Imagine if at least half of your days were truly sick days – as in fever, night sweats, body aches, difficulty walking, overwhelming fatigue. Actual, in-bed sick days.
And what if the rest of your “functional” days were all filled with crazy symptoms too? (you just happened to be out of bed for part of them?)
And, think, what if every time you stood up, pain radiated through your hips and lower spine? And your feet throbbed? What if you reached a point where standing for more than 5 or 10 minutes without a break was just intolerable?
What if you had to take sleeps once or twice a day, no matter what?
And you had numbness and tingling and pain in your hands every time you used them?
What if your eyes were so dry you couldn’t see properly at times no matter what you did to correct the problem?
What if your heart rate stayed abnormally high despite all medication and you could just feel it race?
What if some mornings you woke up inexplicably short of breath and it took hours to shake it off?
What if your knees had a kind of jackhammering pain that made you want to just sit and scream?
What if you woke up with “morning stiffness” that never left for the day?
What if the pain in your feet was pretty well guaranteed to never go away?
What if your ankles looked like those of a ninety eight year old with congestive heart failure by the end of each day?
What if general life stress could trigger a flare that would send you straight to the hospital – or worse?
What if you lived with constant anxiety and guilt because you couldn’t do the things you used to do anymore?
I have a pretty great life despite my illness but this week has been one for the record books.
And I decided that, with this being Arthritis Awareness Month, it was time to talk about some of the bad things too – as I always try to write honestly about my disease:
After the major fallout with my son on Monday night, my health started decompensating pretty quickly. . . and by Wednesday, I was in total misery, napping on and off throughout the day, struggling to summon the strength to make it to the shower. At 5 PM, when my husband was coming home from work, I finally had to give up and just go back to bed in earnest.
Since I’ve gotten up from that sleep, my pain is still just out of control. I am now taking timed Prednisone doses – which is the last thing I want to do with my broken bone situation but I don’t have a choice really – and doing some work while staying put on my bed with Henry the Wonderpup.
Since I’ve had to hit this reaction with the massive prednisone, I am hopeful it will break soon. I just hate that, when something happens that is terribly upsetting, I can just sit and wait for hell’s own flare to come but there is nothing I can do to stop it.
In addition to the pred, though, I will step up my anti-inflammatory diet and oils and all of the things that I know to do to help myself. I will also be staying home for the next few days, resting and working in bed. Hopefully and prayerfully by this weekend, I’ll be close to my baseline.
As always, I’ll be fighting forward.
Be well, everybody.
Grace and blessings.