Let’s Talk RA

And by RA I mean the infamous Rheumatoid Arthritis. The link will take you to my RA page where you can become acquainted with what living with RA is like. I know, you’re thinking isn’t Crohn’s enough? No, why do anything half way, I always say! In all seriousness through the days and posts to come you’ll find that unfortunately this is just the very tip of the proverbial iceberg. As temperatures here in Utah plunge my pain mounts, and mounts, and mounts. OK, maybe I’m being a little dramatic here, but it really does hurt. My feet hurt, my hands hurt, my hips hurt, my knees hurt, my chest hurts and I feel like I’m coming down with the flu. Like Crohn’s this is another chronic auto-immune disease. It too causes fatigue, aches, and pains by way of massive amounts of inflammation floating around the body. Summers are great, they leave me feeling limber and brand spanking new, but this zero degrees business in the winter is for the birds. In the next few years I may have to give up my mountain home in exchange for some warmer weather. Should I become a Texan? Maybe live in Arizona? Oh, I know, California, near Disneyland because being sick in Disneyland is much more fun than being sick anywhere else!

Today I’m frustrated because I can’t even open a jar of pickles and I do love me some good pickles (when they stay down). I’ve been awake since 3 am because my knees hurt so badly I can barely stand. I feel like a 90 year old woman trapped in a 30 something year old body. My husband Greg has had to take over the housekeeping duties. I never thought I’d say this, but I actually miss vacuuming. There is something cathartic about cleaning the house. I know all of you out there just dropped your jaws in your laps and thought “now she’s really lost it!” Truly though, until you can’t accomplish a task you never know how much you’ll miss it, even if it is as mundane as doing the housework. I actually have to call friends and neighbors over to help carry my laundry up and down the stairs, how pathetic is that?!? I have some serious pride issues and this just really ruffles my feathers. Having to ask for help has never been a strong point of mine, stubborn girl that I am, but this feels like an all new low when I can’t even bend over to pick up my laundry. A few weeks ago I was attempting to buckle my shoes and finally had to wait for my husband Greg to come to the rescue. My son Sean has gotten really good at zipping up my coat; no seven year old should have to zip his mother’s coat, sheesh! The lesson of the day, for me, is humility. I’m obviously in need of a giant dose of it.

So as not to leave you in the middle of an angry rant let’s find the humor in all of this shall we? Every Saturday my tried and true hubby cleans the house complete with mopping the floors, gotta love that man! Who knew that hairspray on a bathroom floor might actually be a good thing? Well I can tell you that trying to get your cramped hands to pull up nylons on a freshly mopped floor is exceedingly funny! First, sit on the side of your tub and contemplate the task ahead. Then slowly roll up your nylons so that the toes are accessible to, well your toes. Then insert your right foot or your left whichever you prefer, into the proper side of your nylons and begin to pull. Now, before you get them too high, insert the other waiting foot. Gingerly place both feet on the floor to rest for a bit. At this point you may proceed to stand despite your aching knees and hips, only the floor has no hairspray and therefore no traction and your joints hurt so you are wobbly. Add to this the fact that your nylons are only up to about your knees at this point so your balance may be a bit precarious. Enter your husband, child, dog, or whomever and loose focus for just one moment. That perfectly pristine floor has now become your mortal enemy as your stockinged feet begin to slip and slide like a greased pig in a mud pit. Yep, you guessed it, ice skating across your bathroom in your undies is oh so fun and add to that an element of sexy with your nylons now creeping back down to your ankles and… you get the picture. Luckily Greg was there to catch me and laugh at me, I mean with me, of course! No permanent injuries were sustained, not even my pride because let’s face it my pride was beyond salvageable at that point so why not laugh until you cry. Oh the joys of aching joints.

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2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk RA

  1. I have never been diagnosed with arthritis but sometimes I feel like a walking weather gauge. The storm is coming, I am sure because my hands stop working. I am lucky though I only feel it in my wrists. I totally understand the not having enough strength to open a jar or a door handle. I lookat my mom’s crooked hands and marvel that she never mentioned they hurt, all of these years. My 17 year old was diagnosed with Still’s diease (JRA) when he was 2.

    • Have you thought about seeing a Rheumatologist? It sounds like you might have RA especially if your mom had it. It is amazing to me how many RA sufferers there are out there. All I know is, this Utah winter has been a brutal one, I’m sure you agree…

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