I currently find myself in a much better place than where I was a week ago. Sure, the pain is still there – but it is neither as intense nor as constant as it was just a few days ago. Up until a few months ago, when I was in this same situation, I would have still been struggling for the pain to go away completely. Even though the worst of the flare had subsided, my feelings of anger and sadness would continue to grow. I (mistakenly) believed that I could not be happy until my rheumatoid arthritis went away completely.
Now, if the pain is somewhat moderate and focused on only a few joints, I find this a blessing. Better yet, I find myself at peace…and happy. Just yesterday, when I was at physical therapy, my therapist and I were talking at how well I handled this latest flare. Sure, there were a few moments when the pain seemed too much to bear…but as soon as they passed, I got back on track and focused more on doing the things that I needed to do to take care of myself.
While it often used to seem that everything was working against me during my worst flares, this past week I saw that this is not always the case. At the request of my university, I recently started teaching two of my classes each week online. On those two days, I am able to teach from the comfort of my home office. A transportation strike also gave me a day off on Wednesday, so I ended up having three days in a row in which I did not have to make a physical commute. During those days I had two sessions of physical therapy and one visit to the clinic for an anti-inflammatory injection.
The weather, which seemed almost winter-like for most of the week, turned warm and sunny on Thursday. For once, it seemed like the weather was actually cooperating with my rheumatoid arthritis!
Yesterday, I promised my dogs that I would take them for a walk today. Up until a few years ago we used to go for walks every day. In the past few years, I have no longer been able to take them on daily walks…but when we do go out for a walk, we have just as much fun. My rheumatoid arthritis is still present and a few joints (including my left ankle) still need a lot of care, but in a few minutes we will go out on our walk. Life, even with rheumatoid arthritis, is a beautiful thing.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!