Inspired to Inspire

I was diagnosed 16 years ago with RA and more recently with fine tissue non-diabetic neuropathy. I had just gotten over a virus backed immediately by the flu and one day I woke not able to move anything on my body without screaming. Even though blood work didn’t show the rheumatoid factor, the rheumatologist said it was a text book flair up and my inflammation was through the roof. What followed seemed a nightmare at the time, different meds, prednisone, flare ups and more pred. Meanwhile my weight went up not being able to exercise. I had to tell friends I couldn’t do things, worse yet, I had to tell my kids.
By the time I said enough, I was very heavy (I’m a stress eater) and walking with a cane. I slowly started exercising. I couldn’t go to the gym because I couldn’t do most of the machines, so I did what I could. I went swimming and I walked, sometimes very slowly, every day. Weight started coming off and I started to not have quite so many flare ups. My daily pain decreased a little too as I built muscle to support my joints. There were days I hurt beyond all and didn’t want to do it anymore, but I got up and got moving. Not to say it was easy, I guess it sounds easy but it was a constant struggle. After a few months, I was able to finally get to the gym. My cane was left behind in the car my other was in the corner in my house where it now collects dust. (No offense canes, but I hope you stay there!) I started working with a trainer who specialized in helping older folks or folks with arthritis and she was able to help me through the rough spots. I started adding a little weight training and cardio on the arc machine and cycle.
Now I try to keep moving. Some days are easier than others granted, but I don’t have many flares and I seem to be able to handle them better now. I lost a lot of weight, over 100 pounds, and seem to be at a stable weight now. I’m going to school for a degree in exercise physiology to become a trainer like my trainer was and hope to finish in Dec. so I can help other people who have some of the same problems. I continue to exercise as much as I can or as much as my body will allow on any given day. I can say yes more often to things I want to do. It has been worth the journey. Life is good again.

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