Pain Update: Almost Ready to Announce Victory!

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:9
As of today, here is the score:
Arthritis 4 - 4 Derek

I know that looks like a tie. But believe me, this match is all about momentum and I believe I have it in my favor.

Back around Thanksgiving I was taking a beating. Then I got on the board by consulting with an orthopedic specialist; getting the ball rolling is definitely a score.

Over Christmas arthritis came on strong and completely kicked my patootie. In the New Year the pain got another boost and pretty much dominated. Score at that point: Arthritis 4 – 1 Derek.

Then I started physical therapy.

The Tide Has Turned:

– with PT guru Kara Beth

I have documented real progress – up and down at times, but consistently edging in the right direction – for around ten sessions. Strengthen the muscles that support the knee; stretch the muscle groups that are creating so much tension they exacerbate the problems; massage the areas where inflammation is contributing to so much pain; train the patient to maintain the right exercise regimen at home. Lather; rinse; repeat.

Derek scores! Derek scores! Derek scores!

So now the contest is pretty much tied up: Arthritis 4 – 4 Derek. In fact, let’s turn it around: Derek 4 – 4 Arthritis.

I can sleep again. I can drive without pain (a road trip to Florida in a couple of weeks will be a test). I can sit still in church (so long as I get to stand every 15-20 minutes). I can watch a movie without having to get up and stand behind the sofa. Writing is still difficult, and my knee will seize up if I don’t remember to get up and move every 30 minutes, but I anticipate continued progress.

Time to recalibrate:

Next week, then, my physical therapy team plan to sign off on me. My doctor wants me to move into “aquatic therapy” and then join a gym.

The arthritis has not gone away – it’s not going to, ever. But now at least I have tools that are helping reduce pain along with increasing both strength and flexibility.

So thanks to Kara (who has done all the day-to-day work), and Scott (who was responsible for the initial evaluation and will sign off on my exit).

“Put it into practice”

– at Raleigh Orthopedic PT

This whole process reminds me of a basic discipleship principle. Head knowledge will only get us so far. I could learn it, memorize it, write it down, and even teach it to somebody else; but it takes hands-on guidance and literally running through the physical grind of exercise – together – for anything to stick.

This is what Kara has done. She has prepared me to take the next step (pun intended) on my own.

I plan to write about this again. The aquatic therapy, finding a gym, continuing to win.

“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

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