I stopped walking because my hip hurt. I continued to do four miles a day as long as I could, but those days consisted of whatever I had to do before the walk, followed by the walk, followed by resting. Sometimes for the remainder of the day.
It finally occurred to me that walking was aggravating the pain, and I needed to stop. I put on my big-girl running shorts and made a doctor's appointment. And went to it yesterday.
Where I learned that I am, apparently, officially, old. And maybe I should change the name of this blog again.
|Not my own personal hip x-ray, but illustrative of my problem.|
I saw the Physician's Assistant instead of my family doctor, and she was great. She knows my history and said, "We see this a lot in athletes, both men and women." Athlete! She called me an athlete! As I've mentioned to a few friends, at least I didn't lose all that cartilage by being a slug.
But still. No cartilage = no cushioning, and until you experience it personally you really have no idea of the pain. I've tried all the recommended OTC pain relievers; ibuprofen seems to do the best job for me.
What I haven't been doing is exercising. To me, exercise is walking. Both the PA and Dr. Google recommend stretching. I also learned that yoga, bicycling and swimming may be beneficial. I don't have a bike, nor do I swim, so I'll be taking advantage of the apps on our new smarter-than-I-am TV to find some gentle yoga routines.
The other word for what I have is osteoarthritis – such an old-lady word. I'm not old. In fact I'm so not old that I have to pay for those expensive x-rays out of pocket, because I haven't met my insurance deductible and I'm too young for Medicare.
I see my family doctor week after next to discuss treatment options. There's no cure for osteoarthritis, but I've been assured by Dr. Google that I can live a long and comfortable life. Heh.
My grandmother had it, along with osteoporosis and COPD. She sat in a chair the last 10 years of her life, tethered to an oxygen tank watching soap operas. That, of course, is what I think of when I hear the word 'osteoarthritis.'
But my bones are dense and my lungs are clear. I only have a third of her problems. My total mileage for the year may be stalled at 624, but I'm certainly in better health than she was, and I've taken better care of myself than she did.
I'm trying to find the bright side.
It's a cartilage deficiency.
Not brain cancer.