Monday, May 2, 2011

"Cracking" Joints and Rheumatoid Arthritis and... My Admition of Truth

Alright, okay.... Again, this blog is not about coffee enemas.  I'm still trying to figure out how to tell my story about that subject.

What I want to talk about today is a relatively normal habit many people seem to have.

Do you like to "pop" your knuckles?  Does someone you know, love or work with constantly "crack" their neck?  In the distant past I was known to purposely pop my knuckles on occasion too, not a lot mind you, but occasionally. These days my joints pop, crack and creak from the most minor movements and it's not a relief or enjoyable at all.

One of my children "cracks" his neck daily, sometimes multiple times in the evenings.  It drives me crazy.  Crazy with worry that he is somehow injuring himself and at the same time nauseous from the thought of the pain that seemingly benign habit would cause me if I were to do it.  I feel the same way whenever I see or hear anyone "popping" or "cracking" joints in front of me.  I just cringe.

My husband seems to love popping many of his joints but toes are his favorite and he says it feels wonderful.  He enjoys it so much that over the years he has been "thoughtful" enough to pop mine, out of habit I'm sure, without bothering to ask.  The first few years of our marriage this was just a nuisance and not a big deal.  A tad bit of an annoying habit in someone I adore but it is definitely something I can overlook.  That was, until I got rheumatoid arthritis.  With severe rheumatoid arthritis that originated in the feet, well..... this little "favor" is excruciatingly painful.  The last time he unconsciously did this for me I shrieked from the sudden shock and pain, flying off the couch like I was bit by a snake.  Once I was able to control my tears I looked over to find him.... what was that look?  Frustrated and upset with me? Are you kidding?  He was hurt by my so described 'exaggerated' outburst?  Really?!

I'd like to think that, over the past SIX years since I've been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, my family has come to understand and accept my disease.  Sometimes I think they do.  Other times I wonder if they even remember I have it and I believe it's partially my fault that they have.  First off, I hardly ever complain. Second, I still attempt to do everything I've always done though now it can be severely painful.  That's just the life of a person with RA.  Everything is painful now whether it be a bear hug, vacuuming or something requiring serious physical work.

Over the years I've had my moments of believing that I've "cured" the RA.  The insanely healthy raw food/living food lifestyle that I've spent the past 4 years trying to stick to in my attempt cure myself, does help.  Really, it does!  I would highly recommend it to any and all RA sufferers around the world. 

But does it really "cure" rheumatoid arthritis?  Sadly, I have to admit that it does not. Does it slow it down?  I believe that this statement is mostly true, at least in my experience.  Does it make you feel better? Yes! Most definitely! Does it lesson the pain?  Sometimes, yes but sadly not everyday. 

Though I will continue to stick to a 90-100% raw food lifestyle and praise it's benefits I have to admit that I do actually have an incurable and debilitating auto-immune disease.  However, I am also able to admit that I have some control over it without the use of prescription drugs by being a living foodist and I'm thrilled with that!  The recommended drugs of methotrexate, steroids and other NSAID's actually create so many more side-effects that I'm grateful I'm able to control some of the disease with living foods.