”Without the life I live I’d miss one last thing. Whenever pain lets go a little and stiffness releases, the sweet plain world comes nearer, more intense and eager, like stillness touching the ear after cries and shouting.” -Mary Felstiner, Out of Joint: A Private and Public Story of Arthritis
Today is the fourth day of the new year…it’s also the third day in a row that my rheumatoid arthritis has worsened. The good news: at least 2011 got off to a good start! This current backward slide is lasting longer than I had hoped, but I’m not losing hope. I continue to take things day by day, and am giving my body the rest that it continues to ask for. (Luckily, I don’t return to classes until the first week of February.)
I continue to be surprised at how quickly I am able to forget about my recent episodes of intense pain — not so much in the sense of denying their existence, but more in terms of emptying my mind of the actual sensation of severe pain. Whether I like it or not, I am currently being forced to remember what this pain feels like. If from this day on I only had to deal with my chronic pain in terms of memories it would still be quite a challenge, but I need not concern myself with this hypothetical. Pain is once again part of my reality.
Which makes me realize, that this pain never really goes away. Sometimes it gets better, sometimes it gets worse. I feel fortunate that, while it is definitely noticeable at the moment, it is not yet overwhelming. I can focus on my deep breaths without too much discomfort. I will continue focusing on these breaths, and hope that they carry me to a place of less pain.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!