Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bony Knees, Please

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a pain.

Growing up with it has been a pain.

And dealing with it on a daily basis is a pain.

I was diagnosed when I was 12. At the time, I was just happy to get out of gym class. Eventually, I realized how annoying it is and then learned how to handle life with it. Most people don't actually know I have arthritis. It's one of those things that I don't like to bring up. But I've learned how important it is to talk about so I'm ending my silence.

My knees have been one of my biggest problems. I worry about them constantly, and there's nothing I hate more than a swollen knee. They hurt, make it hard to walk and you don't realize how unattractive your legs can be when your knees are swollen. And I've learned to appreciate a good set of legs, especially a pair of sexy knees!

Look at these gorgeous legs! Betty Grable's legs were insured for $1,000,000!

Today I went to the gym, ran on the elliptical and found myself in some serious knee pain. This is more frustrating than anything. All you want to do is get some exercise and you can't. You're angry at your knees for not being able to do a simple thing like . . .  run, and you get down on yourself about it.

Especially when you see pictures of hot legs in magazines. Those are some good knees.

But I have to say, KEEP GOING! Obviously, you don't want to push yourself beyond your limits, but don't let it get to you. The worst thing that can happen is to quit and feel sorry about yourself. Take things slowly, listen to your body, and build up those muscles!

Muscle-y legs are hot legs.

The best thing I've done so far is to get a personal trainer. Under the request of my doctor, I got hooked up with a trainer at our gym, and he helped me with some workouts that I could do to help strengthen my legs. After months of being off my legs due to swollen knees, my legs were really weak, and it was important that I get back to normal. Maybe work on those muscles more so that in the future this would be an easier situation to deal with.

Dang that's a short dress. But if you have the legs for it . . . !

It's hard work, but it's important to stay as fit as possible with a disease like this. Even a little activity is better than nothing. I work out as much as I can, and take a break as long as I need. And  ibuprofen and ice is always a go-to for after the gym!

Of course, there are times when I get stuck with a swollen knee and I can't get on a stationary bike if my life depended on it. Those days, I take some medicine, plop myself on the couch and ice ice baby! 

I might or might not throw myself a pity party, but when I feel a sob coming on, I call a friend with arthritis and talk it out. 

And that's important. Find someone who can understand what you're going through and talk about it. Or tell your husband to give you lots of compliments and buy you delicious treats. That always works for me!

Let's see some more great legs . . . 

Lucille Ball had Rheumatoid Arthritis AND great legs!

 A sparkly dress paired with fancy legs.

 Audrey Hepburn always seemed to wear short shorts with those long legs!

 Jen Aniston with a slit up to there . . . aye!

And of course, Michelle Obama, our First Lady has some killer legs!

And take pride in YOUR legs! Remember you are lucky to have what you have. Love that body and all of it's differences!


  1. Hey lyda,
    your mom and I are here thinking of you and enjoying the little slice of your life posted here! See you soon.

  2. Hi Lyda, I'm new to your blog but find it really hard to stop reading it. I'm 19 and was diagnosed with JRA when I was 12, but because of the timing it's been really hard to manage. Now that I've entered college it's even harder to deal with diet, exercise, pain, medication, classes, etc. I don't know anyone else who has JRA so I have no one to talk to, your blog has made me feel a lot better. Do you have any suggestions about how to deal with the mood swings that come with dealing with pain, or even some exercises I could try? I know it's college, but I haven't been eating poorly and I've gained weight. Walking to classes took a toll on me quickly and it's been almost impossible to exercise. Thanks again for your blog! I've never been a blog reader, but yours is inspiring!

  3. Madison
    I'm so glad you posted! I never was much of a blog person either until recently when I was trying to find a website for young adults and kids with RA to relate to. It seems like everything out there is either so formal or geared toward an age group much older! So I figured I'd start my own ;-)

    I graduated from college just a couple years ago and it was so difficult to get through with my arthritis but I made it! I know what you mean though - it was very difficult for me to get that balance back when I moved off to school. It's a complete lifestyle change and the walking! oh the walking! My poor little knees!

    I would recommend looking into your schools rec center and see if they have any personal trainers available to help you figure out a workout plan. Right now I'm seeing a trainer at my gym who is working with me on doing TRX which is totally low pressure on my joints and yet gives an amazing workout that allows me to build muscle. I promise I will blog about it soon - I see her today so I'm going to chat with her about blogging about it.

    I'd absolutely love to talk to you more about this. Send me an email or find me on Facebook and we will chat more. I'm happy to be here for you - I've been through it all! - and that's what I started this blog for.

    Take care girl!



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