Painful Couple of Weeks
I started this post while in the midst of a rheumatoid flare up, fortunately that has abated but I decided that I needed to share this with you anyway.
This has been a painful couple of weeks for me. I feel just like that red sad face in the midst of all those happy yellow faces. Like the rest of the world is enjoying life and I am left behind. Now I know this is not true and that there are many people who are in worse situations than mine but that is how I am feeling at the moment. As I have explained before I live with the chronic pain of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It is in all the small joints of my hands and feet and I think now my elbows. When I am the middle of a flare, like now, my joints swell and cause the muscle tissue around it to hurt as well. It gets painful to walk and it gets painful to type (this post may take me a while). My hands also lose their grip on things and I get the dropsies.
It has been hard for me to think, to write or to plan anything. I have felt like a complete invalid and have felt mostly useless. It got me to realizing that pain is something that I have to work through everyday. This is not a new learning but it is one I seem to have to learn again and again. It is hard to work through pain and sometimes I just have to give in and let the pain be what it is. Other times I need to get medical help so that I can function. Sometimes you just need to break the pain with medications so that you can sleep and the inflammation can calm down.
I am not writing this to look for sympathy or care. The dear one, other family and friends give me lots of that. I am writing this as a way to share what many like me go through. RA is mostly a hidden condition. You can’t tell immediately that I have RA just by looking at me. You only know if I share that with you. It is like many other conditions that are mostly hidden.
RA has been with me for so much of my adult life that it has become my companion. A companion that has made me see the world with gentler eyes and pay attention to things that I never thought as a young adult I would pay attention to. Issues of accessibility – steps and stairs are hard when you are in the midst of a flare. Issues of work – how do you get it done when you are dealing with pain? Issues of appropriate medical care – I will never take for granted the good health care we have in Canada. I am full of gratitude for having my eyes opened in this way. I wish that it didn’t have to happen because of this condition, but it has and as I said RA is now my companion on this journey of my life.
Unless a cure or better managing drugs are found I know that I will live with pain for the rest of my life. It doesn’t stop me from smiling or enjoying the little things and the big things. It may put a crimp in my plans from time to time, but I will continue to be upbeat because that is who I am. I will take what I have and do the best with it that I can.
What do you live with that has changed your perspective on your life? How have you changed the way you live because of it?