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Old 05-12-2013, 09:41 AM   #1
cceandme
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Advice for someone newly diagnosed with Osteo Arthritis

I just got diagnosed with osteo arthritis a few months ago (in my knees) and all I have done is worry about our WDW vacation. I already requested a ground floor room at CSR which the CM i talked to said it was guaranteed because of medical reasons. (there were no handicap accesible rooms left and I didnt want to take one just because of stairs)
I need advice. we are staying for 8 nights. doing parks 7 days. I am really worried about using an ECV or wheelchair because when i am still for a long tme my knees get worse. Usually my knees feel better the more I use them. Do you think they will be worse using them as much as I will at WDW? or possibly better as they will be getting lots of exersise. this is all so new to me so I don't know what to expect.
Any advice from someone who is in my shoes would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 05-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #2
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I don't think that is predictable. I would budget enough money to rent a wheelchair daily and only get it if you have to use it. You will go in most of the same lines as everyone else for the most part. When you are routed off to a special line, you may actually have to wait longer than others (depending on how many people are using WCs.)

I would take whatever medicine you doctor prescribed exactly when you should. That will do a lot to keep the pain away.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:37 AM   #3
cceandme
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Standing in line isnt really the issue. we are doing RD and using fast passes as much as possible. i try not to get in a long line. my real concerns are the walking all day. And I'm considering getting a GAC just for the lines with stairs
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:10 PM   #4
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There is no way other than a WC or ECV to help with walking--especially between attractions. As I said before, strangers cannot predict how your arthritis will do with walking. Your physician is your best bet for that!
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:43 PM   #5
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It's really tough with any kind of arthritis to find just the right activity level between too little and too much. If you do end up getting a wheelchair, you don't have to use it 24/7 - you can get up and walk whenever you like.
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Old 05-13-2013, 12:53 PM   #6
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If your only real concern is stairs and not the amount of walking then absolutely get the GAC to avoid stairs. I'd probably get that before even going into the park the first day. There aren't many attractions with stairs but there are some.

If you do find that you're needing to sit a lot then something you could consider is renting a manual wheelchair and using it more like a walker. You can put your stuff in it and push it so you don't have to carry stuff around the parks and so that you'll have something to lean on if needed plus you'll have a chair right there with you if you need to alternate between sitting and standing. You don't have to make this kind of decision up front as they have lots of manual chairs in the parks. If after your first day (or even part way through your first day) you think you'd benefit from this every day then you can get a chair from an offsite company cheaper than renting a chair in the parks. That'll also allow you use of the chair for the distances between your room and the bus stop as well as the distances between bus stops and park entrances.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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I am usually a lurker but I thought I would respond. I have arthritis in both knees. Last May I walked around WDW and Universal for 7 days. I took naproxen every 12 hours. Other anti-inflammatories work too. I iced my knees every night using ice in a ziplock bag. I paced myself which is very important. I would walk for a while, do some rides, then sit and people watch. Like you I find that the more I use my knees the better they feel. I find standing in one place for a long time hurts so if I am in a long line I try to bend my knees one a time as much as I can, which isn't much any more. I only had one bad day when we were in Epcot but I just enjoyed people watching a bit more. I thought I would be in a lot of pain by the end of the trip but by pacing myself I was fine. I don't do stairs very well but if I can use both banisters I can get myself up or down the stairs. I was even able to start up my daily walking at lunch again as soon as I got back to work. I do know that if I needed an ECV or wheelchair I would definitely use it but this trip it was not needed. I hope you have a great time.
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Old 05-13-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
cceandme
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Thanks for all the advice. What I think I'm going to do is get a wheelchair from an outside rental company. Price is pretty reasonalbe and that way I have it if I need it. I'm going to do as oop recommended and take Advil and try to pace myself. I was worried that my 13 year old would be stuck puching me all the time but you are right i dont have to stay in it the whole time. Our first day there we are doing a half day at HS and i plan to take the wheelchair to see how it goes.
Still pretty nervous but not going to let it ruin our vacation
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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You can also use the wheelchair like a walker and push it when you want to get some exercise. That way you have it if you need it but you are still walking when you want to.
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Old 05-14-2013, 11:58 AM   #10
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I have arthritis and fibromyalgia. I have A in all of my joints. Long before I had to use wheelchair I would use Thermacare pads on my knees and use a cane.
Thermacare would release low heat for 8 hrs. They now have pads that are cooling if that helps you better than heat. I bought a folding cane which is great when you get on the rides. I used a large enough purse to stow it.Use your meds and pace yourself. Before I would admit I needed a wheelchair I suffered lot of pain and it was not something I had to do. P.S. if you are staying at a DW hotel a quick swim before bed helps; refreshing and therapeutic. Have a good trip.
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