Yesterday was a great day, as Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy’s family got to meet two important individuals of his support team. In the morning, as I stayed home to tutor a new student, my family spent some time visiting with my psychologist. In the afternoon, they joined me for my monthly visit to my rheumatologist. It was nice having these different people in my life – who in their own way continue to provide me with so much support – get to know each other.
It has been a long uphill walk this past year. I worked to establish my professional support team with really strong individuals – people who excel in their fields. I worked to truly share with my family members the ups and downs of life with rheumatoid arthritis. And most importantly, I worked to accept the presence of rheumatoid arthritis in my body and in my life. Yesterday was one of those days when it felt like everything was coming together, full circle.
Just the fact that I can label yesterday as a great day in and of itself is a big step forward, as my rheumatoid arthritis continues to flare. In the morning, I stayed in bed for a couple of hours as I struggled to move my ankles and wrists. I surprise myself sometimes, as I awake to find myself performing soft rotations of my hands and feet. The pain in my wrists once again reached new highs, but it didn’t seem so bad. I don’t want to say that I am getting used to this, because I don’t know if one can every really get used to this amount of pain…but maybe I am getting used to it, in a way.
In the afternoon, right as I was walking into my rheumatologist’s office, my left hand started curling up from the inflammation. I’m all too used to this happening, but up until now it’s only happened in the morning or when I am napping. Now, it comes out of nowhere, anytime during the day. A few minutes later, as I responded in the affirmative to all of the questions that my doctor was asking me, I had to lower my head in embarrassment when asked if I have been doing my daily hand exercises. I haven’t. I need to. I will.
Arava, which we stopped a couple of months ago, is going back in. I had forgotten that this suspension was going to be temporary – the idea was to give my body a break from this medicine, and to try to give me a timeout from the hair loss. But it’s reintroduction is not permanent either…we’re going to introduce 20mg for one month, then 10mg the next month, and see how it works in combination with the Plaquenil.
In the evening, we made peppermint hot chocolate and put up all of the ornaments on the Christmas tree – it looks lovely. My sister gave each of us a new pair of pajamas, a tradition that she was introduced in her husband’s family. We listened to Christmas music as we hung the ornaments, and my mother shared the history of all of my childhood ornaments as we pulled them out of the box.
RA flare. Hot chocolate. More meds. New pajamas. Happy memories. It definitely was a great day.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!