This past June, as some of you may know, I was bit by a mosquito in Haiti. No big deal right? Well…not until I returned and came up with a 104.3 degree fever a week later. Chikungunya, a mosquito borne virus, has a variety of symptoms lasting one week. One of these symptoms however can last up to three years, which is the one I’m currently suffering with: post-viral arthritis. Though not as bad as when I first fell ill, not a day has gone by since getting sick where I haven’t noticed the arthritis.
Around mid-July my body stopped feeling fatigued all the time, and I was ready to train again after weeks off. When I stepped into Gym Laird, Jim had me take it slow (surprise, surprise). Though I still had joint pain, it wasn’t all consuming, I could get through most exercises and daily activities with only minor instances where I would notice it. What I did notice however was my mobility being JACKED UP. The main thing being, my squat has been off. I can’t move my hips as easily when sitting into the squat, and for a few weeks it was like my knees were locked. My squats had a moment when they looked like a “good-morning”. Not a good thing when you’re wanting to squat 200+ pounds. I now squat with a very low bar, where the bar sits on my back about three inches below the top of my trap. This allows me to squat around my immobile hips, though I’m challenged with bending my knees and not just tipping straight forward. Thankfully, Jim has been a great coach as I struggle through squatting each week. I’ve got “bend your knees!!” drilled into my head and plenty of exercises to work on mobility each day.
However, the more I moved and trained, the better my joints felt consistently throughout the day. And, I’ve decided I can’t miss another year of nationals and have been training to compete in Ohio with my girls next month. While my perfect little lifting world, I’d crush my personal records, but this year, I’d be ecstatic with a match.
There’s a few things I’ve been doing to remedy my joint pain (mainly located in my knuckles, toes, and occasionally knees, elbows and lower back). After trying different prescriptions that tore up my stomach and caused further discomfort with minor relief to my joints, I decided to try bone broth spiced with turmeric along with a glucosamine supplement. All three of these have been known to relieve minor symptoms of auto-immune diseases, including arthritis and joint paint. So I thought hey why not? Maybe I’ll get my gut healthy again too.
One month into bone broth and company, my joints have the same relief they did on the medication without the stomach issues. I’m feeling strong and confident that Ohio’s meet will be successful, and hoping that this joint pain will subside fully soon. At 24, I never expected to struggle with arthritis. But the best lesson I’m learning is to again, listen to my body, observe how different things affect it, rest when I need rest and to be patient.
Bone broth recipe: http://wellnessmama.com/5888/how-to-make-bone-broth/
The Paleo Diet (trust me this makes a difference): http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/