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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!

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