Managing Everyday Tasks With Knee Pain
A lot of people who develop knee pain struggle to continue doing the things they always enjoyed. Through thoughtful planning and general awareness, however, I’ve been able to manage quite well. I still make mistakes. Last Wednesday for instance, the weather was beautiful, and I wanted to enjoy the day. After my morning exercise routine, I spent time gardening, cleaning up the lawn—I even went for a brief bike ride. To say the least, I overdid it. My knees were not happy with me that night. I really enjoy staying busy though, so even as I lay in bed in agony, I was still proud of all I had accomplished.
But usually I manage to balance my daily activities while going easy on my knees. Economizing my effort and energy while I clean is very important. I use an extension pole with a brush on the end to wash my windows, and I’m contemplating hiring a professional to cover that in the future. My vacuum cleaner only weighs eight pounds -- that’s wonderful. And my Swiffer is lightweight, too.
I love cooking. That’s something I never want to give up. But now, if I’m hosting a dinner party, I know I just need to do a little more planning. Instead of preparing everything in one day like I used to, I’ll space the dishes out over a few days so I just have to pop them in the oven for the actual party.
Going up and down stairs also requires some planning. If I decide to work in the garden, I’ll go downstairs and stay outside for a few hours. I’m not trekking up and down the stairs a bunch of times. I’ve also got an iPad and an iPhone now, so I don’t have to go downstairs to get on the computer; I can check my e-mail from wherever I am. Knee pain is—well—a pain, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating.
Carol Scoggins is mother to two grown children and two stepchildren. Together, she and her husband, Dan, have four grandchildren. They live outside of Atlanta.
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