I live with pain every day. Have done so for over 15 years. I have a condition called rheumatoid arthritis. This is a an auto-immune inflammatory disease that affects the soft tissue around the joints. I am primarily effected in my hands and feet but also have inflammation occasionally in my knees and elbows. It has become my constant companion. I have not had a pain free day in years.
Mostly I can deal with it and then comes along a day like today. A day where the pain is extreme. Where every step taken hurts. Where holding a glass of water is a tricky thing as your hand may just let go without you knowing it. Where even getting a hug from your loved ones is just too painful. That is the kind of day I am having today.
I started writing this in the morning and now it is the middle of the afternoon, if I am lucky I will get it finished by this evening. The pain means that I don’t have the much energy to deal with and typing is making my finger joints feel even more pain. So I take breaks and come back when I can to this.
Here is what I do to cope. I take my meds regularly. I try to get enough sleep. I drink water – that really does help. I take rest days when I need them (like today). I try not to dwell on the pain. I try to find something positive to do with my time. I try to find ways to have gentle exercise.
Then there are days like today where it just doesn’t matter and the pain stops me. I don’t think well. I don’t come across clearly. It is hard to move. The question is why has this happened. Well there is this little thing called stress! It seems to send my system completely overboard. Now those with regular immune systems find that when they are over stressed they get sick. When I,or others like me, get stressed our immune systems go into over drive and attack our joints and we get inflammation and then we get pain.
So I think my body is trying to tell me something. Pain comes from stress and you have way too much stress in your life at the moment. Way too much! I am going to listen to my body and try to figure out how to reduce the stress. Find ways to let the joy creep back into my life.
Looking forward to days with less pain, less stress and more joy.