Walking up to my front door, keys in hand, I popped the housekey into the lock. As I turned the key, I heard a slight "pop" and felt a burning sensation in my finger. "What in the world did I do?" I thought! "It wasn't even that hard to turn the lock!"
Popping a couple of Motrin and applying ice to my finger, I babied it for the next couple of days. Finally, I headed for the doctor's office, convinced I had somehow managed to sprain or break my poor finger. I was both relieved AND shocked to discover I had done neither. Instead, I received a diagnosis of osteoarthritis! It was scary and frustrating, but after plenty of research, I learned arthritis, including in my fingers, was something that I could deal with and still stay active. Very important for this busy granny nanny!
Important baby boomer and senior citizen news for all of us in the Sandwich Generation is that this is Arthritis Awareness month. Since many of us are caring for elderly parents dealing with one of the forms of arthritis and/or have it ourselves or both, like me – in addition to my osteoarthritis, my senior mom is now dealing with both osteoarthritis AND bursitis/arthritis in the hip, as are a couple of other beloved seniors in my family – this is definitely an issue that impacts many of us in the Sandwich Generation. Of course, it's not limited to those of us who are senior citizens (or who are flirting with our senior status)! I have a couple of friends in their 30s who are beginning to see signs of it in their hands or feet. And some of us may have grandchildren dealing with juvenile arthritis. It's definitely a subject that impacts all of our Sandwich Generation families.
I just registered at the Arthritis Foundation and discovered several interesting e-newsletters I can receive, along with an interesting article, 25 Treatments for Arthritis Hip and Knee Pain, that I'll be sharing with my mom. The U.S. government also has some great info on bursitis and tendinitis at The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases – NIAMS including:
"People get bursitis by overusing a joint. It can also be caused by direct trauma. It usually occurs at the knee or elbow. Kneeling or leaning your elbows on a hard surface for a long time can make bursitis start. Tendinitis usually occurs after repeated injury to a certain area such as the wrist or ankle. Tendons become less flexible with age and become more prone to damage.
Doing the same kinds of movements every day or putting stress on joints increases the risk for both conditions. People like carpenters, gardeners, musicians, and athletes often get bursitis or tendinitis.
Infection, arthritis, gout, thyroid disease, and diabetes can also cause swelling of a bursa or tendon. Both bursitis and tendinitis are more frequent the older you get."
You can read the whole pdf document by clicking here. 🙂
EldercareABC has an interesting article, as well, Understanding and Learning About Elderly Arthritis. And speaking of EldercareABC, you'll also find my latest guest post over there, Easier Tools Can Help Our Senior Parents and Friends Continue Enjoying Healthy Gardening Activities, which goes well with this subject, as it was my senior mom's gardening with arthritis that led to that article. 🙂
Arthritis is definitely not fun to deal with. But we CAN deal with it. And thanks to great resources, products, and aids for all ages including the elderly, we can deal with it more easily than our great-grandparents did. How about you and your Sandwich Generation family? Do any of you deal with arthritis in one of its many forms? Got any tips to help us? We'd love to hear. 🙂