I started knitting about six years ago. I began to have problems with the joints in my knees and my hips. Out of nowhere the joints started to swell and it was so painful I could barely walk. Initially I thought that it would pass. I waited and took the pain killers and hoped for it to go away. But it didn’t. It just got worse and worse, it hurt so much I couldn’t get to work as I couldn’t make it to the train station and even if I could the pain was so great I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate. Beforehand I loved to walk; I walked everywhere. But I was totally stuck in the flat. Suddenly I’d gone from active to a sad little heap on the sofa, veering between terrified of what was happening to me and bored out of my mind.
So, I started knitting. Yes, I was still stuck at home, it still hurt and I still had no idea what was happening, but I finally had something to do! Something fun to keep my brain distracted and my fidgety little hands busy. I was totally addicted and thrilled to have found something so awesome to take from a fairly grim experience.
Eventually I started to realise that this wasn’t a temporary thing and I wasn’t going to get better. I found ways to make it manageable and to ease the pain. I found an amazing acupuncturist, started yoga, learned to relax and nourish myself with better food. I went back to work and got on with my life.
Over the years the pain has come and gone in flare ups. Mostly I’m fine and I can get about, do the things I want to and thoroughly enjoy my life. I eventually got a diagnosis of arthritis and started physio which is an amazing help (even if the exercises are an epic kind of dull). But every few months it sneaks back when the weather is bad, if I’m too stressed, if I’ve been doing too much or as a random suprise. When it happens it’s rubbish and I’m pretty much stuck at home unable to walk as far as the tube unless I absolutely have to do something in which case I have to stuff myself with painkillers . That’s where my knitting comes in. I may not be able to get about but I can knit! I can curl up on the sofa with my knitting, a cup of tea and some trashy telly or a podcast and have a lovely time.
Every now and again I find that the joints in my hands hurt. For quite a long time I have adopted a ‘la la I’m not listening’ approach. I’ve just ignored it, carried on knitting, and hoped that it would go away. But sadly over the past few months it’s becoming apparent that it’s not going away it’s getting much worse. It’s more than likely to be the same problem and I’m going to have to start taking it seriously. It’s got so bad that it hurts to much to knit a lot of the time. It’s fair to say that I’m gutted. However I’m trying to look on the bright side. I’ll have to get myself back to the doctor for the exceptionally long and annoying process of getting a diagnosis (apparently you can’t possibly have arthritis below 40……) and then I need to work out what I am going to do to keep myself busy when my hands aren’t up to much.
Here’s the plan:
- Research knitting for arthritis. Maybe there are special knitting needles? Maybe some wool is better than others?
- Crochet? Maybe that’s easier on the hands?
- A knitting machine? I like this idea. My friend is getting one soon and I thought I’d have a little play with hers and see if I like it and if so try and find me one of my own.
Hopefully I’ll have finished feeling sorry for myself very soon and I’ll be able to put the plan in action.