No Cliff Diving Allowed

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

Cliff HangerRheumatoid Arthritis Guy went to elementary school back in the 1970’s. Bee Gees. Jaws. The Brady Bunch. KC and the Sunshine Band. Star Wars. The Partridge Family.

This was way back before the internet, before satellite television, even before cable television. The name of the game was rabbit ears, and the one television in the house was located in the living room of the house.

So this meant one thing. Every time I stayed home sick from school, I was in front of the television – with my pillow and blanket – between 9am and 11am. Why? Game shows, of course. (Then there were hours on end of boring soap operas, but the pace finally picked up around 3pm with after-school  programming.)

Tic Tac Dough was fun – remember the cheesy dragon graphics? Let’s Make a Deal was a classic – but even in the 70’s it seemed dated. I don’t remember when Hollywood Squares and Wheel of Fortune started, but I think those were usually shown later in the day right before prime time.

And no, I haven’t forgotten about that all time favorite: The Price Is Right. What a fun-filled hour of fun and excitement that you could play along with. (Remember every now and then there was always that last contestant in the opening bidding who subtracted rather than added a dollar to the highest bid – what a hoot!)

[Warning: I could not figure out a smooth transition to the next paragraph that made any sense…]

I have often been asked by other people living with rheumatoid arthritis for suggestions on how they can continue to do everything they are used to doing, without having to deal with the resulting pain and fatigue. I sort of chuckle whenever I hear this question, because I too used to be at a point where I wanted the best of both worlds.

But I have since learned that if I don’t want to deal with so much pain and fatigue, I have no other choice than to diminish the amount of activities I try to complete on any given day. I no longer struggle with postponing and item that I had originally put on today’s to-d0 list, and I take mid-day naps when I need to.

Since I felt much better this past week, I must admit that I haven’t been following my own rules as closely as I should be. I think we’ve all experienced that feeling, where the oppressive weight of rheumatoid arthritis temporarily lifts and once again it feels like we can take on the world!

So, I once again commit to not overdoing it – even on my good days. I was thinking about a mental image that I could use to guide me during throughout the day, and I think I found one.

[Back to the Price is Right…]

One of my favorite games was Cliff Hangers. The game board showed a mountain climber on the side of a mountain. There were 25 steps. Contestants were shown three products and had to guess their price. For every dollar that they were off from the actual price, the mountain climber moved up one step (accompanied by yodeling music).

If the mountain climber remained after the three product prices were guessed, the contestant won. If the mountain climber fell over the cliff before the three product prices were guessed, the contestant had run out of steps – which meant that they lost.

I will now pay close attention to how much energy I exert throughout the day, all the while reminding myself that I have “25 steps”. If I push myself too far, I know that the consequences are going to be severe. I certainly don’t want to be falling over any mountain cliffs! (Now if I could only stop yodeling…)

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!


If you are not already familiar with “The Spoon Theory”, be sure to read about it at ButYouDon’