Saturday, July 18, 2009

Arthritis - help yourself - opt for Quality of Life, pop a pill do whatever else you need to do

There is no known cure for Osteoarthritis. I customarily deal with it by wincing when pain grabs me and by ignoring it most of the time. Occasionally it flares up as it did the other night, unannounced and like a knife to the joint. It's in my hands and primarily my thumb joints. I have read a lot about osteoarthritis and pain relief. This recent attack left me questioning my future it was so severe. I love painting but I couldn't hold a paint brush. Now I didn't know what to do for myself. Yet instinctively I popped a couple of advil, (ibuprofen) and I slipped on my glove. It's not white like Michael J's was but it is supposed to be effective, having ceramic fibres woven into the fabric to redirect body heat back into the joint. Warmth works. Some use hot wax, and soaking in hot water. I had also earlier purchased a topical application but discontinued its use when I read about potential side affects.

I purchased something called Voltaren and was not thrilled with what I read about its potential side effects. My brother recommended Arthrotec. Each of these contains something called diclofenac sodium and that appears to cause a few users some grief because it is absorbed and systemically administered throughout one's system to other organs.

Using Voltaren for a few days had given me some relief so I wondered about using it again. I made an appointment with my GP. He spoke common sense to me. Since there is no cure for the disease the objective becomes pain management. He advised me to use the topical cream. Eighty percent of it is absorbed into the immediate tissue which is what I want. A pill goes to the stomach and must then work its healing way back to my hands - a bit of a trip. And sustained downing of Advil and/or Tylenol (acetaminephan)may injure the stomach lining. That's precisely why I had avoided swallowing pain relievers. He said that in Canada more people die of bleeding stomachs each year than in vehicle deaths. Having thrown out that warning, he did say that Tylenol was easier on the stomach than Advil, and I shouldn't hesitate to use 650 mg per dose four times a day for a few days to manage pain.

So here is what I am doing for myself and with some immediate improvement to the way I feel about life because the pain is subsiding if not the disease.
(1) I wear the therapy glove and get a lot of attention. The glove may work. I am still not sure. I am experimenting. Prolotex Therapy Gloves and ThermoFlow Therapy Gloves
(2) I liberally apply the Voltaren cream four times per day.
(3) I take one 650 mg Tylenol four times per day.

GPS Application
Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message) 6-7 "Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life."

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