Senior Adapting to Osteoarthritis
It has taken awhile, but 75-year-old "Sally" has adapted to having osteoarthritis. She has been a widow many years and doesn't want her real name published. A doctor diagnosed her with osteoarthritis about ten years ago.
In a telephone interview, she said, "I don't perceive myself as having problems getting around and yet at the same time I know I do. I began having difficulty getting around at age 70 and have slowed down quite a bit since."
According to a National Institutes of Health website, osteoarthritis is "a joint disease that mostly affects cartilage." Cartilage helps a person absorb the shock of movement (similar to a shock absorber in a car) and when cartilage wears away, the bones underneath it rub together. That rubbing can cause swelling, pain, and loss of motion in a joint.
Sally has adapted well. "For example, I have a toilet riser to help me get up off the seat," she said. "To get up and down any steps, I need a railing, preferably on both sides. When I go out in winter weather, when there is ice, I wear special shoes for traction. And in the winter, I don't go outside without my cane."
In addition, every winter she lays down a string of wooden pallets between her back door and garage to create a level surface that helps make walking to her vehicle safer. Already thinking ahead to a day when unable to climb steps to her second floor, she has plans to move her bedroom downstairs.
As for adapting, she said, "I take the abilities I have right now and go with what I have. I'm not concerned about the things I can't do anymore. I'm just learning to live with what I have. But what's my choice? I believe it's better to be over the hill than under it."
She has thought about having knee replacement surgery, but fears the pain she would experience in rehabilitation and dreads the thought of the joints not lasting long. Compounding her problems has been recently diagnosed diabetes. With it, she has been told to exercise more, and yet can't because of her aching knees and winter weather. Outside winter, she does short walks and yard work.
She advised people with osteoarthritis to live within their limitations, and added, "I could just curl up and die, but I won't."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesCalifornia Fire Death Toll Hits 41California Fire Updates 2017: In the past week, over 245,000 acres have burned across California. More than 11,000 firefighters continue making progress on 12 large wildfires burning in the State
Volkswagen unveils versatile new GolfRoseville, CA,- The all-new 2017 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Volkswagen has attempted to build the Alltrack with some enviable features that give it the versatility that appeals to people who enjoy staying active.
Roseville Gas Prices Continue DroppingRoseville, CA, - More good news for Roseville area motorists as gas prices continue to move lower. The cooler weather is moving in and autumn weekday road trips are idyllic
31 Confirmed Dead in California Wildfire DevastationCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: The death toll has risen to 31 across 4 fires as estimates remain that 3,500 homes and other structures have been destroyed
Placer Women's Retreat in Roseville on November 4thRoseville, CA- The Placer Women's Retreat will take place at the Falls Event Center in Roseville on November 4, 2017.
Sacramento Area Council of Governments UpdatesThe Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) is pleased to announce Christina Lokke as its new Policy Manager and the promotion of Erik Johnson to Director
Spookomotive Trains to Treat Old Sacramento VisitorsSACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Back by popular demand, California State Parks and the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation will once again offer engaging and entertaining "Spookomotive"
Disney's Beauty and the Beast set for Harris CenterEl Dorado Musical Theatre is proud to present Disney's Beauty and the Beast which will run October 27 - November 5, 2017 at the Harris Center
Sutter Health Employees Make A Difference with Local Food Bank DonationsAUBURN - Sutter Health employees donated more than 3,350 pounds of non-perishable items to seven food banks as part of the hospital's month-long campaign
Placer County Air Quality Advisory Due to WildfiresThe Placer County Public Health Officer and Placer County Air Pollution Control Officer issued a joint air quality advisory to notify the public of the potential of poor air quality conditions
Children's Hope Charity Golf Tournament in RosevilleRoseville, CA - Children's Hope Foster Family Agency will hold it's First Annual Putting for Foster Kids Golf Tournament in Roseville on October 21, 2017 at Woodcreek Golf Club.
Roseville Incentives Hope to Lure Amazon HeadquartersRoseville, CA - Roseville is making a pitch to bring a second Amazon headquarters and its 50,000 jobs here.