Hubby, who has just undergone a minor surgery to correct a trigger finger syndrome on the pointy finger of his right hand, has just been on the phone with a family member, noticeably under the weather himself (the latest virus going around the country), who conveyed terrible news about another close family member. It does not sound good, in fact it sounds ominous without some kind of medical miracle.
A blogger friend’s husband has just undergone a rather serious operation. Another blogger friend is going through bad times with the job and the economy. Altogether, it all makes my recent bout with viral infection and the RA flare rather insignificant in the bigger scheme, but my own travails are all I can write about with any authority.
Friday was the first full pain-free day I’ve had for the past 10 days to two weeks. YIPPEE! With my infusion scheduled for Monday, things are definitely looking up for me. In fact, today we’re invited to a local children’s theatre to see Princess and the Pea with our own little princess. There’s the additional lure of pizza for dinner afterwards if we’re up for it. As I say, the sun is peeking through the clouds.
Last weekend found both Hubby and me focused on me, however, as he surfed the internet for the latest on reumatoid arthritis. I guess I was panicking because the prednizone that usually whips those flareups into submission didn’t seem to be working this time.
Not much new out there that we didn’t already know about, except that I learned there are way too many young people with RA. If it’s not something you face yourself, you tend not to know much about it. I know how bad it is to face this in your 60s–I was 62 when I was finally diagnosed though looking back affirms for me it was there much earlier–I cannot fathom what it would be like to face it if you’re only nine!
What amazed me the most, however, is the sense of humor some of these people manage to hold onto in spite of their pain. One young woman wrote in the you may be a redneck style of Jeff Foxworthy about a recent experience in the bathtub. She said that if you sit in the bathtub for 24 minutes solid (while the water’s getting steadily colder) trying to figure out how you’re going to get out of that tub . . . you may have RA. The humor of that one came through straightaway as in been there, done that. If you don’t get it, then you for sure don’t have RA.
It got me thinking back on some of my more humorous bouts with RA and the occasional flareup, and how I might more quickly recognize when it’s happening so I can the required treatment started earlier. I decided to note them here although they probably don’t sound very funny. You have to laugh, though, otherwise you cry.
- If you have to ask your husband to go down to the basement and bring up the geezer toilet attachment because the seat’s too low and you can’t bend your knees to go. . . you may have RA (or a flareup).
- If you have to ask your husband to pull up your underwear after you go . . . you may have RA (or a flareup).
- If you have to call your daughter to come and pull you out of the bathtub because you can’t bend your knees and your arms don’t work either . . . you may have RA (or a flareup).
- If you’re lying on the couch trying to find a comfort zone and decide you should get up and take some more pain pills and have to throw your leg (that still works) over your body and onto the ottoman and land in a heap on both knees in your stubborn effort at some independence, and you still have to call your husband to take your hand and pull you up . . . you may have RA (or a flareup).
- If you’re weary of watching television and decide to read awhile so the time doesn’t drag by so, but you can’t hold the book up and turning the pages hurts your wrists . . . you may have RA (or a flareup).
- If your grandchildren come by for a visit and stand five feet away from you with puzzled looks in their eyes as if they’re trying to figure out who that haggard old woman is and where did Grandma go off to . . . you may have RA (or a flareup).
There are many others but this list will suffice I think, as it doesn’t do any good to dwell on it anyway. It’s easy to forget how bad it can be when you’ve been doing well for so long, but from now on maybe I’ll refer to it from time to time to remind myself I’m not a hypochondriac, though sometimes that’s what you feel like when your body refuses to cooperate in a different way each day–talk about losing control over your life! As far as I know there’s nothing I can do about it, other than the treatment regimen I’m in with occasional prednizone boosts as it begins to wear out.
If blaming something for all the illness and bad omens in the world around me will help–myself and all the others out there who are going through their own personal challenges– then I assign blame to . . . the weather. It’s all the weather’s fault, and today the sun is shining, and it practically yells that summer can’t be too far away either.Don’t forget to reset your clocks this weekend, just one more step closer to good times. Easy to remember which way by remembering this little ditty: spring forward (set the block forward & lose an hour), fall behind (set the clock back an hour to gain that hour back).