Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It Hurt

Yes, I saw that eye roll. Yes, it hurt.

We were standing on the field watching the other parents refuse to step up and help when the coach wasn't able to make it to the game. It hurt to have to say no, it hurt even more to see your eye roll when I gave the reason why.

Many people think osteoarthritis is just a few aches. That eye roll told me you are one of them.

It's not just a few aches, it's really not. If you knew me and knew how athletic I am, or I guess how athletic I used to be, you'd understand how much it kills me to have to say no. It breaks my heart to stand on the sidelines. Even as an adult I played basketball, ultimate frisbee, soccer (indoor and outdoor), and flag football. Even after having kids I ran, I took zumba classes, went to bootcamp, and took yoga. All of those things are no more and it hurts.

My osteoarthritis is in my ankles and my neck. Two very uncommon locations and it's happening in my 30's which is also very uncommon. I struck out twice.

The eye roll you gave me is because you don't understand that every single step I take hurts. Not just a little, it hurts like two bones grinding together with all my weight on top of it, because that's exactly what's happening. My right hurts more than my left, it hurts even when I'm not standing on it. It's my right ankle that gets 'stuck' and makes me walk like I have a cast on. I have lost so much mobility in it that I can't rotate it, balance on it, or sit cross legged. I can no longer wear any of the heels I have in my closet because trying to put my ankle in the position needed to stand in a heel makes me feel like I'm standing on a broken ankle. About twice a year I will attempt to wear a heel for a special occasion. Every moment is torture and I'm usually full of prescription drugs to get through it.

Your eye roll also tells me you have no idea how the osteoarthritis in my neck affects my health more than my ankles do. I have 10 appointments a month with various health practitioners, all of which are trying to help solely with my neck issues. My osteoarthritis in my neck causes disc problems and leads to headaches. Sometimes they are dull throbbing headaches and sometimes they make me want to throw up, or lay down and pass out. I can't function. I'll take 6-12 extra strength Tylenol plus 2-3 anti-inflammatories to get through the day. These days depress me more than I can say. It's one thing to have to say no to running up and down a for an hour, it's another when you're unsure if you can drive to pick your kids up from school because holding your head upright makes you want to cry and vomit at the same time.

All my life I was known as a feisty tomboy, aggressive in sports, athletic, and as someone who would push through the pain. That is no longer the case. I can't push through the pain because now it leads to more pain, more complications and more depression. I have an 'old person' disease that started about 6 years ago and I ignored because it didn't fit my lifestyle. It's a mental struggle and your eye roll (or the one person that called me a princess) does nothing to help my mental state.

I'm sorry. I really am sorry that I can't run up and down a lumpy, grassy field. I would give pretty much anything to be able to do that, and to be that person again. Maybe next time you can just seek to learn why before you judge because it hurt, it really hurt.