My Remaining Joint Damage

“So many x-rays! What is the point?” a doctor said to me once.

The point is to know where the wear and tear is happening, to see if it is improving or getting worse, to figure out what else I can do about it.

I love bad news!

 Suiting up for imaging at USC Verdugo Hills.

Suiting up for imaging at USC Verdugo Hills.

I have been a Professional Patient for so long, that I actively hunt down bad news, which I am happy to receive, although it does upset me, of course. Good news is more fun. But between Google and the Los Angeles Public Library, I can always find something to do about something. 

On x-rays, I have watched my arthritis get worse and get better. Did you see my last two posts? My body has undergone a tremendous healing. The arthritis in my knees and hips is gone. One knee had arthritis as far back as 10 years. The arthritis in my L-spine and C-spine healed. The arthritis in my T-spine improved.

Bad news has saved me more bad news.

In the past, X-rays also showed my injured knee had become osteopenic. Yikes! The DEXA only looks at certain areas, so it did not catch this. I got right on using that knee more, and loading it with weights to build that bone right back up. I had to keep that knee taped or braced, so it could tolerate more force, otherwise I could not override my nervous system from favoring it. 

I would not have known without x-rays. In later x-rays, bone mineralization appeared normal.

When a doctor tells you all these x-rays are unnecessary, you insist on having them. I get them everywhere every two or three years, especially where there is joint pain or known damage. 

The point is not to have perfects scans. Different imaging may pick up different problems. An x-ray is an inexpensive way to see what areas are bearing the brunt of my hypermobility. It is a way for me to manage myself. I am just trying to make this genetically defective body last as long as possible. I want to be dancing and carrying my own heavy leather designer handbag right up to the end, which I hope is a long way off.

What do I plan to do about arthritis remaining?

Get PRPs in my damaged foot, as honest podiatrists tell me that with my hypermobility and deformed feet, surgery would likely create more problems. On x-rays, joint alignment in my feet looks very good and damage is occurring slowly. Yay! My feet hurt less than ever, so no complaints from me or my feets.I have a bigger plan to take care of them, posts coming on that.

I am not surprised that signs of disc degeneration remain in my T-spine. I have occasional neuropathy there. Ouch! It is an unhappy area.

I now get PRPs in my T-Spine. Dr. Plance charges a reasonable fee, as it is my own blood we are using. I always point this out to other doctors when they tell me what they charge for PRP. They blush. Just because professional athletes get PRPs does not mean I can pay like a professional athlete, I point out. They blush.

 They hardly hurt. I scream anyway.

They hardly hurt. I scream anyway.

Back to physical therapy to stabilize my shoulder blades. Shoulders and arms are heavy.

 Working hard!

Working hard!

With more strength in the right muscles, my arms and shoulders should pull less on my spine, and my spine should be able to tolerate more force and maintain stability. I do not waste time on ineffective exercise. I have other ways to amuse myself.

 Improving shoulder blade function in physical therapy.

Improving shoulder blade function in physical therapy.

I found some excellent dry land shoulder staibliziation exercises in these two books.

I highly recommend them, even if you do not swim. 

Back to studying my favorite posture book. Mr. Pennington uses this book too. He is on the computer all day and flies around the world. He never has back pain or wrist pain or any repetitive strain injuries. His body can support itself. This book is really something. 

Using my head Gokhale cushion to improve spinal stability and function.

I could get a breast reduction and probably get my insurance to pay for it, to reduce the load on my T-spine. But maybe there is a better use of my efforts? I like to be efficient. I do not like surgery. Plus that would not do anything for my fat arms, which would still burden my spine, unless I lost weight, which would also relieve my beat-up feets. Hmmmmm... that would be a very efficient use of my efforts and also indulges my vanity. Excellent idea! 

I did some research. Turns out you can get 

Get skinny to heal arthritis... and pretty much everything else!

One of the best ways to prevent arthritis is to get skinny. Excess body weight causes excess wear and tear on joints, pain and joint dysfunction.

People in this study grew back cartilage by losing weight. Yes, for real!

The most toxic substances in your life is your own belly fat.

Belly fat produces hormones that cause inflammation and make you sick. There is compelling evidence that getting skinny can cure many conditions and make you live longer. Who remembers the flat stomach-ed people of the 1970s? 

Want to avoid or mitigate depression, anxiety, auto-immune diseases, diabetes, GERD, afib, sleep apnea, liver disease, respiratory infections, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimers, dementia or early death? Lose weight, get that belly flat. Okay, I will work on that!

Madora Pennington