Delayed Reaction

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy 9 Comments

On Friday evening, I found the mother lode of pain located – conveniently enough – in my right wrist. The most intense episode lasted about an hour. When it passed, I proudly reminded myself about how such episodes in the past used to emotionally knock me down for days, which did not seem to be the case anymore. Sure, these episodes continue to be difficult to get through, but at least I seem to be a little more “prepared” for them.

Yesterday afternoon, when I was at physical therapy, we once again reached the point where the maximum electrotherapy current was being delivered to my ankles, and I couldn’t feel a thing. In the past, I used to break down right at that moment, as it served as a objective and stark reminder of exactly how much pain I was in. Yesterday, I held my head up high as I remembered this, and told myself that I would get through this episode as I have gotten through other episodes.

Later during the day, I completely lost the use of my left hand for more than an hour. As luck would have it, this coincided with the time when we sat down to eat a meal. In the past, I would have have been reluctant to ask for help and would have instead struggled to cut my own food, resulting in even more pain. Yesterday, I calmly asked for help, and even through I am left-handed, I used my right hand to lift my fork. When a small glass of jello was served for dessert, I propped it up in between my knees and scooped it up with a spoon – without so much as a second thought. I once again felt proud of myself.

And as evening came, I continued to marvel at how well I seemed to be coping with all of my latest challenges.

But when nighttime arrived, and when all of my joints (including my shoulders – those have not been affected in months) were simultaneously experiencing intense pain and inflammation, my wall of cheery thoughts and personal pride came tumbling down. All of a sudden, it was once again just too much to handle.

So I cried. (Sobbed, actually.) My mind raced around, and I barely knew up from down. I tried reminding myself that the worst would eventually pass (which it did), but during those many minutes the pain seemed to be more than I could bare, and all of my connections with the world around me seemed to disappear.

Little by little, they started to come back. My partner ran around in the way he knows how to during moments like those, and plugged in the aromatherapy machine (whose scents always give me a sense of balance during crisis moments like this), heated up a buckwheat pillow to wrap around my ankles, and prepared a cup of hot tea.

So yes, I crumbled pretty hard last night. I used to be ashamed of moments like the one from last night, but not anymore. I got through it, as difficult as it was. And in the end, isn’t this something to be proud of?

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

Comments 9

  1. Millicent

    Yes, it most certainly is something to be proud of. This, too, shall pass—a saying that is always true. Persevere–& I hope that today is the start of an upswing for you!

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  3. Post

    Good for you in taking pride in the “little things”. All those little things add up to be very big! And GOOD for your wonderfully supportive partner. We all could use one of him! Believe me…he is rare!!!

  4. Lana

    I hsve my moments too where I am not sure how much more i can take, and then I find ways to work about my pain and stiffness. After awhile, it becames second nature, frustrating, yes, but still part of who we are. It also is good that you have someone in your life who takes the time to understand and be supportive – It makes all the difference in the world.

  5. Meredith

    We all need emotional release. Having RA requires going through almost an endless cycling of the grief process and sometimes you have to feel the sadness, but if you find that you are getting back to acceptance at a healthier pace – that is definitely something to be proud of. I hope you are having a better day today. Your strength is truly inspiring.

  6. Cathy

    Yikes! The pain sounds awful. Just reading about it makes my own shoulder want to run and hide because it knows that pain you are talking about and it is bad. I am glad you made it to the other side. You are strong. I am glad you cried and let out those emotions and had such a loving person there to help you through it.


  7. Wren

    I used to dream of flares that would last an hour or two, then go away. Mine always lasted anywhere from 12 hours to four days — they’d start suddenly, ramp immediately up in intensity, and then stay like that until they were over, which was always as sudden as the start. This hand, that knee, this foot. Today it’s different. Mostly all low intensity, mostly all the time, and always in my hands and wrists. And yet there are times when I can cope with the pain better than others. I wish I could cry.

    Your courage is endlessly inspiring, RA Guy. I hope these bad flares will soon ease and give you a nice, long, pain-free break.

  8. Laurie

    (((((Gentle Hugs)))))My prayers are with you my friend.
    I don’t think I have ever had a flare like you seem to have. Mine are more like Wren”s, with a huge dose of fatigue thrown in for good measure.

  9. Dottie

    Sure your should!…I am also very proud of you….thousand of abrazos every single minute!!!

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