Hey, Ealasaid, where ya been?

In short: my chondromalacia finally got bad enough that I started physical therapy (as a last-ditch effort before getting surgery). The PT made my knees hurt worse for several weeks (as expected) — enough so that I was hardly able to do any cardio exercise. Even walking for too long made me gimpy.
But there’s this evil catch-22 we fibromyalgia patients get to deal with: if we don’t exercise, it makes our fibro worse. And when our fibro is flaring, it is really, really hard to exercise. So we don’t, and the fibro gets worse.
My knees are finally getting better (to the point I may just keep up the PT and not get surgery, yay!), but I’m in the midst of the worst fibro flare I’ve had in a long time. It hurts to flex my hands (and yes, typing hurts). It hurts to stretch. It hurts to walk. It hurts to sit still. Everything hurts.
And it will continue to hurt until I go back to exercising.
I’ve started doing a very, very gentle stretching routine. Not quite every day, but more days than not. It’s helping. Once I can do the stretching routine without making “ow ow ow” faces, I’m going to start walking laps again. And work back up to going to Aikido and working out and everything.
It’s hard to be patient with this stuff. I resent that at age 31 I have trouble making myself do a stretching routine designed for, as far as I can tell, women in their fifties. I resent that the things I need to do to make myself feel better hurt like crazy. I resent that this illness is keeping me from the things I love — Aikido, swimming, not being in constant pain.
The one good thing that has come out of this is that it has really forced me to understand the women I remember looking down on when I first was diagnosed with fibro. There were women on my email lists who could hardly leave the house because they hurt so bad, gals who some days couldn’t get dressed because the weight of their clothes hurt their skin. Women who said they couldn’t exercise because it hurt too much and they had no energy. This whole experience has made me really sympathize — and made those women even more of a cautionary tale. I do not want to end up like that, and now I know I will if I don’t make myself stick to my exercise program, as simple as it is.
I have to exercise or I will keep getting worse. It gives the expression “no pain, no gain” a whole new meaning.
I’m going to go do my stretches now.

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