Superhero Bed Rest

Superhero BedroomWhen I left physical therapy yesterday afternoon, I was asked to get as much bed rest as possible during the next couple of days.

During most of my life, I’ve had problems (unrelated to RA) with a weak lower back. If you combine this with upper back muscles that were being pulled and stretched apart as a result of the inflammation in my shoulders, and with the fact that I probably slept in a wrong position the night before (when I tossed and turned until 4:00 in the morning due to all the pain), then it should come as no surprise that my entire back was/is a complete wreck.

And the cold weather that we’ve been experiencing recently hasn’t been making things any better, either.

This is not the first time this has happened. Last time this occurred, my physical therapist confided in me that with these back problems on top of my usual arthritic joints, she had absolutely no idea how it was that I was still able to move and walk.

The medical term for this condition is “contracture.” According to Wikipedia, this is when “the muscle and its tendons shorten, resulting in reduced flexibility.” Imagine that, your entire back from the waist to the neck is one big knot, that only continues to grow tighter and tighter. What’s the treatment, you might be asking? Well, at this point, taking a simple muscle relaxer really wouldn’t help. It would be like someone telling you to take aspirin to fix your RA…and we all know that would never happen, right?

Back to fixing my back, though. A series of 8-10 large electrodes are attached along my back, and then a special electrotherapy current is applied up to the point where I can stand it no more. This in turn makes the muscles contract even more!

All of this might sound tortuous, and in a way it sort of is. Who would have know that one day I was actually going to be reenacting scenes from Fox’s hit show ’24′? (My physical therapist tells me that I am allowed to shout anything I want, with one exception: I cannot call her any bad names!) But the further tightening of the back muscles, followed by their immediate release, does provide some immediate relief. And the hope is that this will gradually give way to additional relief, which will be followed by complete relief. Hence, the bed rest between sessions.

So I’m making the best of my prescribed bed rest. Last evening I started a mini-marathon viewing of Mad Men Season 2, and this morning I working away on my laptop computer that is propped up on my chest. I’ll probably do some reading in a while, or listen to some music or a podcast. I’ll continue to make the most out of my situation, in the hopes of having my back return to “normal” within the next few days.

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

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More Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogs

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I am 30-years-old, married, working in technology. I am a very casual, low-key kind of person. I am not very girly and never wear skirts or dresses. I like beer, nachos, steak, vegetables and ice cream, but not necessarily all at once. Oh yeah, I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis. At 30. Yep, I know. Too young. But, it’s just a small part of who I am.
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The Rheumatologist: For Arthritis Patients, Good Support Can Be Hard to Find

Some patients receive more support from coworkers than from spouses

The survey also found that:

  • 67.4% of respondents said other members of the household are sometimes or never aware of their arthritis.
  • 64.4% of respondents said others in the household never or only occasionally take an interest in their daily issues with arthritis. This can take the form of asking questions to learn more or be more aware, reading about what it’s like to have arthritis, or generally making a person’s life easier.
  • The majority of respondents (58.4%) said they feel the most pain from arthritis when cleaning and doing household chores.

Read More: http://www.the-rheumatologist.org/details/article/1238179…

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Call To Action: Let San Antonio’s Transit Service Know That RA Often Requires Special Accommodations

Handicapped Student Denied From VIA Trans Bus Service

SAN ANTONIO — A handicapped student was denied from using the city’s handicapped bus system. Moses Rivas, 30, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. The debilitating condition came on suddenly, just a couple of years after he graduated from high school.

Despite his disability, last year Rivas built up the courage to go back to school.

“I want to do something for myself and be independent,” said Rivas. “Even though I have a disability, I can still do stuff.” [...]

Last year, Via Trans denied him service. Officials say their assessment found Rivas capable of using the regular bus system.

Read More: www.woai.com/news/local/story/Handicapped-student…

VIA Metropolitan Transit – San Antonio, Texas

Please send a message to VIA Metropolitan Transit through their Online Comment Form (Address your comments to: Customer Service) and let them know that most individuals who live with Rheumatoid Arthritis do require special accommodations, especially when it comes to public transportation.

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