This was the amount of time over the past two days during which I was absolutely pain free. No, not just “the pain is not registering” pain free. I’m speaking about a complete absence of pain. 100%. Even my physical therapist was surprised when I showed up for my appointment yesterday, exhibiting absolutely no signs of inflammation.
Since last night, however, my rheumatoid arthritis seems to be making up for its lost time! The pain and swelling is back, as is the crying/whimpering in my sleep.
During that day and a half in which there was no pain, I did not even attempt to disillusion myself with thoughts that my RA was gone (as I have often done in the past.) I found that doing so makes the eventual return of the symptoms that more difficult to deal with.
What did I do during this time? I walked up a long flight of outdoor steps. Slowly. Fully aware of the absence of pain each time my foot touched the ground again. It was a lovely experience.
I woke up, bathed, and got dressed. And then I realized that I did not have a drop of my usual early morning pain and stiffness.
In the bigger picture, 36 hours may seem like a very brief time. This past week, this was an eternity for me. Yes, I knew the pain would more than likely soon be back, but during that window I enjoyed every minute and every second, without fooling myself into thinking that it was a new normal.
I am allowing myself to entertain the possibility, though, of having more of these brief episodes in the future. I think I’ll call them “anti-flares”. I like the idea.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!