6:00 PM

6 oclockSix o’clock in the evening: the sun sets, and the temperature plunges. I am once again reminded that I am living high in the Andes Mountains. It’s only the beginning of May. Technically, we’re not even officially into winter – but it sure feels like it! I mentally start my countdown…only twelve more hours until the sun comes out again.

My wrists feel like they’ve been crushed under a huge boulder. The searing sensation in my ankles continues to grow. My left knee is pulsating in pain…five seconds on, five seconds off.

Only as recently as last week did I finally realize how much I really dreaded this time of day. As I look back on last winter, I now understand how much my pain – both emotional and physical – often spiked during this time of the day. When I signed up for an evening language course at a local university a few months ago, some of my worst moments often coincided with the beginning of class, which started at 6:15 pm.

So I’ve decided to make this time of day something to look forward to. Within the past few days, I have gone to a coffee shop, gone to happy hour, or specified an activity to start precisely at this time. The pain is still there, sure, but life goes on.

For all too long, 6:00 pm has been a bad hour for me. I’m convinced, however, that I can make it into a good hour for me.

So far, I’m having good results.

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

6 Comments
6 comments
  1. Wren says:

    Maybe 6:00 p.m. would be a good time to sink into a bathtub full of nice, hot water? And have heat packs ready for when you finally emerge, wrinkled but relaxed?

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with such pain, RA Guy. You’re doing just the right thing, seeking to transform that hour between light and dark, tolerable and really coooold into something enjoyable that can distract you from the pain in your joints. Wooly socks and slippers, maybe a space heater aimed right at you, blankets and a good book?

    Sending all the warmth and care I can from the mountains of Northern California, where it seems the snow is about to be a memory until early next winter …

  2. lana says:

    I am with Wren. A warm bath might make it easier and it will give you a chance to relax.

    Sorry about the pain and with spring just comming in here, I can definately sympathize. Hang in there. sending some warm thoughts your way.

  3. Carla says:

    Ah, man. Just when we’re coming out of hibernation in the Northern Hemisphere and glad to have some heat in our joints, and you get to start the plunge into winter.

    I’ve been following your posts (as I have for a while), and while it’s good news that you’re finding this well of strength and learning amazing coping methods, I can’t help but be concerned that your treatment plan isn’t working well enough. Your pain levels and episodes don’t seem to be stabilizing (or perhaps I’m misinterpreting what you’re posting). I know that you’re taking advantage of non-medication therapy — exercise, massage, PT — but it just seems like a different treatment approach/drug might be in order as well. It took a year and a half of trial and error for me to finally get on Enbrel which seems to be showing consistent results. I’m not in remission, but I know that the disease has slowed waaaaaay down.
    And if warm thoughts can help, I’m certainly adding mine to Wren and Lana’s!

  4. RA Guy says:

    Thanks for all the warm wishes. I start off each day with a warm – make that hot -bath, but maybe I should take some in the evening as well.

    I keep a space heater under my desk that I use when I’m working. In the bed, I use heating bags to warm up my feet and ankles :-)

    Carla, I really appreciate your concern. Actually, I had a really good March and April – for a large part my symptoms and pain were almost unnoticeable. I’m one of those persons who is greatly affected by cold and cloudy weather, so the month of May, as winter rolls in, is one of my hardest months as my body once again adjusts. (In fact, my original diagnosis came soon after one of these bouts in May, when all of my symptoms were evident.)

    I’m glad the Enbrel is working for you…I continue to try to keep an open mind about which medicines are/are not working for me.

  5. Kelli says:

    RA Guy,

    I love this post for the fact that you are not only turning a tough time of day into a time to also look forward to something (like a nice beverage), but you are getting even more in tune with your body. I discovered that 5 pm is my bewitching hour! I’m thinking that I need to get creative and come up with something to look forward to. : )

    And boy, did I ever miss something by skipping all around your blog. You’re at the top of the Andes Mountains? That is awesome! Very cool.

    You are too kind to share a piece of my blog. Thank you. That is also awesome–only superhero style.

    P.S. Prayed for you, among many others this morning and then remembered it was the National Day of Prayer. Since your blog is specific about time, I’ll share that I prayed at 7:10 AM this morning.

  6. Hope says:

    I stumbled across your blog earlier today and just wanted to leave a quick comment. I love how in tune you are with your body. I haven’t noticed much of a time during the day where my arthritis is worse or better, but I do notice certain foods seem to effect it. Do you find dairy causes you more pain?

    I’m really looking forward to following your blog and learning some tips and tricks on dealing with arthritis. If you don’t mind me asking, when your wrists feel like they are being crushed, does the pain travel up your arm or is it isolated?

    Have a wonderful day!

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