A Storm Is Coming
I was a carefree 24-year-old. My fiancée and I lived in a high rise apartment in the city. It was exciting to live Downtown after fleeing my parent’s house in the suburbs. Our lives centered on work, our puppy Bandit, Age of Empire competitions and Saturday nights with friends. Seemingly overnight, however, our lives were irrevocably changed. Lets start at the beginning.
Since childhood, I’ve struggled to fit into society’s definition of health. I had two choices: succumb to societal pressures and diet, or accept my frame and focus on exercise I enjoy. I chose Option 2. I’ve always enjoyed lifting weights, so I immersed myself into strength training. I loved training heavy. Soreness after a workout meant a job well done at the gym.
That’s how I initially justified my knees locking as I raised from the toilet. As well as the stiffness I felt in my wrists, feet, and fingers when Bandit tugged at his leash on walks. But, as the pain increased, I could no longer rationalize it as “second-day soreness”. My wrists became so fragile I wore a brace so people I just met would not offer their hand. Walking to work was no longer an efficient, enjoyable start to the day. My sore feet and stiff knees made walking an agonizing, slow experience.
Our care-free existence became a combination of pain and worry. I was in bad shape physically and emotionally. My social life ground to a halt. I stopped lifting weights. My mood was melancholy. I slept most evenings due to fatigue and sadness. My fiancée was my strongest support system, but my worsening fear often masked my appreciation. My life, before pain became a constant, was a blurry memory I could no longer view.
My body was in turmoil. I had no idea what I was facing, and I was terrified.