Walking normally.. no watermelon knee!

20 09 2011

[In other words: Fighting my rheumatoid arthritis update]

After more than one month from showing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, RA, and a about 4 weeks from being diagnosed with this disease, things are going much better. The swelling in the right knee and right ankle is almost disappeared, being the ankle more problematic. In fact, right ankle and foot showed swelling much longer than the knee. Even if at the beginning all the pain and swelling were in knee, with time they both moved south to the foot. Especially the swelling worried me big time (hey, the picture is little disgusting, no need to click it if you don’t want!):

6115630951_0dd6ab8397_zThe seminar with Dominique Rascle in Beijing was during the weekend that the first sign of joint inflammation presented and probably the common bouncing of knees on the mats during Aikido practice did not improve the situation.. but I was there, all changed in training clothes and ready, how could I say no to practice?

On a second thought, if it was not Beijing it would have been any other seminar or practice, maybe in some situation where it would have been more difficult to take care of it properly. Just imagine if it happened in Japan or during some other trips. Here, maybe doctors are not famous for their knowledge, but still thanks to great help from 潘蕾 and support from work for taking some free time to visit the hospital, things went well enough.

Combining modern and traditional medicine, the swelling disappeared together with the first terrible pain, especially at touching. Both modern and traditional doctor suggesting acupuncture and I have been visiting a tiny place not too far from the center. I am not sure what’s the real effect yet. But every session I also get a nice and strong massage, before the acupuncture. Too bad it cannot be! And I believe in acu’s effects! 😉 Even if probably they are slow to show, as any traditional medicine.. and I am quite impatient to be able to practice more often.

The challenge now is keep the worse part of the inflammation at bay. And see if the common knee contacts with the mats in Aikido can be acceptable for my body on the long run.

After the first practice weekend in ages, my knee and ankles haven’t changed shape (yet). No watermelon knee, not bread loaf looking ankle.. The right knee is a little painful at touch, so for today and the next days it is good to avoid more seiza or other activities involving setting the whole weight on the knees. But for the rest, I just felt the normal muscle ache due to inactivity: painful legs and buttocks for the falling and standing up again..

But last weekend practice in Shanghai was actually not very demanding: the club was preparing the graduation for Endo sensei seminar and one session was mainly weapons. Also I cut short the weekend: 2 sessions out of the possible 3. After long inactivity it would have been too stupid to force too much!

This coming weekend I’l’ be in Wuhan and it will be a completely different story: possibly three very active sessions. I’ll go for 2 on Saturday and then check my condition on Sunday. Certainly a good test.

I wish I could find a good cure or pain relief for this knee surface pain, the one at touch. The right (bad) knee is not warmer than the left one (less damaged, for now, still also a little painful) so there is no clear inflammation.

Anyway, talking in Shanghai with another Aikido friend that suffers also from RA (especially in the wrists, more than 10 years now), he gave me a good recommendation (that I read also on some pages, for chronic diseases like this one, that have no cure):

I must find what it works for me, trying different solution and then balance and chose, without being obliged to drastic change my life, that would also not solve the problem..

And with this spirit I have another couple of things in mind to test, especially for keeping the worse part of the pain away from the knees and being able to practice.

Anyway, for this week, at least another sauna is planned!



3 responses

26 09 2011

eeek! hope you’re feeling better! 🙂


27 04 2012

wow,, googled RA in knees ankels and hit urs,, WOW! i have had RA for 8 yrs now and seen bad swollen times likes urs,BUT NEVER,OMG NEVER that swollen,,jeeze,,its a wonder u didnt pop!,just kiddin, luv 2 U -hope all is well and under controll


13 11 2012
Drew Bradburn

Getting frequent muscle aches is common if you are doing some bodybuilding stuffs. If the pain is just too much, i just take some OTC pain killer.”

My own web site


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