Sometimes, 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!