Like Wrapping Myself With A Warm Blanket

blanketYesterday Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy felt like the ground fell out from underneath his feet. Normally this wouldn’t have been so bad since he has a cape to help him during these exact types of situations…but as luck would have it, the cape was at the dry cleaners.

Following my 4 a.m. wake-up call, the morning continued to get even worse. The pain continued to spread, and my joints got so stiff and painful (all of them, it seemed) that walking became extremely difficult. I wanted to just drop into bed and get away from it all…which I actually did, but after five minutes things just seemed to get worse, so I forced myself to get up and to go back at sit in my office chair.

I felt like I was losing control of my mind…I didn’t know what to do. The pain was so bad, and seemed to have come on so suddenly that once again I just seemed to forget about all of my previous coping tools. But little by little, I started figuring out what to to. I sent an email to my family members, asking them for prayers of support. I called my psychologist, and she scheduled some time for me to visit during the afternoon. I continued to move around – as difficult as it was – and even went outside to get a little sun and some fresh air.

And then when the pain continued to worsen, and my mind began to spiral into confusion, I decided that if I could not get away from this pain, as bad as it might be, that I might as well welcome it and -strange as it may sound – find comfort in it. I begin to envision my pain as a thick quilt that was wrapped around me. (You know, on those cold winter days when you wrap yourself with your warmest blanket, from around your ears all the way down to your feet.)

Once I did this, it didn’t seem as bad anymore. It actually felt better…and somewhat protective. (Odd, no?) The worst was not over, but at least I once again had control of my thoughts. I started looking forward to lunch. I spoke with my sister. I still could not see through to the end of my day, but I started thinking about activities that would get me through the day. Lunch. My afternoon session with my therapist. My evening class. Maybe a movie at home afterward.

I had lunch. I placed my wide-grip handle on my fork. I used my angled knife. I cut my own food and I fed myself. Things were looking up. I reminded myself that it was okay to use both hands to lift my glass of water. I had a warm cup of tea afterward…something that I was unable to lift only a few hours before. Things were looking up!

I eventually made it through the rest of my day. The pain started to decrease. No, it didn’t go away completely, but instead returned to it’s previous “normal” level. All of a sudden, returning to just normal levels of chronic pain seems like a blessing.

Last night I slept well. I slept in late, in order to make up for the tiring and stressful previous 24 hours. Luckily it’s Saturday, so I can take it easy. Maybe read a book or catch some college football. My body has taken a beating and is still in recovery mode…but I’ll be nice to it, and I am sure that it will soon feel much better.

Here’s hoping that everyone has a wonderful weekend!

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

10 Comments
10 comments
  1. Tyrone M. says:

    I am in awe of your ability to cope with all-out pain. My RA is nowhere as advanced, but when I have a flareup I will have to start using your train of thought. I usually obsess about the pain and become a little bothered and cranky about it.

    Here’s to hoping you’ll feel better today!

  2. Hazel says:

    I”m glad you’re feeling a little better. I admire your strength. Thank you for sharing your struggle. You speak for the rest of us. You really are a hero!
    Be well RA Guy
    xxoo

  3. cateepoo says:

    In the book The Yoga of Eating, Eisenstein refers to food and how after we eat something that doesn’t work for our bodies, we want to hurry and take something for it and make the pain and uncomfortableness go away. He suggests doing the opposite. He suggests experiencing the uncomfortableness and learning from it much like you did with your pain. Instead of trying to rush it away, we learn from being in the moment and it carries us to the next experience we have with this disease. You helped yourself in so many ways. I hope today is better and you can enjoy the weekend.

  4. Jules says:

    Those warm cups- coffee in my case- are the only reason my hands work in the morning. Both hands on them gives much needed warmth to loosen the stiffness in my hands. Evenings, I switch to tea or a chai mix- but in any event- it has become a source of comfort for me knowing that this little thing that so many take for granted will give me much needed relief.

    I hope you are feeling better today and that each hour brings less and less pain. Be well.

  5. Diana Leneker says:

    When I fight the pain…it becomes unbearable at times. But I’ve learned to just accept it…realize that my body is telling me to stop…relax…and find something else to do besides worry. All hard things to do, but once I accept it, it becomes easier to live with. I’ve finally realized that if my day involves sitting…I’ll read. On days I can walk, I do that. No 2 days are alike. Thanx for sharing all your thoughts. I look forward to reading all about your experiences everyday.

  6. Wren says:

    Distraction — reading a book, writing, watching a good movie — has always been my “warm blanket” when the pain goes into that “unbearable” mode. But I love your creativity in dealing with it, and next time (because I know there will be one) I’m going to try your method. Thanks for sharing it with us. I wish you a gentle and pleasurable weekend.

  7. Laurie says:

    ((((RA Guy)))) I’ll pick up your cape at the cleanres for you. In the meantime, remember that children can make a cape out of anything and be superheros in a flash!

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