The conversation I thought I’d never have
“Hi Kris. How are you?”
“Fine, I guess. Hey, I have a question for you…has anyone in our family that you know of had osteoarthritis?”
“No, I don’t know of anyone that does.”
A pause. “Well, you do now.”
Before the diagnosis
This was the conversation I had with my sister last week, dropping the unpleasant new that I had been diagnosed with something I never even considered I would get – osteoarthritis. Her reaction has been common among those I’ve told about my newly discovered condition and were unfamiliar with it – shock & questions. And while many are unfamiliar with it and unclear on what it does to the human body, I at least thank God that it wasn’t something more deadly. While that part is good news, now I am saddled with the task of learning about what I have and how to live with it.
This story does in part have to do with networking. For years – at least 12 – I went to the same chiropractor. He was fantastic, he always helped me and everything I thought was fine. At least it was until about a year and a half ago when suddenly his adjustments weren’t holding like they used to. It took a few months to realize what a problem this was as I was adjusting what I did to try to compensate – upping the calcium supplements, being more careful lifting, wearing my pelvic brace more often, etc. I adapted, but nothing was working.
Then a year ago my ancient car suddenly couldn’t make the trip to his office in Glendale anymore. So, out of necessity car-wise and because it really did seem like I needed to, I started hunting for a new chiropractor. I found one in a networking group I was in, but they had even worse luck trying to keep my back in place.
What was found
Was it just that I was getting old or was there something else going on? I had to find out.
Through my networking at local events this past September, I found a new networking group and joined. I quickly discovered their chiropractor is different. He’s interested in helping me heal, not just maintain my spine’s stability, which obviously was no longer working. Going on a hunch backed up by many years of practice, he sent me out for x-rays on the first visit.
That’s when they found it.
A networking lesson from all this
Networking effectively requires a bunch of different skills. Among these is an openness to change up what one is doing in order to either increase our business and/or adapt to the changing marketplace. Humans are creatures of habit to which change is instinctively both alien and even threatening, but without change we fall prey to the saying, “Evolve or Die”. If I hadn’t changed networking groups in an effort to generate more business, I never would have discovered a chiropractor that took the time to figure out why the adjustments weren’t helping anymore. The Evolve or Die – or in this case, “Evolve or Suffer” lesson proved its worth in my business yet again.
But what about the Osteoarthritis?
You may wonder why I’m not telling you more about Osteoarthritis at this point. Well, it’s less than a week into the diagnosis for one thing. And though I’ve asked many questions and gotten some answers, my chiropractor has a plan of treatment we both agree on. But other than that, there isn’t much to tell after only two adjustments and five days.
I could have waited until I knew more, or even if this treatment would work, but quite a few people have asked me to keep them informed of what happens. They too apparently have a personal interest in the disease. That told me I needed to chronicle this part of my life not for me, but for everyone out there whose lives it could improve.
From here I will keep you all up to date on what happens and what treatments work and what doesn’t. I will also give you more background on other issues that complicate my situation. While they are rather personal, you need to know because every body is different and every case of osteoarthritis is affected by that in turn. It is my hope that in sharing this knowledge I can help more people not just live with osteoarthritis, but actually beat it for as long as is humanly possible.
If you have osteoarthritis or know of someone who does, please share their experiences in the comments section. I will reply to everyone and we will find the answers together.