A Year Ago Today

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

A year ago today, I was determined to makes some changes in my life. The day before, March 31, I had my first session with a new psychologist. I was looking forward to finding a new rheumatologist. (I was determined to go through the entire list of every rheumy in town, if that is what it took to find a good one.) I started taking daily notes on my pain. After doing so for about week, I came up with the idea to start writing this blog.

As I started making changes during this time, I wanted results immediately. If not within minutes, then within hours. Waiting days for a medicine or the results of a physical therapy session to kick in seemed way too long. Before I knew it, I had established a new routine of doctors visits, therapy sessions, and physical therapy treatments that took place week after week. Months passed, and I was still not completely satisfied with the results.

A year has since passed. Am I satisfied with the results? Absolutely. And looking back, the one thing that sticks out is how much change and improvement there was in my overall being each and every day over the last year, even if I did not see it at the time.

Where will I be one year from now? Living with a chronic illness, I used to be frightened to look that far into the future. Now, I am one again looking forward to the future – whatever it may bring.

Here are some of the first words that I wrote a year ago today.


April 1, 2009

Morning: My entire body ached when I woke up this morning.  This was not the intense, pulsating pain that I typically have in my joints.  Instead, this was the “day after” general soreness pain. It has been about two days since my last bout if intense pain.  Maybe my pain threshold has lowered and allowed me to feel this soreness? My energy levels are almost empty. My ankles are stiff; I do some gentle ankle rotations as I spend most of the morning in pain.

Day: My ankles are pulsating in intense pain.  I am at my desk reading the first chapter on a book on object oriented programming. Initially it is a struggle to focus on my reading, as my attention continues to drift to my ankles.  I continue my reading, taking notes on some complex new concepts.  The more I get into the reading the less I notice the pain in my ankles.  When I finish there is still considerable pain in my ankles, but it eventually subsides about an hour later. This time span is typical for these episodes.

Night: Since I did not go to yoga class in the morning, I do a session of yoga at home during the evening. I am eager to do some upper arm and upper body poses, including inversions. I am a little hesitant – these poses place a lot of pressure on my wrists. I do my routine anyway, and am pleasantly surprised that later on I experience only slight pain in my elbows. I listen to meditative music before I fall asleep, hoping that the pain of the two previous nights does not return.

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