All about bowlegs, arthritis, pain managment….



How to Stay Hopeful

Do you remember being excited as a child when your birthday was near?

Many of us still get excited as adults when our birthday approaches. I know I do! I absolutely love getting older. Each new year is a blessing. Birthdays are special. It is a day full of anticipation and excitement.

You daydreamed about the amazing party planned just for you and all the wonderful gifts received. You had hope. You hoped your special day was magical. You hoped your day was fun. You hoped your day was exciting.

Sadly, what many experience as a result of chronic pain or chronic illness (arthritis, MS, lupus, cancer, and fibromyalgia) is the opposite of that excitement and joy one feels about birthdays. Countless doctor’s visits, pain pills, infusion treatments, chemotherapy, etc and the pain does not improve or it actually gets worse takes a toll. You watch helplessly as the life you once enjoyed evaporates into nothingness. No joy, no fun, no excitement, just pain. Life takes on a feeling of emptiness that engulfs everything. When you smile or laugh or are outwardly enjoying yourself that feeling of emptiness lurks in the shadows threatening to eat your soul. That feeling is hopelessness.

Nothing seems to work. There is no improvement. There is no cure. There is no excitement about life. There is a never-ending cycle of appointments, pills and of course pain. The pain is the worst. It gnaws at you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is no escape from it.

Hopelessness is a dangerous state. It dampens and darkens everything. The sun doesn’t shine as brightly, colors aren’t as bright as they once were and even your face changes under the weight that constant pain causes. Hopelessness can lead to depression. It can lead to prescription pain-killer dependency (drug addiction) and even more heart ache and pain.

However, even when we are in the throes of pain, we have a choice. We can consciously choose life. We can consciously choose joy. We can consciously choose hope.

Choosing joy, hope and your life are not easy tasks when in pain every day, but it is possible. You choose joy, hope and life by:

1. Staying present – Don’t mentally, emotionally or spiritually check out of your own life. When we check out, we take on an ‘it doesn’t matter attitude’ about our own life. It does matter. Your pain matters, your life matters and you matter. Stay vested in your physical, emotional, and spiritual care.

a. Continue to see your doctor – Changes happen every day in the medical field. Ask your physician about new medical treatments and what you can do to improve your day-to-day life. However, slight the improvement is, any improvement is better than no improvement. Honestly we all want to be pain-free and hope that life goes back to what it used to be. Chances are that will not happen. Time doesn’t travel backwards. Create a new reality. Life is not the same but it can still be great.

b. Take notes when the doctor talks – Research everything the doctor talks about in your visit. Doctors are human. As unbiased as they are trained to be, they are still biased to some degree. It’s human nature. I learned doctors give better care when they know you care about you! Ask questions in a respectful way. Create an open dialogue. Communication is key. If you are physically or mentally unable to do this, always have a medical advocate with you. You want the best care? Be a vested patient.

c. Be grateful – If you recognize that you are in less pain today than on yesterday, be grateful for less pain. Yes, we all want to be pain-free but honestly that is not always possible. Learn to be grateful. Say ‘thank you’ for something every day. Gratitude heightens your spiritual awareness and connection and it makes you feel better emotionally and physically. Pray, mediate and pray some more to help you stay connected to you and your higher power.

Romans 5:1-5New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b]boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

2. Be optimistic – Is the glass half empty or half full? If you are alive the glass is half full. Pain makes you feel empty sometimes. Make a conscious decision to view life optimistically. Optimism changes the course of your day and ultimately your life.

3. Don’t play the role of victim – Playing the role of a victim essentially means taking on a ‘woe is me’ mentally. This means life happens to you and you are a victim of life circumstances. While it is true we cannot control what happens in life, we can choose how we respond to what happens in life. You can be a victim or a victor. The choice is yours.

Remaking hopeful in the middle of trials, illness, and pain is all about the choices we make day in and day out. Yes, you will have sad moments and sometimes sad days but you don’t have to stay down. Life is at times difficult. It is your choice to be hopeful or hopeless.

Choose HOPE!

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


Managing Total Knee Replacement Fear

Regardless of how many people I speak to and regardless of how we communicate (in person, via phone, through e-mail or on social media), there is one topic that comes up over and over. The one thing that resonates with people before and after total knee replacement is fear. Fear is not reserved for children or babies. It happens to EVERYONE!

Fear is an illusion because we create it within ourselves. However that illusion is so real that it causes a psychological and physiological response. Fear causes sweating, physical pain such as headache or stomach ache, sleeplessness, nervousness, anxiety and panic.

The acronym for fear is
False evidence appearing real. Fear may be an illusion but the response it creates is real.

Before total knee replacement

1. There are fears about the actual surgery. Every surgery has risks. These risks often keep people living in pain because they are afraid of the risks that total knee replacement or any other surgery carries.

2. There are fears about the pain. Questions loom. How much pain will I be in? How long with the pain last?

3. There are fears about physical therapy (PT). Will I need PT? How long will I need PT? Will PT hurt? This question is a big one because it leads you back to question two about pain and starts an endless cycle of questions and fears related to pain.

After the surgery

1. There are fears about complications related to surgery. Again every surgery especially those on the extremities (arms and legs) carry a risk of blood clots. So you question, do I live in pain every day or do I take the risk? (That is a calculated risk that is best for you and your surgeon to discuss).

2. There are again fears about pain. Will this pain ever end? How long does it take for the pain to get better?

3. There are fears about caring for yourself. When can I drive? When can I take care of myself? How long will I need a walker or cane?

Regardless of whether it’s before surgery or after, most people experience some level of fear. Fear is a normal part of the process. In fact fear is a normal part of life. Everyone experiences fear to some extent or another. Fear does not go away. No one is exempt from fear. Left unchecked fear can dominate your life and stop you from experiencing life at its best. Fear stops people every day from making decisions that benefit them. Fear stops people from flying on airplanes even through air travel is safer than driving. Fear stops people from committing in relationships. Fear stops people from changing careers or jobs. Fear stops people from having total knee replacement when they so desperately need it.

The thoughts about things that may possibly happen or unanswered questions cause people to stand still. They become stuck in a state of indecision.

Unfortunately, we can’t get rid of fear but we can learn to manage it. Managing fear is about learning to stand in your own power and trusting that you are capable of making the best decisions for you.

Steps to manage fear about surgery

1. Change your vocabulary – words have power. Use words that empower and uplift you instead of shrinking you. Stop making statements such as, ‘this is terrible’. If you say that, your brain interprets everything as terrible regardless of where or not it actually is. Stop asking “what if” questions. “What if” questions ask unanswerable questions about future events that have not occurred (Ex. What if I am in a lot of pain after surgery). As such you cannot possibly know the answer. These questions only terrorize you and keep you stuck in a state of indecision.

2. Re-frame fear as curiosity – instead of dreading total knee replacement get excited about living a pain free life that is the end result of total knee replacement. Expect a positive outcome. Being positive has an emotional impact and a physical one.

3. Trust
a. Trust the process. Trust that you have everything you need to have a successful outcome. (Great doctors, great home care, a great physical therapist and a great mindset). A great mindset is one that says I can achieve anything I set my mind to even when you feel like you physically cannot go further.
b. Trust god’s plan for your life and that god will provide whatever you need
c. Trust that resources are available to you in every situation

4. Take responsibility for your life – stop allowing other people to make decisions for you. You give your power away when you make your happiness, success or decisions contingent upon what someone else does or doesn’t do. Stop listening to other people’s horror stories. Second and third-hand stories are usually just that….stories filled with unintentional half truths and inaccuracies. Take responsibility for yourself by making the best decision for you based on your health, pain level and options available to you.

5. The last step to managing fear is breathe. Breathing creates clarity. In that moment of clarity fear subsides just long enough for you to act. When you are able to think clearly, you are able to make sound decisions.

Managing fear takes continuous practice. It is not something you can do once and forget about it. However, with enough practice managing fear becomes second natural. When it becomes second nature, you are able to manage fear in any area of your life.

Don’t allow fear to rob you of the life you deserve!

Live Joyfully
Kimberly
Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


Rejoice

Today’s post isn’t about arthritis or pain per say. It is more about a state of mind.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Over the last few days this scripture keeps playing in my mind.

On last Saturday morning I met some of my accountability partners for a walk. The weather here in NC was pleasant most of the winter. Actually, we really haven’t had a winter. Recently the temperature reaches 70 degrees most days. However as fate would have it, it was cold Saturday morning. It was very cold to us thin blooded southerners. But the sky was beautiful. It was clear and that brilliant blue you only get in NC (I might be a little impartial. I love NC).

When I stepped out of my car something rose up in me. It wasn’t my usual joy but something deeper, something stronger. Something on the inside moved. The cold didn’t affect me or the other walkers. We started the walk in prayer. I looked towards the sky as we walked and prayed and walked and prayed. The spirit of God was on us. My spirit rejoiced as we walked in prayer. I was glad for this day. I was glad to be alive. I was glad to be in nature. I was glad to be outside walking regardless of the temperature. I was glad to share this time with friends and accountability partners.

Rejoice means to feel great joy or delight, to be glad.

Most of us plan our day and many of plan our life. As a chronic pain suffer whether the pain comes from arthritis or other chronic illness such as MS, lupus or cancer, it is nearly impossible to make concrete plans because your life is on a roller coaster. From one day to the next day, you never know what to expect. You make plans but they get cancelled when you are in too much pain to engage in activities or simply don’t feel well. It is hard sometimes but even in these moments we must rejoice.

Essentially this scripture tells us to find great joy and delight in God and in life no matter what. Everyone experiences different seasons in life. This scripture tells us to find joy and peace in each and every day because this day was created for you. God already knows what this day holds for you and walks with you throughout it. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not promised but in this moment in this day you are alive. That alone is enough reason to be glad.

Learning to rejoice in life when I was at the height of my pain was difficult. I learned how to do it by appreciating every day. I realized that no matter how seemingly bad the day was, it could always be worse. Many days I was in so much pain that I could barely walk, but I could still walk. I thought about people who are wheelchair bound and wish they could take one step. How could I complain about walking regardless of the pain involved? I was thankful for every step I took.

Life hits us with unexpected and sometimes tragic events. Just remember that

1. It could be worse.
2. Life happens ‘for’ you and not ‘to’ you. You have to look for the lesson that will strengthen you.
3. God is always present and on your side even when you don’t see it.

Learn to rejoice and be glad in every season of your life.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
― Bil Keane

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


Alternative Pain Management

When we think of pain management, most people think of doctors or a pain management clinic. These are great sources of pain management but there are countless other ways to manage pain.
Pain Management is actually a medical approach that draws on disciplines in science and alternative healing to study the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of pain.
Many forms of alternative medicine treat beyond the physical sensation of pain. They release negative energy, stress, and tension and allow the body to naturally reduce pain.

Some forms of alternative medicine include:

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of plants to provide pain relief. It is only natural that aromatherapy would decrease pain. Every movement (voluntary and involuntary), sensation (pain), smell, taste, etc. originate in the brain. Smelling essential oils effectively change your perception of pain. Essential oils are even effective at treating pain when applied topically.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy is the manipulation of muscles, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. This manipulation promotes health and well-being by assisting the body’s ability to release toxins stored in muscles. It has many applications and techniques. Massage therapy uses include cancer patients, pregnancy and chronic pain suffers. Massage also is relaxing and reduces stress.

Woman in a day spa getting a deep tissue massage therapy

Acupuncture ‘

Studies confirm that acupuncture is effective in treating pain. This method of alternative pain management existed for at least 2,000. It is of Chinese origin and involves the insertion of tiny needles into the skin. It is beneficial for back and neck pain, knee pain and headaches.

Chiropractic care

Chiropractic care uses non-surgical techniques and manipulations to reduce chronic pain. Chiropractic care makes adjustments in the spine through a variety of techniques. Correcting the body’s alignment is thought to relieve pain and improve function. This helps the body to heal itself. It is used for back pain, headaches, asthma, neck pain, and whiplash.

Yoga

Yoga uses controlled breathing, meditation and movement to stretch and strengthen muscles. Yoga use for pain is quite popular. People with arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraines, lower back pain, etc. use yoga. A weekly class typically increases mobility, improves mood and promotes psychological well-being.

Young woman practicing yoga in the park.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi improves balance, coordination, flexibility, strength and stamina. It is a mind-body exercise that uses slow-motion, controlled breathing, meditation and movement to strengthen and stretch tight muscles. Tai Chi is thought to reduce stress and anxiety which help relieve pain.
Hypnotherapy – uses relaxation techniques to alter your awareness. This approach decreases pain by first reducing the anxiety that pain causes.

Reiki

Reiki is of Japanese origin. It is made of two the Japanese word Rei which means “the wisdom of God or Higher Power” and Ki which means “life force energy”. This form of alternative medicine was developed in 1922. It is practiced in varying cultures across the world. This technique aids the body in releasing stress and tension by creating deep relaxation. Reiki is thought to promote healing and overall health.

There are many forms of alternative pain management. Some forms work better for some people than others. The key is to keep searching until you find one that works for you. It is not a one size fits all. However, I used many forms for pain management prior to bi-lateral knee replacement. In fact I enjoyed them so much that I continue to use aromatherapy, chiropractic care, yoga, and massage therapy as part of my self-care routine. Taking care of our physical, mental and spiritual needs are a top priority.
Many of these practices reduce stress and anxiety. Ongoing arthritis pain is a tremendous burden which creates stress in all areas of your life. Reducing stress reduces physical, emotional and psychological pain. Using alternative pain management offers many benefits that extend far beyond the physical.

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


Benefits of Essential Oil Use (repost)
What Are Essential Oils

Peppermint Plant

Essential oils are natural aromatic liquids derived from plants such as shrubs, trees, flowers and seeds. They are often distilled by steam or water from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots or other parts of the plant. The aroma is highly concentrated so very little is needed. They are highly volatile which means that they evaporate easily and quickly leaving their fragrance in the air. A plants essential oil can have protectant or attractive properties for the plant.  As a protectant, it provides protection from disease and predators or the oil aroma can attract insects or animals for whatever purpose they serve that particular plant. Essential oils are powerful and serve many purposes. Each one has unique properties.

Essential oils are different from fragrance oils. Essential oils contain the true plant compounds. Fragrance oils are made from a variety of substances (chemicals) but not plant compounds. Therefore, fragrance oils do not have the same therapeutic properties that essential oils do.

Uses

According to youngliving.com there are more than 200 references to essential oils in the Bible. They were aromatics, incents, and ointments for anointing and healing.  Today essential oils are for aromatherapy (use of essential oils for healing), massage therapy, emotional wellness, personal care, household solutions and nutritional supplements. Its use as alternative medicine is gaining popularity as people seek to increase the control of their physical and mental well-being and decrease their reliance on pharmaceuticals.

Essential oils offer pain relief and treat ailments such as:

  • Abscesses
  • Acne
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Arthritis pain
  • Asthma
  • Bad breath
  • Blisters
  • Boils
  • Bronchitis
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Circulation problems
  • Cold sores
  • Coughs
  • Fatigue
  • Flu
  • Insect bites
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Sinusitis
  • Swelling
  • toothache

Some arthritis suffers experience pain relief by essential oil use on stiff achy joints.  Essential oils good for arthritis pain include:

  • Chamomile (Roman & German)*

    Eucalyptus

  • Lavender*
  • Lemon
  • Lemongrass*
  • Peppermint*
  • Calendula
  • Eucalyptus*
  • Cedarwood
  • Sandalwood
  • Black Pepper
  • Rosemary*
  • Tea tree*

Rosemary

This is not an all-inclusive list.  These oils work because they are stimulating, invigorating, relaxing or warming.  Increased blood flow decreases inflammation, thereby decreasing pain and stiffness.  Increased blood flow promotes quicker healing of cuts, blisters and other wounds as well.

(*denotes oils I have personally used for arthritis pain relief)

Application

The benefits of essential oils derive from inhaling the aroma, adding to bath or applying them to skin or hair.  When applying to skin it is best to use with a carrier oil such as olive, sweet almond, sesame or grape seed oil (or whatever oil best suits your purposes.  Just like essential oils, carrier oils give specific benefits for skin and hair).

Availability

Essential oils are widely available.  They are available online through many retailers such as Mountain Rose Herbs and locally through Whole Foods, Earth Fare or local co-ops such as Deep Roots Market (Greensboro, NC).   I use these sources because the plants are organically grown.  For bulk purchases I buy online otherwise I buy locally.

Prices vary depending on the rarity of the plant source.  Most are very inexpensive (as little as $5.00 for .5 oz.  Keep in mind that a little goes a

Tea Tree

long way).

For more information on essential oils see:

http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/wellness/about-essential-oils/

http://www.aromaweb.com/articles/whatare.asp

or to buy

http://www.deeprootsmarket.coop/

http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/index2.html

 

See tomorrow’s post for more specific uses of Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Tea tree essential oils as well as pain relief recipes.

 

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


How Do you Really Feel?

Angry Businessperson
© Dana Bartekoske Heinemann | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Has anyone ever asked you, “How are you?” and without any thought you simply reply, “I’m good” or “I’m fine”. We go this dance of sorts often times not really meaning the question or the answer.

Unfortunately, we often do the same thing with our emotions. We don’t name or find the real emotion we feel. We blanket our feelings with anger or madness when that is not what we really feel. Anger is used to mask the true underlying emotion. The true feelings or emotions are never given life so they fester. They never get resolved because you never acknowledged what you truly felt.

What is the real emotion or feeling?

Are you disappointed?
Are you sad?
Are you lonely?
Are you hurt?
Are you afraid?

These are just a few of the emotions that get masked as anger. There are vast array of emotions that we are entitled to feel as humans. We do ourselves a huge injustice when don’t give ourselves permission to express our true feelings. (Note, expressing your feeling does not give you the permission or right to act on those feelings).

The next time you feel yourself getting angry or mad, ask yourself what is it that I really feel. Granted it, you might just be mad over a situation but it is quite possible that you feel something quite different.

Giving yourself permission to experience your true feeling is liberating. Being honest with yourself eventually allows you to be more honest with others. We all want others to be more honest with us but to experience true honesty you must first learn to be honest with yourself. Giving your true emotions and feeling a voice validates the emotion and you!

Live Joyfully

Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


Utilize Your Resources

Lake and Mountains © Creativecommonsstockphotos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The definition of resource is “a stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively”.

Do you use the resources that are available to you as an arthritis patient or a chronic pain suffer to function more effectively and have less pain?

When most of us thing of resources, we think of natural resources such as water, forests or fossil fuels that we use every day. We don’t necessarily think about them. We just know that when we need to wash our hands, we go to the sink and wash our hands. We know that water comes from the sink on demand. We use water to clean our hands without thinking of it as a resource. But water is a resource. There are many resources that are not natural resources that we don’t think of every day.

As patients there are other resources available to us that we don’t always use.

Those resources include:

4. Reliable family and friends

I use the word reliable because we must be careful who we choose as our adviser. Not everyone in your circle should be your confidant or adviser. However, reliable family and friends are a great resource. If you know they have direct knowledge, and will give correct and beneficial information, they are a great resource.

People with first-hand experience might have valuable information. They have personal knowledge of what you might experience. They are often able to support you in a way that someone else is not equipped to do.

Don’t ask negative people for advice. They won’t encourage you simply because they can’t. The old saying that misery loves company is often true. People who view the glass as half empty have a difficult time encouraging others. Not because they are bad people but rather because of their mindset. If they instantly see the bad in their situations, it is highly doubtful they are capable of seeing the positive in your situation.

3. Support groups

Support groups are an excellent resource as well. Being with others who share the same or a similar story is comforting to many. Sometimes as much as family and friends want to empathize and sympathize with you, they simply can’t because they have not experienced the pain, fatigue or limitations that chronic pain and arthritis cause.

2. Online medical sites

You can research ANYTHING online. Simply enter your topic in any search engine and page after page of sites populate. Use legitimate medical sites, university sites or federal government sites to get reliable information. Some blogs offer great information and advice but not all of them. Also beware of sites that allow members to add and edit information. It is simply not a good source for medical information. Be cautious of any site or any one offering you a miracle cure. Many are simply trying to sell products to make money, not help people.

1. Experts

It seems absurd that your medical doctor is on the list of resources. It seems logical that someone in pain would consult a doctor. However, people don’t always tell their physician about their pain or new symptoms. When I meet people at events, they often ask me medical questions. My response is always, “Did you ask your doctor about that”. It is surprising the number of people who say no.

Your doctor should always be one of your resources when dealing with a medical condition. Doctors spend years training and they see many patients so they have a wealth of information. Tell you doctor ALL of your symptoms and tell them when new symptoms arise. The new symptoms might be unrelated to your current condition so it is always best to let them know.

These are just a few resources available to you. By using them you open the door to information, better health and perhaps less pain.

Utilize your resources to have the best possible outcome for you.

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


What’s the Plan?

This morning I sat in church and listened as my pastor spoke about having a plan for 2017. He said that for success in 2017, you must do something differently than you did in 2016. He spoke about having a plan or a strategy. I listened diligently as I completely agree with his message.
Over the last month I spoke at several locations in regards to goals and the strategy needed to meet those goals.

There are 7 areas that most set their goals around. The areas are:

1. Personal & Social
a. Who you spend your time with?
b. What do you spend your time doing?
c. What do you want to experience or do?

2. Work & Career
a. Are you where you would like with your career?
3. Family
a. Do you spend time nurturing your familial relationships?

4. Spiritual
a. Do you make time to study and grow spiritually?

5. Financial
a. How do you see your financial situation?
b. Do you have a budget?
c. Are you meeting your budget?
d. Are you saving?
e. Are you investing?

6. Mind/Intellect
a. Do you read?
b. Do you do crosswords?
c. Do you learn new things? What skills do you want to learn?
d. Do you expand your knowledge and develop yourself?
e. Do you do activities to keep your mind strong and healthy?

7. Physical Health
a. How do you want your body to look?
b. Do you have a healthy lifestyle?
c. Do you exercise regularly?
d. Do you eat healthy meals?

Goals are only achievable if there is a corresponding strategy in place to move you closer to the goal. Asking questions around your goals help you develop a strategy.

The teams in the NFL playoffs have a strategy for how they will defeat their opponent. We develop strategies to meet deadlines for work. We even develop a strategy for our daily commute. How do I avoid the most traffic? What time should I leave home? What route should I take? These questions are your strategy to get to work in a timely fashion each day.

As I continued to listened I thought about how pain suffers or arthritis suffers can create a strategy for themselves. Just as in football or any sports, the best offense is a good defense. What strategy do you have in place that will allow you to decrease your pain? What is your pre-emptive plan to decrease your pain? What steps do you take before the pain starts to keep it at bay? These are questions you should ask yourself.

Yes of course you take your prescribed medication or over-the-counter medications but what steps do you take every day that lessen the severity of you pain? I urge to develop a plan. Hoping tomorrow is less painful really doesn’t make your day any less painful.

Develop a routine of eating healthy. Eat foods high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory food goes a long way towards decreasing pain. How can you add more of these foods into your diet?

Develop an exercise routine that fits your level of fitness. What kind of exercise will you do? How often will you do it?

What natural remedies will you use? Will you use essential oils? Will you use complementary and alternative medicine (chiropractic care, acupuncture, acupressure, Reiki, etc.)? Will you use a combination of natural remedies? Will you end every day with a hot bath with sea salt or Epsom salt?

Develop a strategy that you use every day. Use it on the days you have pain. Use it on the days you don’t have pain.
As time progresses three things will likely happen.

1. Your strategy becomes second nature. You no longer have to think about it.
2. You discover what triggers an increase in pain.
3. You experience less pain overall.

It is much easier to get pain under control when it is not severe. Using a strategy for pain management helps you make your goal of less pain.

Develop a strategy today that fits your life that allows you to have the best life possible. You may not be pain free, but it is likely the pain is less severe.

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement




 


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happy mouth of a woman with red lipstick

Dental Care and Total Knee Replacement

When considering total knee replacement, not many people think about teeth. How does knee surgery have to anything to do with your teeth you might ask? The truth is that the condition of your teeth or oral health is closely related to your recovery from total knee replacement.

An infection in an artificial joint is a major complication. In fact it is one of the worst complications a patient can face. Infection treatment includes weeks of antibiotics and may include more surgery (usually more than one surgery if the infection occurs late in recovery or years after the original placement depending on how much infection is present).

Symptoms of infection include:

• Increased pain or stiffness in a previously well-functioning joint
• Swelling
• Warmth and redness around the wound
• Wound drainage
• Fevers, chills and night sweats
• Fatigue

How Artificial Joint Infection Relates to Dental Care

Over 700 different strains of bacteria are found in the mouth. Billions of bacteria are present in the mouth at any given time. There are so many in fact that some scientist refer to the mouth as an “as human oral microbiome”. Once a strain of bacteria is present in your mouth it usually stays. Most of the bacteria present is harmless and poses no danger. However, bacteria that are particularly problematic are streptococcus mutans and porphyromonas gingivitis.

Streptococcus mutans lives in every mouth no matter how often or how much you brush and floss your teeth. It feeds off of sugar and starches you eat. This bacteria erodes enamel and causes tooth decay. Porphyromonas gingivitis is associated with periodontitis. It is not typically present in a healthy mouth. This condition is serious and causes a tremendous amount of pain and eventually tooth loss. Practicing good oral hygiene helps keep harmful bacteria in check.

Bacteria from any part of the body can spread however a healthy immune system prevents most infections from spreading. Typically, the bacteria in the mouth remains there. During dental procedures (routine cleanings, extraction and other dental work), bacteria in the mouth gets introduced into the blood stream. In rare instances this may lead to an infection in other areas. As such most orthopedic surgeons request patients have major dental work prior to having joint replacement. Some surgeons have patients to take a dose of antibiotics before every dental procedure to reduce the risks of infection. The patient continues this practice with every dental visit for the rest of their life. **Please note – not all surgeons follow this protocol. Please discuss your dental practices with your surgeon and follow their recommendations.

Everyone should practice good oral hygiene but it is especially important for those facing total joint replacement or those with an existing artificial joint. Doing so lowers the risk of infection.

There are risks with any surgery. Lower your risk of infection by:

1. Practicing good hygiene (oral and physical – brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.)
2. Being informed – the more information and knowledge you have the better you can protect yourself.
3. Getting major dental work done before joint replacement surgery.

Fear of complications is something many patients experience. It is that fear that prevents some from having surgery. However, do not allow fear to motivate your decision making process. Be prayerful, be informed and be proactive in your care. Taking these steps allows you to make decisions that are best for you!

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)


A Christmas Story, a Legacy of Love

This week’s post is a little different. It is not about arthritis, total knee replacement or bow legs (sidenote bow legs are genetic so many of the people in my family have some degree of bowing. My father, uncle, brother and myself had total knee replacement). This week’s post is about family.

Today is Christmas. Christmas is about family, not gifts, not toys but heartfelt love. Today I share with you a story about my family and my family’s love.

Mable Dixon was a tall woman with a large frame, dark-brown skin, and bow-legs. She had an impressive physical stature. What was more impressive than her physical stature was her generous spirit. Everyone loved Mable deeply. If you needed anything Mable was there for you. She cared for her family and her community. Everyone knew she was loving, generous, kind and fierce. You did not mess with Mable Dixon. Her fiery was as deep as her love.

Family meant everything to her. She taught her children to be generous and kind to each other. She taught them to forgive each other. She taught them to protect each other. Most importantly, she taught her children to love each other. The lessons she taught are clear when you see my father, Samuel Dixon interact with his siblings. The love they share radiates from them.

Samuel Dixon

When my father was 14 years old he asked his mother Mable for one of the silver dollars she received as part of her weekly pay. She cleaned house for a white lady in Walnut Cove, NC. A dollar in 1956 was a lot of money so she asked him what he would do with the dollar. My father said, “I will keep it”. In her generous spirit, Mable gave that silver dollar to her son. My father kept his word. He kept that silver dollar in his wallet for 60 years.

On Friday December 23, 2016 he gave that silver dollar to me his daughter, Kimberly Dixon (watch the video below).

He gave the coin to me because I have a very special connection to Mable. She was my grandmother, however, I never met her. She died in 1967 when she was 50 years old. I was born in 1970. I never got the opportunity to meet her. She never held me or made me cookies or did any of the things that grandmothers do but she lived inside of me from the beginning. I look like Mable. My complexion is lighter but I am about the same height as she was (she was slightly taller than me), I have the same body frame and shape and I had bow legs. I also inherited many of her personality traits. I am generous. I love deeply. I am very protective of my family and friends and I am fierce.

Front of coin

1896 Morgan Silver Dollar

1896 Morgan Silver Dollar

Back of coin

Morgan Silver Dollar Minted in New Orleans

Because I embodied so much of Mable, my father and aunts and uncles told me stories about her my entire life. So much so that she became part of me. My uncle Raleigh (aka Uncle Bug) calls me Mable. He never calls me by my name. This may seem offensive to some but not to me. After hearing all the great stories about Mable, being called her name is an honor.

Holding the coin my grandmother gave my dad was an emotional experience. I never touched anything she touched until I held that coin. That coin has her DNA on it. Touching it was like touching her for the first time.

I love Mable in a way that words cannot express. She is a part of who I am.

I love my dad and my family for giving me the most valuable gift I have ever been given. They gave me a legacy of love. They gave me Mable. I am truly grateful for their generous gift.

Samuel Dixon and Kimberly Dixon (November 2016)

During this holiday season pass on a legacy of love to your family and friends. Material gifts loss there value, get lost or get forgotten. Love never dies.

Merry Christmas
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.


Last week I had the pleasure of presenting a talk on protecting your health. Today I want to share a portion of that talk with you.

One way to protect your health is a proactive approach as opposed to a reactive one. Most of us are reactive in our approach to our health. When we become ill or sick then we attempt to handle whatever medical issue that arose. Being proactive with your health is much like a preventive doctor’s visit. It is designed to discover potential health problems before they become a major problem.

It is only natural then that the first way to be proactive is by having a health check-up. In the past health check-ups were done annually. However for a healthy adult that is no longer necessary. A healthy adult 30-40 years needs a physical every two years. Adults 50 and older need a physical every year. This also includes a colonoscopy. However if there is a family history of colon cancer screenings begin 10 years prior to the family member’s age when they were diagnosed.

Being proactive requires that you know and listen to your body. Your body gives you signals long before you actually get sick. Unfortunately most of us ignore those signals until we have no choice but to see the doctor. Excessive tiredness, sleepiness, insomnia, changes in appetite, changes in behavior, ongoing pain or intermittent pain. All can be signs that something unusual is happening internally.

Do you listen to your body? What is it telling you? For instance, with knee pain I hear people say all the time, my knee bothers me from time to time or when I do such and such but they never actually visit a doctor. They finally go to the doctor when the pain gets worse and they can no longer bear the pain. They ignore the early signals their body gives them. Pain is a signal. By the time they visit a doctor, they need surgery. Arthritis is a progressive disease but there are things we can do to slow down the progression. Many wait until its past that point and there is no recourse other than surgery.

Knowing yourself means knowing your numbers, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol, etc. I am always stunned and honestly a little sad when people don’t know information about themselves.

How do you know if your blood pressure is running a little high lately if you don’t know what it normally is? The answer is, you don’t. We rely on doctors to keep us healthy but that is our job. Doctors treat us when we are sick. In most instances doctor don’t heal, they treat. They dispense pills or prescriptions to treat your symptoms but most pills don’t actually heal anything. In most cases they actually treat one thing and disrupt another which leads to you requiring yet another pill.

For example, hydrochlorothiazide is often prescribed to manage high blood pressure (hypertension). The medication rids the body of excess fluid thereby lowering blood pressure. Hydrochlorothiazide also pulls potassium from the body through the fluid excretion. People taking this medication eat foods high in potassium or take potassium supplements. The medication lowers their blood pressure but if they stop taking it their blood pressure rises again. Hydrochlorothiazide does not heal the blood pressure issues, it treats it.
When you are aware of your numbers you easily notice changes in your lab report. The easiest way to learn your numbers is to read your lab report after you get a check-up. Most doctors send the report to the patient. If your doctor doesn’t, you can ask for a copy of the report.

Being proactive also means making lifestyle changes. After years of diets, I finally learned to stop the madness. I couldn’t keep up the weight lost with any diet. However, by eating lots of fruits and vegetables every day and limiting meat consumption, I am able to maintain healthy lab results as well as lose weight.
I still have more weight to lose but daily walking is nudging it along. I would rather slowly lose the weight than lose 20 pounds in a month and gain 35 pounds back. Healthy eating and regular exercise offers many health benefits. Therefore is also part of being proactive.

Being proactive does not mean you won’t ever get sick but it does significantly cut the odds of sickness and serious illness. You hold the key.

Live Joyfully
Kimberly

Kimberly is a life coach and author who specializes in working with people with chronic pain or chronic illness.
Want the support of a life coach that understands chronic pain visit.
http://joyfullivingwithkimberlydixon.com/.
Ask about my post-TRK support calls!

Are you a senior wanting to learn how to become more active? Follow https://seniorwhoexercisesislit.wordpress.com/blog/.

Joyful Living

Joyful Living

For more information on arthritis, preparing for total knee replacement and what to expect after TKR check out my books. Available at http://goo.gl/QaqFF6

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Have Arthritis, Now What? (Ways to Manage Arthritis Pain)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Need a Knee Replacement, Now What? (How to Prepare for Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (What to Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)

I Had a Knee Replacement, Now What? (Six Week Companion Journal)



  • Contact email: kimberly@bowlegsandarthritis.com
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