Camping with Arthritis

Discussion in 'Camping for the Medically/Physically Challenged' started by LynnAllen02, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    DH has just been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of the spine and neck. He is in Physical Therapy and working his way through exercises, "ice" and "heat" at appropriate times.

    The ice is not an issue we have the cooler and the frig...for heat I use a sock with rice in it that we microwave. We camp mostly without hookups. I have a hot water bottle that I already put with the camping stuff, but it will not be as pliable and as easy to get to the spots! I don't think I can cook a sock on campstove? Any ideas????

    Another issue is bending down low to do all the stuff at the back side of the PUP? If no resolution, I may need to understand what he does back there so that I can do it in a pinch, what topics should I read up on!!!!

    Anyone have any other issues they have dealt with successfully that I have not thought of?

    We don't really want to know reasons we CAN'T go, the ticket here seems to be to <b>keep active</b>, this all coming to a head after a long winters nap so to speak.

    Lynn

    2006 Pony 283*2008 Liberty* Reserved 2009: 16 days
     
  2. barb_dave

    barb_dave Active Member

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    Instead of using rice for the heating pad you could use salt which can be heated in a pan on the stove. Then poured carefully into the sock.
    My Mom use to do this when I was a kid.

    As for setting up the PUP the hardest part may be the cranking of the roof. If this would be a problem you could look at using a power converter to run a 1/2" electric drill to crank up the roof.

    Have your DH go over the set up with you and do practice runs in the driveway.

    There is always a way to do something but it may take some modification.

    Hope this was helpful

    http://community.webshots.com/user/Barb_Dave
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"><font color=red>1998 Coleman Mesa</font id=red>-<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"><font color=green>1997 Plymouth Voyager</font id=green>
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    Edited by - barb_dave on April 19 2009 10:08:19
     
  3. Big_kid

    Big_kid Virginia Beach, VA

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    Could you warm up the rice on the stove, then put it in a Ziploc bag, or a newspaper bag?

    Are we there yet?
     
  4. Goldens

    Goldens Member

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    For camping I use ThermaCare heat wraps, at home I use a Hydroculator

    <center>Steve & Tucker (Golden Retriever) 88 Palomino colt<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 85 DodgeB250<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 15' Indian canoe<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_canoe.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Canoe"></center>
     
  5. Twisty

    Twisty New Member

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    You could make your own setup manual. If DH is having a really bad day, it would be a real blessing to have all the setup or takedown done w/o any questions or "comments".
    Photograph each and every step taken during setup and takedown. Make notes of everything that has to has to be done and in what order.
    Each page would have a photo or two at the top with typwritten explanation of the step.
    Make it fun - print the instructions and notes on different colors of paper. Cut out the type and paste it under a pic.
    Fresh water would be blue
    grey water grey
    black water - maybe brown
    electric is yellow
    Make yourself a cover with an index on the backside. Laminate the pages and bind.

    2004 Fleetwood Utah
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  6. Tking01

    Tking01 New Member

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    Those are great ideas also do you have friends you camp with or a local club I know if you were camping close to me I would help you out. It won't be long with my wife's history that I will be in the same boat as you Sorry hopefully you can stay active!

    1993 Coleman, Pioneer Seneca XL
    2003 Expedition EB
    2008 12 nights pop up 2 night tent
     
  7. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    These are great ideas...I have a loose leaf notebook for everything pup related! I will put it right in there!

    Now to see if my macho man will let me photograph all of this!

    When we took the pup down off the jacks today he would not let me help, just got down there anyhoo...good news no mice this year...

    Actually cranking the roof fits right in with the exercises for his back he does, and were not too much of a problem today...and I can and often do that job!

    Mostly, I don't want to do what he can do or decrease his activity level in any way...but am afraid I can't do it when he needs me to someday!

    I also think the instant heat wraps are a good idea, the less fuss I have to go to the better he is about accepting the help. I might heat the rice during the day if he needs but first thing in am that wrap will work very nicely!

    Lynn

    2006 Pony 283*2008 Liberty* Reserved 2009: 16 days
     
  8. Leyster

    Leyster Revelstoke, B.C.

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    I have arthritis in the knees and my spine is crooked and have to be careful of wrong moves or lifts, I find the beds in our camper great for keeping my back aligned and on cold wet days I wear gloves or keep my hands over our heater. The doctors all say keep moving and it does help but always in moderation and carefully on bad days. I have back excersizes to do but had to stop as they are done on the floor and one bad spell I had, I had to roll over to the phone to get someone to help me up. As said above on good days when husband can do the set up do it with him and then you will learn to do it when he can not. I have used the heat wraps also and they are good and last up to 8 hours. Camping is for everyone just takes some thinking thru for special circumstances. When I first started camping I had fellow campers offer to back up the trailer for me as I would block traffic too long and give everyone a good laugh too. Campers are usually very friendly and helpful folk. Good luck and enjoy.

    2 happy campers and Autumn
    http://community.webshots.com/user/leysterg
     
  9. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    Thanks Leyster...

    He started with his back exercises right in bed before they moved him to the floor exercises!

    His last day of PT is today, so we are hoping he can continue to progress and we won't need any of these measures...and no winter break next year from exercising!

    Lynn

    2006 Pony 283*2008 Liberty* Reserved 2009: 16 days
     
  10. LifesAGrill

    LifesAGrill Raymond, MS

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    One thing to remember. There is no Olympic medal for fastest camp set up. I do know that it is no fun setting up in the dark, so plan your trips to allow extra time to set up. If it takes 3 hours to setup with breaks, nobody dies. And I fully know how he feels about not wanting any help. I was the same way before back surgery. Now I have no problem accepting help if needed. I do have a problem asking for help, but I am working on this.

    I hope this helps. I look at camping as therapy anyway. I take my time setting up, and if we camp for just one night somewhere in transit, I will just set up the basics and that makes it easier to set up and take down the next morning. The best thing is to remember to keep it in moderation, and if you get tired, take a break. The aging process is hard on all of us. But if we keep doing what we love to do, we will find a way to accomplish that task.

    Happy Camping!
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2001 Coleman Westlake
    Camped 4 Nights in '09
     
  11. shebantam

    shebantam New Member

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    When I lower the front jacks (under the trailer on the bantam and the cabin A) I take a pad with me, I have a small beach type roll out mat, I do not roll it out, but use it for my knees or a piece of the leveling wood. Then to get up I have to use the handle I just cranked down the jacks with.
     
  12. JaHawkins

    JaHawkins New Member

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    LifesAGrill - Thanks for the wise advice! My doc thinks I have R/A or lupus. Not sure which because I was laid off in December and lost my insurance. About 3 weeks after that, I started having symptoms (age 33) and haven't been able to do much testing due to cost. Sometimes the day to day stuff is hard enough that I wondered if I would ever be able to camp again. I love to camp and don't want to let it stop me. Remembering that it's ok to take breaks will be key for me. I've always been a 'go - go - go' person . . . it's hard to learn the balance.

    We bought our first Pup last spring and we're planning to use it more this year than last year - as long as I'm physically able. Thanks for the tips!
     
  13. Fourkids

    Fourkids New Member

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    Lynn,
    Have you investigated speaking with a pharmacist at a compounding pharmacy near you? Compounding pharmacies are very unique in that they can prepare certain medications - like arthritis meds - in forms that are not commercially available. For example, if your husband was not able to take a pill, the compounding pharmacy could prepare an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, into a transdermal cream that he could rub on his sight of pain during flare-ups. Compounding pharmacies are a great resource, and if you would like I could tell you where the nearest one is to you. Just send me a message. Best of luck.
     
  14. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    Thanks Fourkids,
    So far no meds. He was on Advil 3 x a day but it bothered his stomach and then they told him to take Peptic AC for his stomach, and then they told him to try glucosamine, and before he knew it he had added 12-16 pills a day.

    He quit taking all of them one weekend and feels no better and no worse than when he was taking those pills. He still uses Aspercreme, a topical, the non-smelly one...helps quite a bit...

    Update: The heat wraps didn't work too well in the Pup they were too small and had to be covered to stay warm, but the hot water bottle was great, I just boiled extra coffee water in the AM. Had to add cold and fiddle with the temp, but it was big enough for spine and neck and stayed warm a really long time!

    And he changed three tires on our way out of town so he knows that his "adrenalin" will kick in in an emergency and he will be able to take care of us!

    Lynn
     
  15. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

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    I have Rheumatoid Arthritis (no fun), and some days are better than others. My pain reliever is Indocin (anti-inflammatory), and dear doc says to take it with a Zantac 75 to help the tummy (it works). If I can get away with Ibuphrophen (sp), I will take that instead - again with the Zantac (generic).

    As to the PUP set up, I solo, so do it all. I might have to crank 20 times to raise the roof, then rest for a minute, crank again, etc.,

    While others may not agree, I do like the Aspercreme (not heated variety) and have been using for several years. It's a great skin softener (elbows/hands)!

    The thermo wraps also work well. Standing under the hot shower spray is also beneficial.

    Best wishes
     
  16. edmonton_camper

    edmonton_camper Loving it.

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    I so agree with you Pattie... I take naproxin for my arthy and swallow zantac like candy.

    I am 38 years old and arthritis had destroyed my life or tries to but, I wont allow that.
     
  17. PattieAM

    PattieAM New Member

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    I've also found that using the campground pool is very beneficial to the ache of arthritis. Especially when it's weather related. It takes about 15-minutes in the pool for the pain to leave and I'm relatively pain free for about 2-3 hours after getting out.
     
  18. LynnAllen02

    LynnAllen02 Active Member

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    Do you do exercises while in there? Or do you really swim? or do you just soak?

    Sounds great....

    Lynn
     

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