It’s summer…or so rumour has it. Here in the North East, our summer has consisted, of Autumnal feeling days, lots of rain, a couple of thunderstorms, peppered with occasional warm days.
Encouraged by the positive outcome, from both my hospital asthma clinic and annual G.P practice check up, I decided that I should really try do more this summer, to take advantage of the better weather. Though the definition of “better weather” is rather a loose one!
Both my arthritis and asthma, particularly my asthma, is much better in the summer. Last week though, mpst likely triggered by the wet, colder weather my arthritis flaired up, this week, the weather is better and my arthritis is more settled.
I decided, that I wanted to try and do, lots of physical activity, this summer, both swimming and walking. My Garmin measures both my swim distance and my steps, so I can measure just how much I’m doing. My hope is, that the more I do this summer, the fitter I will be when winter arrives with it’s icy blast, bringing with it the usual plethora of coughs, colds and chest infections. I am really hoping, that increased fitness levels, will mean it’s easier to fight off the repeated infections, I suffer in the winter and maybe even, reduce number of infections I get.
Last week, I didn’t walk much, due to the poor weather conditions, but I swam a total of nearly 10km.
This week, the weather is much better, so it’s time to get walking. I love walking and can, walk for miles, the difficulty is that, the dostance I am fit enough to walk, is longer than the distance my arthritis is able to cope with. I had a decent walk on Saturday, on Sunday I visited a nature reserve, with the aim of following a marked walk. Except that I missed a directional arrow, got lost and wandered around for ages, utterly bamboozled as to where I was and where I was supposed to be going.
Eventually I worked my way back, but my 3 mile walk, turned intp 5 miles. By mile four, I thought I might have to “phone a friend” to get someone to come and help me out. My left hip was giving way and the pain levels were getting to the point of being unbearable. I was so, so grateful to see my car, its red colour acting as homing beacon, as I spotted through the foilage and bushes.
Last night, I was in so much pain, thank goodness for both codiene aand my heat pack.
This morning, I hobbled round my flat as I struggled to get ready for and to work. Thank goodnrss for flexible working…
Today, I really should of rested, my body is telling me to rest. No in fact, It’s screaming at me.
But no, like a defiant teenager, I chose to ignore it. Not satisfied with walking 2000 steps at work, I walked to my Arthritis Care support group, another mile and another 2000 steps. Then I took a stupidly, long route home, striding through the park. Another two and half miles…
I am now home and in a great deal of pain, I know I’ve done far to much. Its so frustrating, physically the walking distances I have, does not provide a particular challenge, but my arthritis does. The next few days, I will do as much as I can, but do much less. My painful, achy, stiff joints need to rest, but doing too little are is just as bad, for my arthritis, has a similar negative impact.
Frustrating as it is, it also highlights the benefits of swimming. It low load bearing, the water supports and though I can come out the pool, sore and aching, thankfully I never experience pain like I am now, after just three days of increaing my walking distance.