The Pain-Free Moments
Pain has always been a "thing" throughout life, but no-pain has up to recently not had any meaning - like having a white wall with black spots on it, you notice the spots and give no thought to the white.
But now I have a BLACK wall with white spots on it! And both the black wall and the white spots are very noticeable indeed! The opposite of pain used to be pleasure, now its anaesthesia, natural and otherwise. The positive in this is that I have developed a profound gratitude for something I previously didn't even perceive as a thing, namely when I'm not hurting.
I have only started hurting since February, so my deterioration is (subject to an X-Ray!) I assume in a fairly early stage. This means I get pain-free moments - a few steps, and when I'm sat on a proper chair. It seems to hold my hip in just the right position. Sat here typing, I'm aware of my hip as a diffuse glow, but it's not actually hurting. So I'm sat here profoundly grateful! Because soon I will have to get up and do stuff!
And here's the arthritic's paradox - if you don't move at all for most of the time, it's as bad as moving too much - you need the tolerable pain of moving gently for a certain period of time, because otherwise your muscles whither (use 'em or lose 'em!) and you lose what mitigating support you have left for your painful joint.
I think that you need to use the pain-free moments in the same way a woman in labour uses the periods between contractions - an opportunity to recover at least some physical and mental strength before the next agony. so in these white patches, you really do need your mind focused on the right thing. If you're spending a white patch thinking how rubbish your life is, you're going into the pain zone completely unprepared and will have a far worse experience. You need to enter the pain zone "in the zone" (to mix metaphors!) I will discuss this further in subsequent articles.