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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

My hips don’t lie.

On Monday, at the ripe old age of 28, I found out that I have a degenerative arthritis in my right hip. YUCK!

This diagnosis came from a long and winding road of doctor’s appointments, which started out 3 months ago to initially look into some facial twitching, fatigue and headaches I was having.

After seeing my general doctor I was referred to a neurologist and later a rheumatologist who over time each subjected me to a combination of blood tests, a brain MRI, a head & neck MRA and X-rays to my knees and hip.

In the end, the MRI & MRA were both clear, and I had some irregular blood tests that were investigated but eventually they ruled out Lupus, MS and other autoimmune diseases. Lastly, they looked into my joint pain and found some early degeneration in my right hip. Uh oh. So now I write this entry still with my twitchy eye & unexplained headaches but with the addition of a bum hip! Hmmm. Not the outcome I had hoped for, but I can definitely deal with it.

So in terms of what I need to do about the arthritis, I really need to just start moving. I’m in the most pain when I sit still for long periods of time, which makes it hard when I sit at a desk for 10 hours a day. Really what it comes down to is that I need to exercise and make my muscles stronger around the area in a low/no impact way. My doctor said that running outside or on a treadmill is OUT (phew! I hate running), and that an elliptical is OK, a bike is much better and that swimming is the best. But can I really bring myself to join the blue hairs at the Y for water aerobics??

Maybe so! Because today, the strangest things happened to me. And old high school friend befriended me on Facebook. (ok, I know that part is not so weird, but hear me out.) Her name is Kim. She just joined the behemoth social networking site today and of all things just happens to read my latest facebook update which read: “Stephanie has a degenerative hip at the age of 28... anyone want to join me for some water aerobics?”

She replies to it saying, “join the club...“ and inserts this link.

Intrigued, I click on the article to find a story about water exercise with who else but 28-year-old KIM quoted all over the place. She too has arthritis and is doing water aerobics despite the senior citizen stereotype! And she says it kicks her butt! What are the odds that a long lost high school friend will be quoted in the St. Louis Post Dispatch about arthritis & water aerobics, just days before I get diagnosed with hip arthritis, then finds me on facebook that very same week and shares it with me??

Too bad I do not live in STL or else I would join her class! But nonetheless, she and this article have inspired me to get over my initial thoughts about water exercise and start investigating Chicago classes I can take.

Long story, well L-O-N-G, I hope to take my new found challenge of having arthritis at a young age in stride and to find new inspiration to become more active. Even if it involves a swim cap and making friends a few decades older than me ;-) .


Jennelle June 4, 2009 at 6:14 AM  

I read that article the other day! How funny! I'm thinking about taking a swimming class through the Y. I can't swim. :(

Angie June 4, 2009 at 8:14 AM  

That sucks Steph! I blog about the craziness of FB and this ranks right up there! How cool that you guys have that in common. I really hope they figure out what's causing the headaches and twitching, that can't be fun.

LC June 4, 2009 at 9:07 AM  

Wow...I am so sorry to hear about your hip (and especially the eye twitch and annoying). I think it is awesome that your friend found you and shared the article with you. That was definitely fate or something. Keep us posted with the classes. I love the picture that you posted at the end ;)

Coree June 4, 2009 at 9:40 AM  

I am sorry to hear that. I am sure it will get better with the swimmning though. What an interesting turn of events. Who knew Facebook would actually help you out!?

Lisa June 4, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

Wow! I'm so sorry about the news, but so happy for you that your maintaining such a positive outlook about living and dealing with it on a daily basis. And, I love stories like this, with your friend Kim popping into your life when you really need it. It really does make you feel at peace that there is someone out there watching out for you, doesn't it??

Mary June 4, 2009 at 10:57 AM  

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that you have arthritis:( I just hate the fact that our lifestyles of having to be chained to a desk for work for hours on end leads to so many health problems. It sounds like you are keeping a positive attitude, though. I love to swim, but have not tried water aerobics. I think it would probably be a good workout!

Colleen MacDonald June 4, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

Oh NO! What a hardship to have hip problems. Although I AM glad that it isn't lupus, MS, or anything scary like that. I did water aerobics when I was in my last trimester of pregnancy, and it was GREAT! I loved the old people, and you can really make the workout harder or easier, as you need. You might approach the instructor about your hip so she/he can tailor some moves for you. I'm sure that she/he will be thrilled to have a younger person in the class!

Anonymous June 4, 2009 at 7:11 PM  

Aww that sucks!


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I'm a St. Louis native, but I have been living in Chicago since 2005 and am loving every windy minute of it. I enjoy cooking (more-so eating), home decorating and really anything creative. I'm a supporter of DIY & handmade goods, a fledgling foodie and a connoisseur of kitsch. I spend my days filling online shopping carts, emptying them and repeating the process all over again. Most of all I love spending time with my husband, Dave, our first child, Claire and my dog, Louie.

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