Have you ever had those moments when you get tired of thinking “My back hurts. My hips hurt. My hands hurt. My (insert your body part here) hurts. I am tired. I am so tired, I am SO tired, I am SO TIRED!” This has been what’s been rolling around in my brain for the last few months. The other thought that keeps bouncing around while I was working more hours than I should and lifting, pulling, standing, walking more than I should was “I just don’t know how much longer I can keep going like this.” Now that I have reached the end of the tunnel, I can see clearly that I was so very deep inside my own head and it wasn’t a good place to be. It was bringing me down to where I was letting myself be consumed by my
I try very hard not to be “that person.” You know the one. That person in your life who is ALWAYS miserable. The one who is never happy, never feels good, is always complaining about something. I also know that when I get where I have been for the last month or so with several mini-flares and the usual back to school killer schedule that even if I try to keep my complaints out of the light, I slip more than I would like and the people around me have to hear me. Who wants to spend time with that person? I know I don’t so I tend to avoid them but when it’s yourself- there is no hiding from it.
Here’s the thing. You know, I know, everyone knows that I am never going to feel “well” so complaining about it won’t do any good. I don’t want pity. I really kind of despise the thought. A little sympathy can go a long way but there’s a very, very fine line because I don’t want to be felt sorry for and I don’t want to be held up as the example of how “it could always be worse”. Being that example is horrible! Understanding would be nice, but unless you are living with it you can’t really get it. Even another RA/Fibro/DDD/RLD patient can’t truly understand because each case is unique. No two cases present the same way and no two people handle their pain, malaise and fatigue the same way. We don’t fight our illness the same way and we don’t cope with the effects the same way so we can’t truly understand what’s inside one another’s experience. So all of that being said, complaining only puts the spotlight on my illnesses. These are the things I think to kick my butt out of my funk in it’s beginning stages but this time I was on the go that I didn’t give myself that kick and it spiraled.
What keeps me going through the downward vortex is this: I know I am capable of more than I should be. My consistently sky high RF levels and ESR should have me fairly incapacitated but I keep going. I know that the flares are fleeting. I know that while today I may not feel like walking to the bathroom, tomorrow I may feel up to conquering the world. The only thing holding me back is me. It’s not my body, it’s my brain. Even when my body is rebelling, if I don’t let it get to me, if I don’t verbalize my complaints- I can fight my way through. I also know that when I let the complaints flow, the worse I feel. It’s as if acknowledging the pain and fatigue magnifies them. It’s not good and I need to put a stop to it RIGHT NOW. So how to do that?
Well- this weekend I get to take time to relax. Before I go back to work on Monday I need to use the time to get out of my own head and back to a good place. I got to spend yesterday with my middle sister Heather and her daughter Lauren which was a treat. Tomorrow we get to go to see Lauren race for the first time since she began her MX career as a little, tiny, 4 year old. Now she’s all grown up and a professional racer and she’s racing up by Indy for the first time so we get to see her in her element. That will be a joy. We have followed her through photos, video and live stream for so long but live will be so special for us. Today is all about giving myself a recuperation day. Today I have absolutely nothing on my plate other than running a quick errand. I already rode my exercise bike for a just over a mile this morning and enjoyed a pot of coffee. I am going to go run my errand when I finish this and then come home and nap with the puppies. Oh yes- the puppies. Now that they are getting used to one another, they are pretty sweet most of the time. And they are great napping companions. After my nap I am going to curl up with some tea or Matcha and FINALLY read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I might even throw in a facial and a tub. Tomorrow Jim has to be at a meeting early so I will fold laundry in the guest room and then pack up to go see Lauren race. One of “my kids” from work is going to puppy sit so we don’t have to worry about crating the little one while we are gone for the day and we don’t have to worry about coming home to a mess. Then tomorrow night I will get my lunches and snacks planned for the week and clothes laid out so I can head to the PT on Monday morning bright and shiny then back to work. I am hoping that by getting back on schedule, by getting back to my routine I can get out of my head and back to “normal”. Hopefully, by the time the weekend is over I will be mentally out of complaint mode and back to being more productive. That’s the plan at least.
In closing- I leave you with puppies! Auggie, of course, is on the left and Fenway, the new addition, is on the right.
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