Friday, April 20, 2012

Arm Shame--These are your arms on RA

As if women didn't have enough to worry about, now we are expected to have toned arms too. Mine seem to have gone downhill since last summer as far as flab goes. It is such a sensitive subject for me that I chickened out of including these in my last outfit post. What can I say? Maybe tonight I'm too tired to care. 

A kayaking shoulder injury sidelined me in August. I'm just glad it happened after a full summer of kayaking and swimming every weekend. Then let's factor in the Rheumatoid Arthritis. My rheumatologist tells me based on my x-rays that my wrists are where some of the most extensive damage was done before I started on Enbrel. Before developing RA I enjoyed weightlifting, but now even the lightest weights hurt. I have better luck with resistance bands, but after the shoulder injury even that went by the wayside. I'm worried about swimming this year because the shoulder still freaks out when I raise my arm. So crawl stroke is probably out but breast stroke is probably still possible. After resting all winter I went kayaking a couple of times on some very mild runs. It seems crazy but it's such a gentle motion paddling the water that I usually do O.K. The new develpment is thumb issues though. I've got to either find some gloves of get some pad thingies for my paddle because my right thumb swells and gets this fluid-filled cyst type thingy on it after paddling a while . . . Hey, but for me that's doing good. 

All of this to say RA and other health problems can wreak havoc with your body image and that really sucks! That's about as deep as I can manage tonight after a long day. I know I should just be glad for how much functioning I still have. I know I should be glad the active inflammation and joint damage seems to have been halted by the Enbrel. I know I shouldn't worry about stupid things like flabby arms. . . and yet, I do worry about it. Tonight is one of those times I don't have a lot of answers. I'm just baring my soul and my arms in the hopes that someone else will see that they are not alone.

Oh, and the earrings? I forgot to include them in yesterday's outfit photos.

1 comment:

  1. Of all my body parts, I am most self-conscious of my arms... I am able to lift weights, and I have a small set of hand weights and a routine, but I just forget!