Mike and I joined two other couples in the Shenandoah National Forest in Virginia so that the guys could hike part of the Appalachian Trail. Was it the 3+ hours flight followed by three days of 3+ hours in a car that resulted in pain in my left knee? This is a new one. Walking doesn’t make it worse; stretching makes it better. Ice is comforting but does not relieve the pain once I move. Naproxen relieves the discomfort 50%. I thought that rest helped until the tension unexpectedly reappeared after breakfast. It feels more muscle or tendon rather than bone. Geez! The frustration of getting older is that there is a surprise around the corner, and not necessarily a good surprise!
We all managed to get in a short hike on day one, and the dining hall situated a half mile uphill from the cabin forces us to get a small workout once or twice a day. Since exertion doesn’t aggravate the pain, I can continue to hike.
I admired my mother when, in her later years and in constant pain, she continued to participate in all the family events. She said she would hurt no matter what she did, so she should just do what she wanted. I like to imagine how much more active she could have been without the pain.
Chronic pain/discomfort is fatiguing as well as distracting. Attending to matters other than the pain can offer relief temporarily. Eventually, though, the pain forces one to acknowledge it. My knee is only a mild discomfort most of the time, and I am confident that it will work itself out. Hats off to people who deal with severe pain day in and day out with no prospect of relief. I don’t know what I would do.