Joint Of The Month: Articulatio Genus

Joint of the Month
Articulatio Genus
Hinge joints in the human leg connecting the tibia and fibula with the femur and protected in front by the patella; knees.

Today Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy would like to present his first ever “Joint of the Month” award to his knees. My knees has been through a lot, and were the first joints in my body to experience major problems due to my rheumatoid arthritis – so I think it’s only appropriate that they receive this inaugural prize.

I have not always been so appreciative of my knees. In fact, I went through a period where I downright hated my knees. I had no idea why they would just stop working at times (this was back before I received my diagnosis). I felt let down by my knees, as if they had failed me.

I started using crutches periodically in my early 30′s because of the problems in my knees. The pain that I felt in my knees was often unbearable, and all of a sudden things that used to be simple – such as walking and getting in and out of the bathtub – became difficult if not impossible at times.

I stopped looking at my knees. I stopped touching my knees. I wanted to have nothing to do with my knees. It was during one of my periods when I could barely walk that I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. My world came crashing down on me, and I in turn came crashing down on my knees. I didn’t blame my problems on my RA, instead I blamed them on my knees.

One day, out of seemingly nowhere, I looked down at my knees – and had a huge change of heart. I realized that even though my knees were not working as I hoped they should, that they were indeed my friend. I, in turn, needed to be their friend. As I began to learn more about rheumatoid arthritis and the inflammatory process, I started to understand that my knees had no other option than to stop working when the inflammation got so severe.

Since that day, and almost every day since, I have tried to do my best to help out my knees during our struggle. Sometimes this means months on end on physical therapy. At other times this means doing something as simple as applying lotion and gently caressing my knees as soon as I get out of the bathtub. (They really seem to appreciate this simple act.)

My knees have been kind to me. When they are healthy, I go on walks that last for hours. While in yoga and pilates class, they allow me to perform lunges and many other different postures. A few months ago I was just beginning to enter into a full lotus pose…but I have since given my knees a break and don’t push them past a half lotus.

At the moment my knees are hurting…usually the left one requires more attention than the right one, but at the moment their roles are reversed. They can be funny that way.

Sometimes my knees get bright red, and are puffy. Often, when I look in the mirror my first response is “that is now how my knees should look” – but I promise that I will work to eliminate this response and accept them however they are.

Come to think of it, my knees have never really failed me (although this sometimes seems to be the case). I begin to realize, though, that I have failed them at times. It might be when I repeatedly pushed them beyond their limits, or forced them into positions with which they were not comfortable.

This month, in recognition of their “Joint of the Month” award, my knees will get just a little more pampering than usual. They have earned it.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

7 Comments
7 comments
  1. Emma, NRAS says:

    Congratulations Knees! They deserve the recognition you are giving them, after all, they do carry 4 or 5 times more weight than any of your other joints. Do you intend to carry on this “Joint of the Month” award next month?!

  2. RA Guy says:

    Thank you, Emma. Yes, I do intend to make this a monthly award. All of my other joints are eagerly awaiting their moment of recognition!

  3. Cathy says:

    Our joints do amazing things for us. Even with swelling and pain, they manage to keep trying their best for us. Several years ago I started doing a similiar thing. When I wake up in the morning, I thank each of my joints individually for all they do for me. Just going through this process makes me appreciate my own body more and all it is capable of. So, congratulations to your knees and lucky them for the extra pampering this month.

  4. Jennifer says:

    that’s how i was diagnosed w/ ra. i was having severe knee pain.. had surgery and then i found myself having horrible foot pain. did blood tests and xrays.. and diagnosed me w/ ra. my knees have been through alot too. thank you for your daily blogs. i look forward to them!

  5. Millicent says:

    Another great post. All of us need to be kind to our joints. Hope today is a good one for you & your knees :-)

  6. ann marie says:

    i also couldn’t look when there were things i didn’t want to see. for me it’s been my hands. even now sometimes there are periods i find myself not looking. that’s my signal that i am hiding from my reality, usually in more ways than one. “not looking” usually goes hand in hand with not-slowing-down, and not-facing-feelings and not-asking-for-what-i-need from friends, family: which is often simply space to breathe and rest.

    thanks for your post reminding me to look, because once i do, a letting-go process almost always follows, and i am once again able to feel the kindness that had been missing, toward my hands and my self. Only then do i feel unafraid, peaceful, and able to take on any challenge.

  7. Mandy says:

    Thank you for reminding me that i do need to show much more appreciation to my joints and show more respect to my joints, i do tend to do too much and i pay for it later! I used to hide my hands and my wrist but now i dont.. I am proud of them because they do the best they can so i keep em warm and rub creams into them. I will now show much more respect to my achey joints and just be grateful for the use i can get from them even though it may be limited.

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