I've had to deal with some serious health issues over the past 11 years so it did not surprise me that over time, it affected my body. Then of course there is that little issue of growing older. I have reached the age when my body reminds me that I am not as young as I used to be.
Whether they admit it or not, even those people who are in the greatest of shape probably find they don't move quite like they used to 30 years earlier. It is a fact of life. One way or another, time leaves its mark on us.
I've known for a long time that I have osteoarthritis in my knees and truthfully, things like being overweight and having dose-dense chemotherapy 11 years ago didn't help. Still, I managed.
Oh, I noticed I didn't move quite as well. Then there was that clumsy feeling in my feet and I wasn't very flexible. I didn't seem to be able to turn my head to the right quite as well and it would feel achy at times and my hips, well, I was after all overweight and getting older. Physically, my body had been through the mill so what did I expect? I simply lived with it.
Then a few weeks ago, something happened that really caught my attention. I had sat with my youngest grandson on my lap for about an hour or so while I watched a performance his daddy was in. Afterwards, I realized I was hurting much more than usual. I attributed it sore muscles and figured it would clear up in a couple days. It didn't. Instead I moved much slower than usual and it was painful to walk and stand for any length of time. I was okay when I was sitting but when I moved around I realized something wasn't right.
I had to go in for my annual physical on Monday so I mentioned this to my doctor. Before she examined me, she asked me if I could remember any injury. No, I couldn't. I also couldn't tell her where the source of the pain was. I only knew that the top part of my left foot hurt, the sides of my left knee hurt, my right thigh felt tender, there was some discomfort under my thumb on my right hand and the right side of my neck ached. Hmm... She had me make an appointment to see someone in sports medicine the next day.
It didn't take the expert long to figure out what was going on. The problem was not my foot, thigh, hips, back or even my neck. It was my knees.
Due to the osteoarthritis, the cartilage on my knees, particularly on my inner knees has worn down and the area was also swollen and inflammed. In addition to that, I was thrown of balance on my left side. My body had tried to compensate for that in a variety of ways and in all honesty it did "okay" for awhile but the remedy had taken its toll.
Someday they hope to be able to regrow cartilage but this is not "someday". You can get artifical knees but that is a solution no one wants to do until all other options have been exhausted. For now, the best solution is steroid injections every three months to reduce the swelling and inflammation.
I was told it would take a few days to feel the full effect of the injections but I have to tell you that I began to see positive changes within 24 hours. It was amazing how much better I moved but that wasn't the only thing. The aches and pains on the left side of my body began to go away simply because I could now walk correctly. Hmm...
This was a reminder to me that the human body is interconnected. When one part is not able to function properly, it affects other parts of the body, even if they seem far removed from it.
This is also true of the spiritual Body of Christ. When individually we are not functioning like we should, it can have a long-range impact on the rest of the Body. This is one reason why it is so important for us to love and care of one another. We are all interconnected. We are, after all, one body.