Just When It Looks Like It’s Over…

Many of us are familiar with the scene in The Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf battles the Balrog on the Bridge of Khazad-dûm. (And no, I did not know all of these names by memory…I just did an Internet search.) Just when it looks like the fight is over and the wizard is safe, as the fiery beast falls into the dark pit, things suddenly take a turn for the worse. The monster’s flaming whip reappears, wraps around Gandalf’s leg, and drags him too down into the darkness.

And no matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, I always find myself wanting to shout out to the television screen: “Hurry up, move quickly…you’re still not out of the woods!”

Now that I’ve got your hearts racing, let me say that my story isn’t nearly as dramatic…but I did recently have one of those moments that made me think of this movie. You see, while winter isn’t technically over here where I live in the southern hemisphere, by most practical definitions it’s come to an end. (Which is particularly nice, especially considering that the cold weather started almost a month early this year.) The days are getting longer, and the mornings and evenings are getting a little warmer.

Which means that I, of course, came down with a cold last week. And as many of us who live with rheumatoid arthritis know, there’s no such thing as “just a cold”. With one’s autoimmune system and disease activity so intricately tied together, it should come as no surprise that over this past week I’ve been experiencing more pain and stiffness than I’ve been experiencing over the relatively symptom-free past five weeks. I’m still not ready to call is a flare, though. And in reality, over the past couple of days both my cold and my RA seem to be tapering down…which is good news.

But the inflammation in my throat has apparently been so strong, that I’ve been without a (physical) voice since this past Thursday. I’ve never had such a severe case of laryngitis in my life before. Might this be associated with my autoimmune disorder? I have no idea, but in the meantime I’ll continue to drink hot tea with a dash of lemon and honey.

And as my superhero friends north of the equator slowly move towards colder weather, please know that I’ll be protecting the warm sun as much as I possibly can. I’ll send it back to you in half a year…I promise!

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

14 Comments
14 comments
  1. Christy says:

    Eek! The dreaded lurgy! We are battlling it on the other side of the southern hemisphere, too. I hope you feel better soon. I lost my voice for a day, and now it is just raspy. My husband seems to like it that way, so I’m not complaining. ;-)

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I have consistently gotten a cold (or even the actual flu) in September since I started getting RA symptoms – you can set your watch to it ;) It is a real annoyance now that I am studying, uni crunch time always seems to set in about now, so add a pile of stress to the fatigue and the pain and it’s a fun old time of year. But I know I can’t do anything about it and that it will go away, and then I should have a relatively flare-free time until autumn. Fingers crossed!

    Hope you kick the butt of your cold soon :)

  3. Carol says:

    Everytime I get a respiratory infection I get laryngititis. And that’s been true since I was in college — way, way before RA. Feel better soon.

  4. Thrive with RA™ says:

    Hi RA Guy,

    I hope your cold passes quickly. It’s “back to school” time here, so I’m dreading the return of the copious germs that accompany it.

    Love the Lord of the Rings reference and photo — I especially love the nice shades of red in the image, complementing your sky blue and grey on the new site! ;)

  5. Jackie says:

    Sorry you got the bug! But it did make for a wonderful opportunity to reference lord of the rings…and I find it hard to believe that you had to google the names :) feel better soon and keep the blogs coming :)

  6. Michelle says:

    Great post, as always. About 5% of us with RA can experience swelling ithe larynx, which technically has a teeny tiny joint! You may have laryngitis with you cold or your actually larynx may be a part of your flare. It is actually an early warning sign of a flare for me. Awesome, huh? I get to sound like Peter Brady going through puberty, hahaha.

    All the best!
    Michelle

  7. Sal says:

    I only found out yesterday that the larynx was affected by RA. It was a read ‘doh!’ moment for me as ive suffered with sore throats, croaky voice and a drop in the tone of my voice for years.
    Heading into autumn here in the UK, im very worried about another winter on meds that aren’t working for me :-(
    Hope your throat starts behaving itself very soon. At least you have your blog so you will always have ‘a voice’ :-) )

  8. Deb aka murphthesurf says:

    OK, I am going to give you my deepest darkest secret here for a cure all…homemade chicken soup. And oh yeah…lots and lots of garlic in that homemade soup. Feel better and soon! Loved the graphic description of the battle!

  9. Rhonda says:

    Hope you are feeling better soon. It is common with RA to have inflammation of the larynx as indicated above. It is also possible that it is not related to a cold but that you actually have nodules on your larynx which causes a rough voice and bouts of laryngitis. If this does not clear up once your cold has you may want to have your throat/larynx checked for nodules. It can also be as a result of some medications such as methotrexate which can cause mouth/throat sores. Hope this has been helpful in some manner. Please get your rest and feel better soon!

  10. Carla says:

    Hope you feel better soon. One of the things that can make you feel the most miserable is “just” a cold — and one coupled with laryngitis is a double whammy. (Wish you’d suck more of this hot air from the northern hemisphere. Dallas is still sweltering and even in Florence, it’s unusually warm.) Ciao!

  11. Nan Hart says:

    There is indeed RA of the voice box and I have gotten nearly every year for probably 10 years! Rheumatoid arthritis can affect the cricoarytenoid joint, the joint that allows the vocal cords to move in and out as we speak resulting in loss of your voice, hoarseness and sore throat. Hope it gets better soon! Nan

  12. RA Guy says:

    Wow, thanks for all of the feedback – I really appreciate it. I had no idea that laryngitis could be so related to RA, but in a way it’s not too surprising.

    I am actually over my cold now, but am still having problems with my voice. I’ll give it a couple of more days to see if it improves any, if not this is something I’ll probably have to get checked out. I’ll keep you all posted.

  13. Alyssa H. says:

    Loved the comparison with Gandalf! The Lord of the Rings trilogy makes it high on my favorite books and favorite movies list. :)

    I don’t get colds very often, but I know the return of heat does mean a return of swelling. I’m quite looking forward to the cooler temps on this side of the world. But in the meantime, hope you feel better soon!

  14. John says:

    Hey RA Guy hope you feel better soon. Do they have an OTC med called Zycam down there (I have no relation with the makers)? I use it and it always helps me with symptoms. Get the mouth spray. Hope you get back on your feet and look forward to a nice summer!

    John

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