's some suggestions of what you might want to do-(and of course my thoughts)-
-Lifestyle modification/changes can help reduce the symptoms (just LOL)
---rest-if you experience pain and swelling rest for 12-24 hours and find activities that don't require you to use the joint repetitively (it's my knee? and I have AS so there's always pain and swelling)
---exercise-can increase the muscles around the joint and make it more stable. Stick to gently exercise. If you feel pain stop. If the pain lasts for hours, then you've overdone it (ok, here's the deal refer to rest comment--and let me add you do realize I'm in CONSTANT pain--it NEVER stops)
---lose weight-(thanks, I'll get right on that)
---use heat and cold-(been doing that)
---apply pain creams-(got that covered as well)
---use assisting devices-(this is my fav-NOT-yep I have a cane, walker, and wheel chair for various hours, days, weeks)
Top all of that with ankylosing spondylitis---whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy and of course, I have an aggressive OA to go along with my aggressive AS. Why does everything have to be so aggressive and let me add if one more person tells me that exercise helps I MIGHT GET AGGRESSIVE!
While I do appreciate the suggestions and comments that I often get (ok, I try and appreciate) they all seem to come from folks who are HEALTHY! Sorry, for yelling, but for real! I walk to the mailbox everyday LOL But, seriously, yes, staying as active as one can is important. The exercise that one must do with AS, OA and bs (sorry ha) is very different. It's a gently exercise. Because of AS every single thing that I do will affect my entire day or even my entire week. I will NEVER be pain free on this earth. I have a disease that currently has NO CURE only treatments. This disease causes other things, such as EOA and the medications I'm on so I can just manage a "gentle" day..well, can kill me. There you have it. If you've read this far 2 thumbs up and thank you for caring.
This is the beginning of a long painful journey called my life. An invisible disease that destroys the body on the inside. I could go on about my eyes, but I'll save that in another post and another day--cause this white screen is making them hurt, thanks AS, NOT)
AS has my body, but NOT me! cause I look great LOL