I had another major flare this morning. The story is much the same…I was sitting in the back of a taxi cab, on my way towards my morning physical therapy session. (Having a few sessions permanently scheduled throughout the week is working out even better than I could have ever anticipated!) I was listening to music on my iPod as I looked out the window, which means that I had plenty of time to think about everything that was going on at the moment. I could think about the pain (how could I not?) I could think of how seemingly unfazed I was with this start to my day. It used to be that when flares like this happened, invisible alarms would sound and I would declare myself to be in ‘crisis’ mode.
Now, however, all of this just seems so normal.
And right in the middle of this self-congratulatory thinking session, as I reminded myself that I could in fact once again get through this flare, that I could deal with what was going on at the moment, a thought entered my mind: “What if it gets any worse?”
Cue the fear and anxiety, the increased heartbeat as I start trying to imagine what it would be like to actually be in more pain. Cue the time travel; it could be an hour, week, month, year, or decade into the future. (For some strange reason, the last item on this list seems to be the most popular.) But even though I gave the prompts (as I’ve do so many times before, but am only just now recognizing), this unwelcome actor never appeared on stage. And suddenly is seemed so obvious, so simple. Why did I ever invite these fearful thoughts in the past. Why did I play this game? Yes, I know, while in the midst of extreme pain it can be quite difficult to not start trying to imagine how things can get even worse.
But today, I decided to make a change. From now on, I’m only going to think about the best-case scenario…and whatever ends up coming my way–good or bad–I know that at that moment when the unknown future arrives, I will have the strength to get through it.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!