Metropolis Musings

I’ll take my meds | September 22, 2009

A mother’s nagging is a powerful thing, but after some time, you just stop processing it.  I think this is important, for if we behoove the advice right away, then how would we ever make mistakes and be able to say “Moms are always right”?

Well, today was one of those days.  I was back in Boston this past weekend and my mother kept saying “Take your Enbrel (my arthritis injection)”.  I was sure my plan was better, for a plethora of reasons, I wanted to wait to restart it (after a summer off with the whole brain tumor) until I found a rheumatologist in NYC who would advise me of their ideal treatment plan so as not to keep starting and stopping with these powerful drugs.

I still think I may be onto something, but today’s lecture in my Physical Biomechanics class exhorted me otherwise.  Today’s lecture was on cartilage, though I won’t bore you with the complex mechanisms that govern it, as many of them still are unknown.  In my own life, I can be told my cartilage is breaking down which has deletrious effects on my joints, blah blah blah, but what is it they say?  A picture is worth a thousand words?  Then let me share a few thousand…WARNING: super cool images, but if you’re not into that thing, they’re somewhat graphic.

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a) a healthy knee condyle, notice how smooth and shiny b) severe erosion of the surface, not smooth c) the beginnings of erosion, d) the entire condyle head broken down and deformed, nothing smooth about it.

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just enough surface incongruity to cause a slippery slope of degeneration

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rheumatoid arthritis of the hand on the left, osteoarthritis in the right

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severe rheumatoid arthritis affecting the metatarsals and phalanges

Now in the first images, the breakdown of the cartilage and bone is due to osteoarthritis, but hey, you readers should be mighty concerned!  It is highly likely that that will be you someday as it affects over 27 million Americans!  Be afraid!  I fall into both categories, so be on the lookout for my glamour shots up there someday.

But really, this is common, and more common with age, but those of you who are runners (ahem-Jaime!!) or do any sort of high impact or repetitive motion, those pictures should be a slideshow through your mind as you do those activities.  Because guess what?  There’s nothing that will reverse that.  Believe me, or I’d have it done too!

My mom’s preached to me that you only get one set of eyes, so I should take care of them, but you only get one set of cartilage.  Abuse it, see what happens.  I dare ya.

So that is my public service announcement about taking care of your joints.  Do with it as you see fit.

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