Sometimes, I don’t exactly know how I keep on moving…but I do. Maybe it’s because I know (from experience) that quite often, laying in bed and getting depressed about the pain is an even worse alternative. (Beyond those instances when bed rest is both necessary and helpful, of course.) What I’m talking about are those days–”average” days in fact, for many of us who live with autoimmune disorders–when the only way to cope is to keep on moving…but when every single movement is the most painful thing ever.
I’m once again in a period where the feelings (physical and emotional) mentioned above are becoming more frequent. I take comfort in many things, such of the outpouring of support that I receive on Facebook and Twitter whenever I post a quick update about how I’m feeling.
Earlier today, I had a major flare that started just a few minutes before a student was to arrive for an afternoon tutoring class. Even though looking back I now know that there were many more options available, at the time I felt like I only had a couple of choices. I could crawl into bed and cancel my class. Or, I continue doing what I could.
I chose the latter, for three main reasons.
1. When I start working with new students, I always briefly describe the condition with which I live, and the challenges that it can present at times. I tell them that sometimes they might see me struggling a little more than usual to move around…or that it could be the case that they never notice anything at all. Communicating ahead of time makes it a little bit easier on days like today, when my pain and symptoms are quite noticeable. Upon their arrival, I tell them that I’ve having one of those episodes. Without further explanation, they understand what’s going on. We then start, and continue with our lesson.
2. On the positive side, even though these flares are becoming more frequent, I’m still only experiencing them about every other day…and the absolute “worst” part lasts only about an hour. (Oh, but what an hour that is!) I figure that if I can distract myself as much as possible during the first half-hour, then I can actually cruise (in the metaphorical sense of course, because there’s absolutely nothing “smooth” about my joints during this time) through the remaining half-hour. This is a theory that I once again validated earlier today.
3. Last but not least, if I’m going to be in pain, I might as well be doing something that I enjoy.
And this, I guess (answering my question at the start of the post) is why I keep on moving, especially (and most importantly) during those moments when movement seems to be fading into the realm of the impossible.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!