Etta James sang a song on the Argo label entitled “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” and the beginning words were this….”something’s got a hold on me, Lord it must be love”. Well, something’s got a hold on me and I know it’s not love. These are aches and pains, creeks and cracks, and outright misery. I am told it is Arthur, arthritis, and it has been bothering me for a while. As it is said in my area……Arthur? Yeah, I know him well.
For a long, long time I suffered from slight (minor) knee, finger and toe pain. At first I did not know it was arthritis and wouldn’t believe it because I was so young. I was very ignorant to arthritis and didn’t know all the facts. I did not know young people had arthritis also. I did not know there are over a hundred types of arthritis and that number is growing. I remember my mother always saying to stay out of prolonged dampness, cold, etc. because it caused arthritis. I can’t say that is the cause but it certainly could be.
I am ex-military. I retired from the U.S. Air Force in which I had spent many years in K-9. I cannot count the number of times I have stood in rain, sleet, snow, freezing cold weather with my fingers and toes stiff with coldness. I have gone off duty and my skin would be wrinkled because it was so damp. I would be so cold that for a long time I could not stop shivering.
The top two types of arthritis are Osteoarthritis (wear and tear of cartilage) and Rheumatoid (inflammation caused by an overactive immune system) and that is only the beginning. There are over a hundred different types and counting. With arthritis meaning inflammation of one or more joints, I guess I still have a ways to go to include the rest of my joints.
Most of my joints ache and my knees will also swell. I have tried everything with nothing helping. I just had to revert back to acting the way I did growing up and the way we all acted in the military. That way is to disregard the slight pain, the discomfort and simply keep moving. It is the hard way and only way because I haven’t found anything to help. I went to the doctor and he gave me pill after pill and still nothing helps. The doctor even operated on my right knee, cleaning out stuff and trimming the cartilage. About six months later I was back to the same old way I was before the operation. All the doctor did was to tell me it would get better over time or he could replace the joint.
I have stopped taking the pills and the over the counter medications. Why spend money on something that does not work when all I have to do is disregard the problem and move on. I have found that most aches and pains can be controlled by the mind. What I mean by that is to say aches and pains can be shoved to the back of your mind and tolerated. Excruciating pain is another story and a doctor should be consulted immediately. Those types of pains should not be put on a back burner, even if you can.
Some medications help some people and some operations help some people. I just seem to be one of those people that medication and operations have no effect. I’m just lucky it hasn’t made things worst. People today seem as though they can’t tolerate much of anything. They aren’t as tough as us old school guys but arthritis does not care about that either.