Thursday, January 25, 2007


In the book "Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge", a series of letters between two women friends, one woman keeps referring to her "little affliction". She made it sound somewhat mysterious but not life threatening. She never actually came out and named her malady but it was enough to sideline her every now and then.

I too, have a little affliction. For several years now I've had a mysterious "condition" in which I develop severe joint pain. I've been tested, but all my doctor can tell me is what I don't have: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, carpal tunnel syndrome. That's a pretty impressive list of diseases not to have, so I shouldn't complain, but still, I keep having these episodes of excruciating pain. Usually late in the evening, both wrists start to ache unbearably, or a knee, or an ankle, or an elbow. By morning, the worst of the pain is usually gone and I can function. This might occur 10 times a year.

My doctor once dubbed it "Traveling Neuralgia". Oh, I said, "a diagnosis at last!" No, he replied, that's just a description. I, personally feel I have a mild case of lupus. They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and that might be right, but I really can claim a great many of the symptoms shown on the lupus websites. Then too, was the strange kidney "infection" that wasn't an infection but waylaid me for a week. And most telling, in my mind, is that one day I displayed the classic butterfly rash across the nose, the distinctive marker for lupus. That was on a Saturday when I was home alone and didn't feel like rushing to the clinic just for that. So no one was witness to "The Butterfly Effect." I wish I had taken a photo.

Last night, as I lay in bed, I could feel the old insidious pain creep in, this time into the back of my left knee. By morning, I literally couldn't stand on my left leg. But I pushed myself through the pain, and by the time I left the house I felt much better. However, every time I stood up at work today, I felt the same knife slash to the back of my knee. I had to lean on my desk and put my weight on my right leg or I would have fallen down (garnering myself a lot of sympathy from my co-workers in the process).I am taking Celebrex, and I expect to get through this latest episode just fine.

But I can't help but think that my body is betraying me. I'm usually so healthy, never even getting a cold (knock, knock) when everyone else in the office is barking away with colds, sore throats, bronchitis, walking pneumonia, you name it. I hardly ever take a sick day. I'm used to moving quickly and doing what I want when I want to do it. Is this the beginning of the end of my well being? I'm not READY to surrender to ill health and incapacity. If this is what old age is like, I refuse to accept it.

Clearly, I need to do something, and do it now, whether it be yoga, walking, getting massages, or a combination of all. But, "I don't believe in chiropractic!"

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