Triple Whammy and an Exercise Check-In

Well, I’ve been meaning to do an exercise post for a while, but then yesterday happened, so I decided to put them together, since the two events are related.

In the ongoing saga of what to do about my knee — I won’t bore you too much with details, but it has been very frustrating. Insurance company refusing the gel shots, a stubborn doctor (IMO) who is mad at the insurance companies, spending time myself writing to “management agencies” only to find that no one is the boss of my insurance company… and then, the department that was making a custom brace for me. Well, I decided to call it a “series of unfortunate events” instead of being very mad at their incometency (I did try that, it didn’t really help the situation.)

ANYWAY, yesterday I had a follow-up appointment with the second set of doctors that I had been referred to. (If this isn’t enough of a saga, you can click here to read even more 🙂 ) I went in with a list of questions, and I left with:

  1. A steroid shot in my knee!
  2. a new prescription for meloxicam (supposed to be better than Aleve.)
  3. My new brace (I stopped by that department to see what the heck was going on, and lo and behold, they found my brace.)

Okay, can I just say that I am on the high hopes end of that “disintegration and hope” spectrum? The shot just stung a little going in, and I was waiting for it to really hurt about four hours later like they said might happen. Nothing. I can only describe it like I feel stronger.

I have DebraSY to thank for the meloxicam. Whenever anyone mentions joint pain/medication in the same sentence, I always quiz them. She said it had done wonders for her.

And, the brace, if I can figure out how to make it stay up, I know will make my knee feel more stable so that I can walk for longer distances, which I have been missing. So, about that staying up. Of course I googled the problem, and found that “brace migration” is the most common complaint. Okay, brace techs, could you have mentioned this? I have one pair of tight running or yoga pants, that seem to help. I am thinking that a knee sleeve might be the solution. If any of you have experience and suggestions for me, I’d love to hear from you.

As far as exercise goes, I am so happy with my “routine” right now. I put routine in quotes, because, as with the rest of my life, it is not quite as routine as others. But moving every day is a must. So on days that I can’t or won’t go to the gym, I make sure to take one longer walk (my longer walks are only about 1 1/2 miles nowadays) or if I feel bad, I take two shorter walks. And I try to remember to do my PT exercises. These exercises are really hard, and have me huffing and puffing, so I know they are of good benefit to me. I have a bad habit of waiting until after dinner to do them, so once in a while, I just forget. But I do them about 3X a week.

Then, at the gym–well, this is the thing I am most enthused about right now. As you know, I started walking in the pool on my birthday (December)–trying to make myself get in the pool in the winter. And I found that I really did enjoy it. That was partly because we had such a mild winter, I’m sure. As time went on, I found more challenging ways to jog, march, etc. in the pool. I could tell I was getting a really good workout.

My water shoes were just some cheapies that I found at Ross–more like ballet slippers. So last week when I went to the big city, I put water shoes on my wish list. I actually didn’t think I’d have time to look for them, because I had a couple of other stops to make. One of those was Costco. I was all done shopping, and was heading towards the checkout stand, and lo and behold, they had some water shoes on sale!! Wow, I can’t tell you what a difference these shoes have made–they’re made like running shoes, and I really feel like I am running in the water. And of course it feels so good to do challenging things with my legs and have no pain associated with it.

When I’m at the gym, I still usually get on the bike for at least 20 minutes, and then depending on the time I have, I will go upstairs and do some weights workouts for about 20 minutes.

As I usually say, there is always SOMETHING you can do. Legs don’t work? Sit in your chair and punch the air with your arms until you can’t punch any more. Do stretches. Do yoga. Do some core exercises on the ground. Its so important to keep your body moving in some way as you get older. Anne Lamott even wrote about it in her 61st birthday post!


17 thoughts on “Triple Whammy and an Exercise Check-In

  1. Excellent, I’m so glad you have found some new things to try! I truly hope one of them really makes a difference for your knee. And you are doing great with your “routine”, water exercise is such a good choice. I’ve been looking for somewhere to swim in total privacy for several years. (Because I just am unable to do that particular thing publicly.) At least it is spring and I should be back on the bike shortly.

    • Oh yeah. It took me over 20 years to get back in the water, and about 8 years after I lost the weight. I wear a unitard, and am very happy when its winter and I can wear my swim shirt. And then I have my “fixed, false belief” that I look okay 🙂 It helps that I go to a gym where at least 75% of the clientele are seniors.

  2. You know that stick to itself tape they use when you’ve had a blood draw? I used that on my dog to keep him from licking a wound. Wonder if that would help? Just wondering.

  3. Those water exercises sound really good. My doctor has recommended water stuff for me (no cartilage in my knee) and using bike and elliptical…but I still like walking best. Good luck with the shot and the knee brace.

    • So you can walk long distances with no cartilage in your knee–with no pain? You can see I’m still in the information-gathering stage!

  4. I’m so impressed with your water exercise. I was so glad when I got to leave the pool for dry land! Glad you got some better water shoes – I can imagine how much better they feel (and grip the bottom of the pool).

    Fingers (and toes) crossed that the shot and the rest help your knee immensely!

    • I think about you running and doing your intervals when I’m in the pool, and it inspires me to try a little harder, run a little longer!

      Going for a walk this morning to check out the brace!

  5. What a lot of trouble you had to go through with your knee -> dislike.

    I like it that you make the best of it with regards to exercise: you do what you can do. Lots of people that for example run and suddenly can’t don’t replace it with something they can do.

    And as for walking: walking is highly underestimated if you ask me. It’s really good for us.

    • We need a dislike button on our blogs and FB!

      Yes, I used to enjoy walking long distances. I have missed it, and am hoping to get back to it some.

  6. I think you’re doing absolutely fabulous figuring out how to get your body moving – and I’m with you, we need to move a little bit most days. I have a newfound love of walking myself. I’ve been trying to get out for a few minutes (I dont’ even care if it’s only 15 minutes) on the days we are having nice weather. I think in the back of my mind I’ve always known that as I aged my running would give way to walking and I see that happening.

    Interesting about meloxicam – that’s the drug the back doctor gave me but I didn’t feel it helped. I’ve been on Indomethacin because of my thumbs and it seems to help my back isssue too. I hate taking pills and know I’ve got to get to the ortho. I should give Mr. Helen the meloxicam and see if it helps relieve his knee pain until they can figure out what is going on in his knee that he had surgery on 7 years ago (MRI next week).

    • That’s interesting about the meloxicam. When I told my brother, he said he had the same drug for his back. He wasn’t convinced that it worked that well either. That’s interesting about the indomethacin helping your thumbs and your back. I’ve been going nuts trying to think about where I knew that drug from. We used to give it to the babies to try to close an open duct in their heart! How about that? Weird how medicine can work in different ways.

  7. John uses a Tommy Copper brace (won in a giveaway on Helen’s blog) and he says it makes a difference for him with his arthritic knee. Maybe that would help keep your brace up?

    • Ha! I got those a couple of years ago on my brother’s recommendation. I didn’t think they helped me, so I gave them to him. Now I wish I had them back!

  8. (I printed the A.Lamott piece and it’s taped to my office wall)
    we all need a slathering of your attitude as well because I KNOW that knee shot much have HURT!!

  9. I hope the meloxicam helps you! I took it for knee pain a few years ago and I ended up having a reaction to it. So pay attention to the side effects, etc. Silly enough, it took me like 2 weeks to realize I was having a reaction to it. Sheesh!

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