Pop-Up Thoughts

On my way to work this morning, I have a pretty profound thought. What made it even more profound was that I wasn’t necessarily in a pensive mood at the time. (In fact, I was actually thinking about the quiz that I needed to photocopy during the few minutes between arriving on campus and the start of my class.) The thought just suddenly appeared in my mind…sort of like a VH-1 Pop-Up Video.

When my body feels pain, I know that everything is okay.

What??? Okay, I know that the brain fog that results from chronic pain can sometimes send some really funky messages to my CPU, but my mind was as clear at the bright blue winter sky (High 60°, Low 29°) that surrounded the bus as it teetered along the edge of a deep ravine. (By the way, there is nothing like being a commuter in the Andes Mountains!)

My pain has always been a sign that something was wrong…how could it possibly become a sign that something was right?

{Pop-Up: Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy owns six pairs or shoes.}

And then it dawned on me. Yes, my immune system gets confused and attacks my own body. Yes, this causes (indescribable) levels of pain, and lots and lots of stiffness. Yes, from the point of view of a “normal” body, everything seems backwards and broken.

But from the point of view of my body, everything is working just as I have come to expect it to. My immune system gets confused and attacks my own body. This causes (indescribable) levels of pain, and lots and lots of stiffness.

When I feel the pain, I know that I am in my body.

{Pop-Up: Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy lives with chronic pain.}

I continue to familiarize myself with both my body and its pain.

While the pain itself hurts just as much (if not more!) than it used to, at least the idea of living with chronic pain is becoming a little more comforting and a little less painful…if such a thing can even be said.

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

2 Comments
2 comments
  1. Sister FlareUp says:

    More than 6 pairs of shoes for every level of (1) comfort and (2) occasion, I’d say at least 10 pairs. The mainstays get me out the door on any given day. Not going for orthopedics or dowdy, no, no, no but there are so many choices these days thank goodness! It can be said you get used to it and in many ways you overcome it.

  2. Lana says:

    RA Guy, I can relate that knowing that I am okay when my body feels like it is supposed to. We are not “normal” and our “normal” is different from other people’s “normal.” I always say that I have created my own normal. Six pairs of shoes is nothing RA Guy. I have many pairs of shoes and in different sizes and styles depending on my feet feel on any given day. My shoe size ranges from a 9 to an 11 depending on my severity of swelling. It is a good thing I love shopping for shoes. It is a funny thing. Sometimes, I hate being in my own body but its mine and I have gotten used to the pain, the fatigue and the exhaustion. I know when a flare is coming and I know that means I have to plan for the outcome regardless of its severity. You get used to it. It does mean we like it. It is just a part of who we are.

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