Friday, September 7, 2012

Exercise, Autoimmune or Chronic Diseases, Pain.

Exercise. Even the word makes me cringe. It brings back memories of ill-fitting gym suits, smelly locker rooms, and usually being the last one picked for any team sport (except volleyball). I was definitely not a jock. So I hate it when doctors tell you to exercise.


I wonder if doctors understand what they are asking the First if you have an autoimmune or chronic disease, you often don't have energy to spare. Second these diseases usually are very painful. I am a good example of this. If I am just speaking about some of the diseases I have going on like Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, Osteoarthritis, and Chronic Migraine, I lack energy and am in pain. Exercise may help in the long run but it is going to be painful in the process. At times, it is so painful I can't get out of a chair. So what is a girl suppose to do?

It starts by recognizing the importance of exercise in everyone's life. Boy, do I hate to admit this. Next, I know that I can't safely exercise on my own without the risk of injury. I also know that because of my various health conditions, it is necessary to get clearance from my general internal medicine physician prior to starting any fitness type of program.

I see my doctor on Tuesday and will make certain I am healthy enough to begin a fitness program (oh, that sounds so much better than the dreaded word exercise). Then I will ask him if he thinks I need to be supervised by a physical therapist or if I can go to a regular gym. If I need a physical therapist, I'll let him help me with my routine. Otherwise, I go to a gym and start off with a trainer so I don't injury myself and make matters worse.

The goal in the fitness program isn't to look buff or look like a fashion model. The goal is to get healthier and ultimately decrease pain. If this can happen...It will be a good thing.

The fabulous cartoon is from the following website:


  1. You're so right, Suzy. I had to chuckle as I read the first paragraph of this post; you could have been writing about ME as a youngster and teenager, right down to sometimes actually being picked third from last for volleyball games. So I feel about exercise in just about all its forms about the same as you do.
    But I also understand its value for those of us trying to live with autoimmune arthritis and other chronic, painful diseases. The last time I got into a gym routine, I got cocky and tried to add more reps and more weights and more resistance wayyy too quickly. The result was, after a few weeks of that, increased pain that hasn't eased even after several months of rest. I'm thinking about trying again--it WAS something I could do, after all, and until I overdid it I was enjoying and even looking forward to the challenge.
    Exercise IS good for us. I don't know about you, but I have to learn to use a little more common sense--and humility--at the same time.
    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I'll be replying to it soon. And I'm glad you found me so I could find YOU. I'm enjoying your blog and your wisdom.

    1. Hi Wren, thanks for visiting my blog. Hopefully, you'll let me know how your exercising goes if and when you resume it. I'll be anxious to hear.

  2. Fantastic post!! i like the fonts and thoughts both.Cartoon gives a great message and inspires me to do back pain exercises consistently. Pilates Exercises

    1. I will say much as I hate exercise (perish the thought), swimming at the gym and water walking is different than what I was expecting. It is making me feel so much better; I'm glad I'm going.