I’ve been fighting yet another flare.
While this one isn’t as bad as some I’ve had, it’s dragging on as the weather remains unpredictable. A new cold front every few days has had me curled up on my couch most days with little to no energy and feeling pretty achy.
Yesterday was the first day in a while I’ve felt up to going out anywhere. Which is good, since the cabin fever was setting in. We ran errands, picked up groceries, and picked up some prescriptions. Nothing too strenuous by most standards, but by the time we got home my feet were screaming in pain.
With little regard to anything else that needed to get done, I curled up on my couch and promptly passed out for the better part of an hour. I woke up feeling rested, with a renewed energy.
Until I tried to stand.
I had traded pain in my feet for pain in my hips and knees.
A year ago, this kind of frustrating realization would have had me angry at the injustice of it all. Instead I chuckled wryly to myself.
I remarked to my fiance that my life with RA seems to be a constant stream of trade-offs. If my joints are being kind, I seem to be plagued with fatigue. If I find myself with energy, my joints are hurting too bad to move. If I want to go out at night, I must sleep most of my day to be ready. If I want to spend my day writing or working, I’m unable to cook dinner or help with chores because my hands will be unusable.
Like I said, there was a time where these frustrations would have made me very angry. And honestly, there are days that the anger is still there. Mostly though, it’s just a sad realization. While I miss the self I used to be, I think I’m finally coming to terms with the self that I am now.
I’ve accepted that I will live the rest of my life with this disease. NO, this does not mean I’m giving in or giving up. It’s just a simple fact. I have it and there is (not yet) no cure.
However, that doesn’t mean that I intend to just lay down and die. Now that I’m not fighting against the facts, I find that I’ve freed up mental energy to find tricks and tips to LIVE with my disease. While I may not always like the restrictions RA places on me, I can still enjoy many of the things I used to. I just needed to shift how I was approaching things. I needed to change my pattern of thought.
I know I couldn’t be this positive without the wonderful people I have in my life. Many are fellow spoonies who’ve shared their experiences with me. Their words showed me that RA didn’t have to be a death sentence. Their love showed me that I’m strong enough to continue living.
It’s a hell of a trade-off, but I’ll take living over giving up any day.