I like a lot things in life. I like bunnies, cupcakes, kitty cats, the word ‘snorkel’, banana bread (with or without walnuts), lime flavoured things, and Final Fantasy VII.
I do not like my arthritis. It is degenerative, which I am told is a bad thing. Ergo, I dislike it even more.
I don’t like how it makes my back creak, how it impacts my facet joints and prevents doctors with long needles from zapping my nerves and ridding me of pain. I do not like how I can touch, just lightly touch the skin over my two lower vertebrae and instantly feel pain thanks to arthritis. I don’t like the concept of it at all, and yet it exists and troubles me greatly.
I’m lucky, as I’ve said before, that as a young person I had to learn to adjust to my medical maladies early on in life. Arthritis will be forever, which means I will make all my future life choices based on my arthritis. All around not that bad of a thing. It’s just like playing with a smaller deck of cards, and I don’t mind.
There are a lot of people out there, my mother included, who suffer from even more severe arthritis, who began to experience is later in life and had to change their plans to fit around this newly imported butt-munching disease that is arthritis. I have great empathy for those people. It must be awful.
In fact, it is awful for 4.5 million Canadians who live with arthritis on a daily basis. Young or old, black or white, 1% or 99%, arthritis doesn’t discriminate.
When someone mentioned the upcoming Walk to Fight Arthritis on /r/calgary today I had a little laugh. Of course I did. Walk to fight Arthritis. I mean, the whole concept is hi-larious and the fact that they haven’t branded themselves as being one of the most ironic charity walks around is a lost marketing opportunity as far as I am concerned. Irony aside, I’ve registered. You can do a 1 km or 5 km walk. I’m going to aim for 5.
Alex and I promised ourselves that this summer we would go for long walks around Fish Creek Park every sunday with the in-laws dogs. Each time we would go a bit further, just to push the limits. Last sunday we went for just over 5kms. It was brutal. I knew by the time we were done that I would be feeling the pain for a few days, and of course I did. Of course I did. However, I can’t deny that walking is still one of the best things I can do for my body. It’s certainly better than running. My arthritis does not care for running. In all reality, a 5km walk in three weeks should be fine. It’ll hurt afterwards, yes, but it’s a good way to push myself without overdoing it to the point of hospitalization.
If you are a friend in Calgary, or even Red Deer or Lethbridge, I invite you to join me on June 7th. We can start a team. Team Boy-This-is-Really-Ironic-Isn’t-It? We can go for a nice walk in the sun and raise some money to fight arthritis and also unacknowledged irony.
If you can’t join us, but have some change to spare, you can donate to me here, or look up the teams and find someone random to donate to!
Arthritis is one of those things that we tend to ignore. It isn’t one of the golden money-making medical maladies that we tend to walk for, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an extraordinary impact on the daily lives of people who suffer from it.
Check out and see if there is a walk in your local area here!
See you then!