The Arthritis Healer

Lessons from excruciating pain

Around four decades ago I was one day jogging through the woods in the dead middle of winter in New Jersey. The ground was covered by snow and ice. Suddenly, my left foot hit a patch of ice and it furiously spun around. I went flying through the air and landed on my back in unbelievable pain. Getting up on my elbows, I looked down at my body and saw that my left leg was facing backwards!

My inner warrior was gravely wounded.

I suffered a complete spiral femur fracture. Usually it takes a freak skiing accident to do that. The femur bone broke just above the left knee. I ended up in the hospital in traction for six weeks. That was followed by eight weeks in a walking cast which was followed by physical therapy.

Medical technology was not as advanced then as it is now. There are much better types of casts now. Back then they just put your whole darn leg in a cast. So for over three months my left ankle was in a cast and never moved the whole time. When the walking cast finally came off my ankle was frozen. I could not move it at all!

With time, physical therapy and lots of walking my leg in the knee area finally healed from the gruesome fracture and my ankle finally healed from not moving for over three months. Before long there was no pain whatsoever and I was walking around like normal. I was fully healed and eventually forgot all about it.

(I have never again gone jogging since that incident. My motto became: Why run when you can walk?)

Fast forward around four decades. I am now officially an old fart (meaning that I am over the age of sixty). Guess what? I have arthritis. And that arthritis is located in my left knee and my left ankle.

Prevailing medical wisdom states that arthritis often develops in joints that suffered trauma earlier in life. Well, I guess I am living proof of that. Upon learning that their arthritis developed from past physical trauma, many people simply accept that and resign to living with their arthritis — popping pills to relieve pain.

Well, not me! Not only do I vehemently refuse to take any sort of medication (I won’t even take an aspirin) but my Inner Healer won’t let me give up. He insists that I can heal anything.

He also insists that I look beyond past physical causal factors. He insists that there are always other metaphysical factors. The main thing he prescribes is attitude adjustment.

To me, walking is a spiritual practice. Since I do not currently own a car walking is also how I get anywhere. Furthermore, my part-time job requires me to be on my feet for extended periods of time. My legs are very important to me!

I have only been experiencing the arthritis in my left knee and left ankle for a few years now. It comes and goes and is always more severe in winter time. It also flares up just before a big storm. Back when I was young and I heard old people say they knew a storm was coming because their arthritis was acting up I took that with a heavy dose of skepticism. But now I know it is true.

When the arthritis first started showing up I was worried. As I said, my legs are very important to me. I would do some self-healing treatments on my knee and ankle and the arthritis would go away or at least subside. But it would keep coming back — especially in winter. This past winter just ended (hopefully) the arthritis was worse than it has ever been.

My Inner Healer just rolls his eyes. He knows why it has gotten worse. And so do I.

I happen to be a huge fan of Louise L. Hay. She is such an incredible woman. She has written a few books on healing but the one I reference the most is a teeny tiny book called, Heal Your Body. Almost the entire book is one very long chart. In the left column is listed just about every physical ailment one can experience. In the middle column is listed the probable mental cause of the ailment and in the right column is listed the new thought pattern (attitude) that can alleviate the problem.

Most people will poo poo this approach to healing but ever since I first bought the book almost thirty years ago it has been 100% accurate 100% of the time.

This is what the book says about knee problems:

Cause: Knees represent ego and pride
New thought pattern: I am flexible and flowing

And this is what it says about ankles:

Cause: Inflexibility and guilt. Ankles represent the ability to receive pleasure
New thought pattern: I deserve to rejoice in life. I accept all the pleasure life has to offer

And there it is in a nutshell. My thought patterns — especially this last winter — have been all screwed up. I haven’t been in the flow. I’ve been inflexible and egoic. And I have not been rejoicing in life so much and I’ve been denying myself pleasure.

It was a couple of weeks ago that my arthritis got really bad. So I pulled Louise L. Hay’s book off the shelf and re-read those passages. That is when I made a resolution to tweak my attitude. It’s part of the reasoning behind my “Week of Celebration” that I talked about in my article, The Last Blizzard.

Well, guess what? My arthritis is completely gone right now. My joints feel completely normal with no pain whatsoever. It only took a little over a week for the arthritis to fully disappear. And all I did was change my attitude! I didn’t even use any of the physical self-healing techniques that my Inner Healer taught me. It was nothing more than a change in thought patterns.

Of course, I need to maintain those new thought patterns and attitude to keep the arthritis at bay. As soon as I slip back into the old thought patterns my knee and ankle will quickly let me know. See how important it is to listen to your body?

Anyway, today is Day Two of my week of celebration and I must say that I’m really getting into it. I can’t wait for my picnic on Wednesday.

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Earthling — Lifelong novelist & essayist —

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