Surprise! I Have Osteoarthritis

I swear, I am legitimately 31 but my body feels like it’s going on 81, hence why I have arthritis. Shall I go on?

I’ve never been the healthiest person in my whole entire life. I’m not sure the cause either. Maybe I could blame it on the fact I was born six weeks early in the mid eighties but that doesn’t sound right, especially since I was never a NICU baby. Anyways, health problems wrecked my childhood, specifically being a chronic asthmatic. I remember getting strep throat twice a year, pneumonia and bronchitis once a year, all like clock work. I remember having digestive issues which later turned out to be a gluten/wheat allergy. And I also remember having the crappiest immune system in the world. If something was going around, it was only a matter of time until I got it. My health problems lessened a bit as I got older and I finally stopped having yearly asthma related visits to the ER when I was 25.

The issues with my spine started when I was 27. After being in a severe car accident, I had an MRI done to evaluate issues I was having with my neck. The MRI picked up bulging discs which I needed cortisone shots for but it also picked up something I didn’t know. The fact that I had a minor case of scoliosis which was never picked up in grade school. I was reminded to keep an eye on it but after my cortisone shots, I didn’t think twice.

When I was 28, I threw my back out. I was lifting a case of water and something crunched, which terrified me. I made an appointment with a chiropractor who adjusted me and I started seeing him regularly for a year and a half. He was unprofessional so I decided to go some place where I felt more comfortable and that some place never really came. I didn’t think about it because my back seemed fine and I carried on my merry way until last fall. Last fall, I threw my back out again but this time felt different. Something felt off and no matter what, I was now in pain.

For six months, I tried everything I could think of instead of going to the chiropractor. I did stretches, tried yoga, took medicine and popped muscle relaxers. Nothing made me feel better and if it did, it never truly lasted. My pain went from a 4 to a 9 daily and I often laid in bed crying. I went to my primary doctor in tears and she recommended finding a new chiropractor.

I loved my new chiropractor and although I stopped being in consistent pain fog which helped me finish my studies with ease, my pain kept coming back which stopped me from moving on with my treatment. I would be okay for awhile and then have severe pain for what seemed like no reason. Really? I threw my back out handing the cat’s litter box? And then, my ribs popped out. Have you ever had a popped out rib? Google it. It hurts. My ribs were popping out and my chiropractor holds were not staying. I felt so much pain and I can say for the three weeks, I’ve been a mess. I was embarrassed at the state of my house when my BF came to visit as well as my cat sitter. I got behind in my freelance work and I’m still behind. Life hasn’t been great but I’ve been managing and trying to stay positive.

Last week, my chiropractor sent me in for tests and we finally figured out the culprit as to why nothing is working. I was diagnosed at age 31 with osteoarthritis in my spine. Part of my spine is so terribly inflamed which is the reason my adjustments aren’t holding and my rib keeps bouncing out. Because my arthritis is in the beginning to moderate stage, my chiropractor has placed me on a natural treatment plan for the time being. Along with starting an anti-inflammatory diet ( which is extremely hard), I also need to start working out at the gym. Studies have shown when you work out your muscles and build up the area around the inflamed joints, your pain lessens because your stress lessens. I also was very kindly told to lose weight to help pressure on my overwhelmed spine. I knew I needed to drop some of this junior and senior weight but damn.

Despite my nervous breakdown in Whole Foods, and trying to figure out what I can eat on a anti-inflammatory diet ( it’s pretty much Whole 30/ Paleo), I’m actually happy and grateful. I’m optimistic that I can fix my spinal condition and lessen my pain without surgery at the moment. I don’t know if I can wait out surgery or shots forever, but if I can for now, I’m grateful.

Chronic pain is not easy. Along with deciding to really track my finances along with my grow my business, my health is going to be up there. Do not take good health for granted people. I’m going to need all of my extra funds to help ensure I can pay for not only my treatments, but for the foods and supplements I need to make sure my body can last another 50 years in tip top shape!

Do you have any health conditions?