Weaving my way around Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Those capricious RA gods

with 2 comments

After 6 marvelous, symptom free days, the RA gods were feeling playful…

We’ve had several days of storm fronts move through, and each new front brought me an increase in stiffness, swelling, achy joints, edema. A little mini roller coaster ride for the past few days. I’m still amazed that – in what seems like an instant – I can go from feeling fine to aching all over, in joints I never knew I had.

From Tuesday, when the first storm rolled in, through Friday, my day was over by about 2 in the afternoon. I’m lucky I can usually go home, sign back in on my computer, and work from home the rest of the day. Work is no fun when everything aches. If I sit for more than a half hour, I’m too stiff to get up, and if I stand, then my knees start yelling for ice. And this is mild RA, with no indication of joint damage. Scares the S***T out of me, when I read the experiences many of you out there are blogging about, and think about my future. But I digress…

Around 1 am on Saturday, I woke with my whole back aching (that was new), and a gentle lava flow coursing through my limbs. I did some yoga in bed, stretched and massaged and used my foam roller on my back and finally went back to sleep after two hours of trying to get comfortable.

I woke to the alarm, and considered, for just a few minutes, canceling on the farmer’s market. This is my 10th season vending, I’m not ready to quit, not ready to concede to RA, not ready to call this part of my life over.

Since I sat out most of this year due to RA, I need to vend almost every Saturday the rest of the year to get the minimum number of weeks to save my spot for next year. It took me 5 years to get accepted into this market, and that only happened when one of the crafts people retired. There are a limited number of craft slots, and they are highly coveted. I already had a medical variance two years ago, when my wrist first acted up, so I need to make my weeks this year.

Anyway, when the alarm went off, I was still stiff and weak and achy; it was misty and cold at 6:30 am. Everything I did needed the “two-handed”/extra careful approach. Packing the car and setting up took twice as long. But, I did it, without any help, and without any pain. I am learning the true meaning of being in the present. I find some days, with RA, I monitor every motion. When I can stay completely aware of how I’m using my body, I can keep my joints happier.

My noon on Saturday, the last of the fronts had moved through. The gods had thrown the light switch, and my joints were happy again. I packed the car at normal speed, with nary a hint of a complaint. After a little nap and lunch, I strapped on my back pack and took to the woods behind my house for a two-hour hike.

I don’t understand this disease at all.

How can 5 days of storms rolling in and out make such a difference in how I feel?

How can I go from 6 days of no symptoms, to needing an oilcan, loving ice, dreaming of owning a personal sauna, back to feeling normal again?

How can that sequence repeat over and over in the course of a week, as the storms move in and out?

How do I make sense of it?

What do I do to appease these capricious RA gods?





Written by wovensongs

September 24, 2011 at 11:38 am

2 Responses

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  1. Thirteen years into this and I still can’t make any sense out of the inconsistency of ra and how it comes and goes, ebbs and flows. Hopefully you will find the right medication combo that you can take that will help you get control. And do know that alot of us do OK with ra and that there are bloggers out there blogging about their good days with ra. I know that at times it can become overwhelming but many, many do find relief with their autoimmune diseases. And it is wonderful that you have that flexibility with your job. Hold onto it if at all possible!

    deb aka murphthesurf

    September 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm

  2. Thanks Deb, Your comments mean a lot!

    It really does help to blog and read other’s blogs and take part in the conversation.

    I’m still coming to terms with this, and realizing that, although it’s considered well controlled and not progressing at this point, it is definitely not GONE, just takes little vacations, then comes back for another long or short visit!

    I hope you are doing well!


    September 25, 2011 at 6:04 pm

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