Remember when you were a kid? Wait… most of you probably have kids. Remember when your kid was like 3 and they had a sort of nuclear level meltdown a couple of times a day? Did you ever feel just a little jealous because you couldn’t do the same?

I had a meltdown in my doctor’s office today. See, I’m in pain. Not a little pain. A lot of pain. I hurt in my wrists (arthritis), one ankle (strain), one knee (muscle imbalance) and the other knee (arthritis). I was in the pool last night, and even that hurt. It hurt more after I nearly concussed myself by backstroking with great velocity into a metal handrail. You’d have to see the pool to understand.

Yeah, so I’m in pain. The problem is that some of that pain is clearly joint pain. I know this because I can literally hear the joints grinding together, a sure sign of arthritis. The rest of it is likely tendon pain, which is totally fixable.

I was at my appointment at BMI tonight and the doc asked me how I was doing and I immediately started to cry. I’m so mad at my body right now. Who gets spontaneously flaring osteoarthritis, for the love of pete? I know it will likely resolve itself, hopefully before any major damage is done, but c’mon. Who gets that? How many stupid inflammatory episodes am I going to have in my life? I’m not even stressed this time. This is the healthiest I’ve been in my adult life, and my body STILL turned on me.

You know, I’ve come so far in the past year. I changed jobs; cut my hair; met a great guy (who I’m still with!); picked up a sport, joined the clinic; developed a way way healthier relationship with food (where I can actually stop eating when I want);  lost a bit of weight; gained a lot of health and muscle; and increased my metabolism by 15%. Oh yeah, and I’m by and large a very happy person. I’m fun. I’m content. I’m even. (For those of you who don’t struggle with mental health issues, you do not know the joy of “even”).

It was last night, in the pool, when I realized that this pain in my wrists had gone too far. If you hurt in a pool, it’s pretty bad. Dr Freedhoff was his usual patient, most excellent self. He was pretty awesome, actually. He gave me a prescription for drugs (I hate taking the drugs, but he had a couple of valid points about them); referred me to an athletic therapist (those are the people who get hockey players back on the ice – sadly, not covered by our health plan, but if it might work, I’m in); and then he told me that I might have to stop working out for a while.

Here’s the ironic fact: I trained for the 2004 Early Bird Try a Tri. Not that many people know that. Yeah, I totally did. You know why I didn’t do it? Because my foot hurt when I ran. That would be the foot with the toe joint I subsequently had replaced.

I can’t… I just can’t go through another joint replacement. My foot hurt for years. Years. It took three years to walk without a limp. My 60 something 120 pound mother had to hover for two years worth of foreign trips to make sure I wouldn’t trip on some third world stairs. My right leg (the one I had the surgery on) is still a fairly dramatically different shape from the left one.

I can’t countenance even the idea that I might have to go through that again, on a wrist, a knee, or an ankle. The mere thought makes me nauseous. It actually makes me just shy of hysterical (as evidenced by the fact that I also cried in front of my boyfriend, another first). I’m also not sure what I’m going to do if I don’t have the physical stress release of an aggressive activity.

The doc suggested talking it out with my shrink, seeing if the athletic therapist says I can still play sports, and if maybe the arthritis spontaneously resolves the way it popped up. I’m calling in the God Squad on this one. If you or someone you know has one of those direct lines to God, please have them pray for me. I’m too young and I’ve worked too hard to get derailed by a spontaneous eruption of inflammation. I’ll do my own talking to God, too.

I’m going to play squash tomorrow night, then will rest all the joints for the weekend. Hopefully the drugs will start to work and I’ll get in to see this athletic therapist next week. Whatever it takes, I will do it. Once I get over my disappointment and self loathing, at least!

Who’s got a god squad on their side?

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