Once I knew the osteoarthritis was taking place, my life was changed not that drastically only because I already had limitations and restrictions. So I was completely aware that I couldn’t do things everybody else could do.
The osteoarthritis didn’t change so much, but it gave me more pain on a daily basis, because with the other problems—you had your surgery, you recovered, and those things were behind you unless you did something stupid (which I tend to do a lot).
But the osteoarthritis, it’s there every single day. It doesn’t go away. At nighttime, if you turn on the wrong side, you feel it. During the day, you feel it. Trying to put my shoes on is the most difficult thing for me to do. Even trying to put this belt on is tough. I cannot put a belt on once my pants are on; I have to put my belt on when the pants are on the ground or something like that, because I can’t get around all the way, my back. And that’s all osteoarthritis.
So, it’s the day-to-day activity which is difficult. Driving is difficult because of osteoarthritis. I have trouble turning my head. Part of that is cervical surgery, but part of that is also my spine has so much arthritis into it I cannot turn (at least properly). So I have an oversized mirror to compensate when I’m driving, and I also depend on good ears—so when I make a turn if someone’s beeping at me, I know I did the wrong thing.
So those are the type of things that have really impacted me, but it really hasn’t slowed me down as compared to the spinal surgeries. It’s more or less that you’ve got to deal with it every day and make the best of it, that’s all.