Off Day | Day Off

RA Guy Adventures of RA Guy

“The best cure for an off day is a day off.”
-Frank Tyger

Once again, I have been asked by my physical therapist to not move any more than is absolutely necessary – my left leg is so inflamed, that the muscles and tendons are pressing against the sciatic nerve, causing an exponential jump in the levels of pain that I am currently experiencing. Over the past week I did notice an increase in the levels of inflammation in this part of my body, but things got really “bad” last evening…so much so that all night long I was unable to find a comfortable sleeping position.

First think this morning, I called my physical therapist, and a little more than an hour later she was here at my house. First she applied heat along the length of my lower leg (nice), and then she massaged the areas right below my knee and right above my ankle (ouch). We then pulled out a Sharpie marker and she marked three sets of four dots. These spots indicate where I am supposed to place the electrodes of my personal TENS machine. I’m supposed to stay in bed all day, and continually rotate the application of analgesic current through these three most-affected areas of my leg.

So I’m spending the day in bed, and I’m loving it! I just ate lunch. I’m almost finished reading Emma Donoghue’s Room: A Novel (which I just started reading yesterday). I’ll probably watch some television this afternoon, and I’m already looking forward to tonight’s BCS Championship football game. Plus, it’s Monday…what better day is there to spend in bed?!

I found myself in this exact situation about three weeks ago, with the exact same problems in my leg and with my physical therapist asking me not to move too much. Then, it was my second-to-last day of class (I ultimately ended up canceling classes), and I had to give two final exams the following day. Christmas was less than a week away, and I had done absolutely no shopping. Last time, my stress levels were quite high. Now, I’m in the middle of a month-long vacation, and my stress levels are low.

While ideally I’d love to not have to experience this current pain and immobility, I’ve come to realize that  it’s not the end of the world.

Today is a day that I can spend in bed. I can rest and relax. I can pamper myself. (My husband deserves a lot of credit for pampering me as well!) I can continue to do activities that I would do on most days, such as: reading, watching television, surfing the Internet, and listening to music/podcasts.

If I approach things from this perspective, my day today actually ends up being a better day than most! This is quite nice, especially considering that my pain is high and my mobility is low. I think I’m getting a hang of things.

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