But I'm damned if I'll let it kill me!
But before I go any further, let me explain something. I am well aware that this blog is open to the whole wide world and that anybody can read whatever I have it in mind to say, but I do sometimes treat it as a personal, almost private thing. It practically doubles as an outlet for random thoughts and moans and also as a personal journal. The journal bit is usually hidden between the lines and, I hope, is intelligible - even apparent - only to me. Today's post is overtly of the nature of personal thoughts. Please do not get the idea that I'm wallowing in self-pity or looking for sympathy from anyone. This is just to remind me of my intentions and is to be here as a prod when things get bad. As they may well do at any time.
I started this post with something of... a lie? an exaggeration? Whatever, it is patently untrue that arthritis killed my father. Arthritis is not a life-threatening condition. All the same, my father suffered badly and for the last few years of his life was very nearly chair-bound. I think that was the cause of the pneumonia that killed him.
My experience is that sitting around moaning about how stiff one is only makes matters worse. Many a day I have struggled to take the dog for a walk in the morning, only to find that after about 20 or 30 minutes of gentle walking, the stiffness has gone from my legs. Slowly pushing the affected muscles farther and farther does have a beneficial effect. But I must make sure I don't overdo things, which is what happened yesterday. After lunch I walked the dog (for the second time) and we strolled in Stanmer woods for nearly an hour. As soon as I got home, I went out again with the Old Bat and spent 50 minutes walking round the supermarket. Then I mowed the grass. By the evening my shoulders were agony. So I took a couple of paracetamol mid-evening and two more on going to bed - and hey presto, this morning I'm much better. I can even make a fist of my left hand, something I have been unable to do for several weeks, and enjoyed a small triumph when I picked up the kettle and poured from it using my left hand alone.
So, a final memo to self: don't give in - but be reasonable in what you try to achieve.
The last two or three days have been glorious, but it's raining again today. On Monday I walked up the Waterhall valley, which is looking much greener that the last time I posted a picture taken at this spot.