Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Skiing and Arthritis (And A Solution For My Knee Troubles?)

This weekend we took a last minute ski trip up to Steven's Pass with my sister and her family. I mentioned before in this blog that I started skiing about 6 years ago (taught by my husband who was on the ski patrol for years. Note to those wanting to learn to ski: ski with a ski patroller! They are amazing skiers and if you crash and burn, they know how to save you!) I had only skied once this year up at Mission Ridge so we jumped on the chance to ski with the fam. And we always love to spend time with our nieces! (And I have to give a shout out to Mom and Pop who drove all the way up to the ski resort to bring Mitch and me our skis and helmets. They are amazing!)

My niece Sarah, sister Summer, Mitch and Me

The day we went up it was dumping snow. I mean, dumping. Mother nature took a bucket full of snow and tipped it over on top of the mountain. It was beautiful! The only bad part about the beautiful snow falling was that it turned perfectly groomed runs into mogul like bumps. And what I learned about powder skiing is that the wetter the snow is, the harder it is to ski in and the harder your leg muscles have to work to pick those dang skis up!

Not this weekend. Mitch's powder day up at Alta in Utah.

So what happened was . . . my knees did not hold up. About three or four runs in my knees felt like they had been shredded with a cheese grater. I was in pretty severe pain and frustrated beyond belief. I didn't want to have to stop skiing while all of my family got to keep on having fun. But after lunch I had to stay behind. Boo.

Not good for my dainty little knees.
I went to see my rheumatologist today. His name is Dr. Wisner, but I like to call him Doc Wiz. So I went to see the Doc and told him my story. I told him about my frustrations at the gym and my frustrations with skiing. I was really nervous about what could possibly be wrong with my lil knees. And what I heard next surprised me.

Oh that's beautiful! 

Doc Wiz told me that he doesn't think the pain I'm having is from arthritis. It's probably from the damage done by arthritis previously. After months of having swollen knees and unable to walk anywhere (stuck on the couch all fall), the muscles in my legs deteriorated. I lost so much strength and my working out at the gym hadn't completely built them up as much as I had hoped. 

Yeah that's me getting away from you! When my muscles were big and strong.

He gave it a name that was really long and I can't remember it. Something about the cartilage behind my kneecap being stressed. Anyways, my working out had started the trouble and then my rowdy skiing sealed the deal. 

My niece Sarah and I enjoying hot chocolate before lunch at Steven's Pass. 
Though mine had some added medicine . . . for my knees . . .

Luckily, Doc Wiz goes to the same gym and was able to recommend me to a trainer who knows how to deal with serious knee issues and arthritis. He gave her a call, chatted about me (I'm fun to chat about. You should try it.) And then she called me. I'm going to see her later this week to start up some new get-back-into-shape stuff. 

That's the kind of snow I like, nice and groomed. I will be sticking to that from now on!

I also had my knees x-rayed just to be safe. And then get blood drawn. Oh, life with RA. What a fun filled afternoon I had.

Oh, and I got to hear about Doc Wiz's week long ski trip he just got back from. And how he's going on another week long ski trip soon. Darn him. Rub it in my face, why dontcha?!

Until next time . . . Happy skiing!

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