Ready Or Not

Hide-and-Seek-GameSometimes, if feels like life with rheumatoid arthritis is a never-ending game of hide and seek. There are times when we find that oh so comfortable spot, where it feels like we have actually discovered that perfect place where we will never be found out. And then, the inevitable happens. Rheumatoid arthritis — once again — finds us.

Earlier today, I thought to myself “this never ends, does it?” (I can’t even count how many times I have asked myself this question in the past.) Usually, it’s right around this point when I start getting depressed. Feelings of failure once again enter my mind. “If I had only done this” or “if only I had not done that.”

Today, however, my response was different. I actually had an answer to my question. No, it doesn’t end. And ready or not, my rheumatoid arthritis is once again coming back. I can continue to fight against this, or I can get ready.

So I am getting ready, as best I can.

I had my “RA talk” with my students today. I always find it easier to explain things up front, should my crutches or cane once again come out of the corner, than have to respond to multiple inquiries regarding my drastic change in physical condition. After I finished explaining things, I looked around and saw each student had diligently copied all of my notes and sketches on the board into their notebook. (I always tell my students that anything I write on the board is fair game for a test or quiz.) I told them that they would not be tested on anything I had just covered.

I went to the gym this afternoon, and immediately cut my planned workout in half. My mind wanted to do much more than my body. In the past, my mind always won. Today, I stood up for my body.

And as I sit here at my desk, typing, I have a batch of paraffin wax melting nearby in an electric warmer. Although the wax dips do not provide any long-term relief, they do provide excellent momentary relief.

So yes, the pain is coming back, and the tears are once again falling. But I remind myself that things will be okay…and I keep moving forward.

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

14 Comments
14 comments
  1. Patrice Torres says:

    My heart aches for you. I know exactly what you described today and wish there was some thing I could tell you to do that would reverse the direction you’re headed. There seems to be a point when you can just accept it and let it run its course, or you can fight it. I usually fight it, and I always end up paying the price. I admire your courage to know when to say when today, and not fight. It takes strength. Hang in there Superhero!

  2. Christy says:

    I’m sorry you are feeling worse again. I hope this flare is a quick one and you are back to you again soon.

  3. Dottie says:

    Does a big hug helps?….I am sending it to you right now, along with all my positive energy, so this pain moment will go away fast…Besos y abrazos…

  4. Linda Robinson says:

    Been in exactly your spot and I’m there now again. Standing in front of another year of students and having to tell them there are many “sides” to their teacher. I hate it. So sorry you are needing to brace yourself for another bad spot. Hope it turns out to be no biggie. Mine is flared up something awful now; maybe we teachers knock ourselves into flareland to get ready for each new year. So, Superhero, can you give any advice for how, exactly, you word your speech to the kids? I dread this talk and would rather speak to them about adjectives. :(

  5. Wren says:

    While I’m so sorry you’re going into an active flare stage again, RA Guy, I can’t help but be heartened by your positive attitude. That’s no little thing; it can take everything we’ve got to keep living our lives with exuberance and joy in spite of coping with disabling pain.

    Thank you for sharing your continuing story, with all its ups and downs. You’re a beacon of courage, of hope and perseverance, and of just plain ol’ sweetness in a world that often seems dark and hostile.

    Sending warmth and patience your way.

  6. Karla Meachem says:

    Can I ever relate! I always say “my mind is 100 steps ahead of my body!” lol I too, have always chosen to ‘push through’…but, I am learning to listen to my body as well.

    It sure is tough; isn’t it?

    I’ve been playing the hide-and-seek game with rheumatoid arthritis since age 14; when you find the “home-free!” spot, let me know. :)

    In the meantime, “Keep your chin up!” You are not alone in fighting this disease. I am right here beside you (along with many others).

    AND, by the way, you are doing an excellent job at giving people an inside look at all of our lives.

    HIGH 5!!!

    You are welcome to connect with me through email or on facebook, if you would like. Take care of yourself.

  7. Lene says:

    No, it doesn’t end. It sticks around, cleaving to you as if you’re the love of it’s life, not taking even the most blatant hints to skedaddle.

    You dealt with it so well. Standing up for your body is such a healthy way of looking at it, instead of feeling that your body’s let you down. Just the kind of perspective I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  8. Carla says:

    Hang in there, RA guy. With over 100 degree heat, I keep forgetting it’s winter down there and that can’t help either. Hopefully, you’re finding some peaceful equalibrium in between your episodes. Good luck with your students, and I’m not sure I wouldn’t put an “extra credit” RA question on your next quiz.

  9. RA Guy's Mom says:

    Keep moving forward son…with the same positive attitude that you have. I send you lots of hugs & kisses & much love….Mom

  10. Cathy says:

    You never cease to amaze me RA Guy! With each new flare you always seem to find a new strength within yourself. This time it is just recognizing the fact that it is always a hide and seek situation. But remember the nice thing about RA. It does give us brief breaks. I hope your break is soon. I think of you often and always send healing thoughts to you. I hope they help.

  11. RA Guy says:

    Thanks for all of the supportive comments. Yesterday was slightly better than the day before, and so far today I’m having a relatively pain-free day.

    Linda, I usually start taking about the difference between OA and RA, and then go on to describe rheumatoid arthritis in a little more detail…sort of like my 60 second guide!

    Lene, thanks for pointing out the change in attitude. I hadn’t recognized it myself. It’s true that for a long time I continued to deal with feelings of my body letting me down.

    Carla, I added an extra credit question to today’s quiz, thanks for the suggestion!

    Thanks everyone, I’ll keep you all posted on how the next few days are. In the meantime, it’s Friday afternoon, I just got home from the gym, and it’s time for a nap :-)

  12. Sue says:

    Wednesday the 18th must have been International RA Torture Day!After a thorough joint check-up whilst still in bed,I proceded to gracefully slip from underneath the covers and fell with a thud on the floor next to my bed.So much for feminine grace!Broke nothing,sprained some,bruised quite a lot.Well,I saw you felt like celebrating on saturday and eventhough I’m still limping,I just want to say: To Life,the Universe and Everything!I salute you!

  13. Rebecca says:

    As Sue said, Wednesday the 18th must have been International RA Torture Day. Mine flared on that day as well, striking an area it never had before- my shoulders. Hope it eases its grip on you soon!

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