Flare

flareSo much for remission.  It was good while it lasted.  Swollen feet and stiff hands/wrists are not how I like starting my days.  Recently my feet have been so sore that I’ve caught myself thinking that if I had one of those blue parking tags, I’d actually use it when I’m at the store.  That’s not something I ever thought I’d say.

This flare is affecting basic activities.  Tuesday night I went shopping and couldn’t even pick up my groceries normally.  I felt like a two-year-old with one hand on each side of the boxes so that I could get them into my cart.

In trying to figure out what changed (did anything perhaps cause this flare), I realized that I am beat!  With one child running track, and another playing baseball, it seems like I’ve been constantly on the go. These sports are in addition to the kids’ usual activities (violin, piano, lawn care job, scouts, youth group, getting ready for college…), but the two new sports seem to have pushed things over the edge.  I’m exhausted.

I’ve tried to pace myself and let some things slide since life has gotten so hectic.  That means there are dirty dishes in my kitchen sink and I’m sitting at the computer resting instead of cleaning the kitchen.  All the laundry has been washed, but it has not been folded or put away (to tell the truth, I’m happy it’s not still in the dryer, and figure people will go find their clothes when they need them).  Despite looking for ways to get some rest and not over do it, I’m exhausted.  Maybe that’s why my joints are rebelling.

My kids are trying to help.  Some people cringe at the thought of teenage drivers, but I have to say that I am thrilled to have assistance with transportation.  Unlike God, I cannot be two places at the same time.   Music lessons are 12:30-2:30, and track practice is 2:00-4:00.  Track meets are 3:30-6:00, and baseball games are 5:30-8 (sometimes in cities an hour away from each other). My daughters have been fabulous in helping out with all the driving so their brothers can participate in team sports for the first time in their lives.

Honestly, if I have to deal with a flare so that my boys can play sports and have this happy memory to look back on, I can live with a flare.  It’s worth it.  It broke my heart, when my son asked about sports this year, to discover that my daughter had wanted to turn out for volleyball back when she was that age.  She never even asked, and has felt deprived all this time, because that was the year I was diagnosed.  RA affects entire families in ways we might not even know about until later.  We had a couple pretty crummy years, and I have no idea how I could possibly have gotten any of the kids to any extra activities back then.

Despite the flare, things are way better than they were five years ago.  I don’t yelp in pain when I roll out of bed in the morning.  I’m able to sleep at night without waking in pain every time I roll onto a bursa (and my vocabulary now includes words like “trochanter”).  I can (usually) lift my arms.  Yes, I hurt.  My hands, my feet, my shoulders… But this is just a flare.

Flares burn for a while warning that there’s a problem, and then they’re gone.  Maybe, just maybe, this flare is warning me to pace myself better.  With any luck, if I heed the warning, the flare will die out.

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10 thoughts on “Flare

  1. Hang in there! This too shall pass.

    Springtime brings the thunderstorms that we all feel. Thankfully, they don’t last forever. My bursa and SI joint are both going nuts right now. Pain meds are a necessity, as is that blue tag. It makes things so much easier! Please, get one. That’s what they’re there for! It is NOT a sign of defeat!

  2. My Dear,
    I know exactly what you mean, though I didn’t have kids to take places and do things. After over four decades, a flare is difficult and not easy. When I broke my hip last year, they took me off Methotrexate to help my incision heal – they may have told me they would, but I don’t remember. I had a terrible flare about three weeks into rehab – my aide found me on the toilet, bawling like a baby. I was so miserable that going to therapy mean hot packs on my shoulders and paraifin on my hands. It doesn’t matter how old one is or how long one has had it, pain is pain. I am delighted to see you have a more positive view of it – thinking about what you are learning from it. I am not proud of all my “oh-poor-me-osis” times, thinking I am the worst of person, no one has it as badly as I do. You are so much more on the ball and sooner. You are handling it with such grace, I applaud you!

  3. Praying remission returns quickly and the flames subside. So sorry things are acting up. :( It is hard when the kids need to be here, there and everywhere. I should have my first teen age driver in a year. (Gulp) Nice to hear there is an upside to it. :) Flaring with you, my friend. Hope your weekend is wonderful!

  4. I am so sorry it hear you are in pain. It breaks my heart when I hear my blog friends are having a challenging time. May your flare be short and your time between flares be long. Be well!

  5. Oh, dear. I’m so happy that you’re busy and active, but dismayed to know that you’re flaring. Living life while having a chronic disease is a series of compromises, but you should have to compromise where your kids are concerned. I hope this passes quickly. Be kind to yourself as much as you can. Sending (gentle) hugs.

  6. It’s spring, and flares are in the air.

    Just wanted to echo the others – get the blue tag – save your energy for things that matter – park close – the pavement is brutal on your joints. When I asked my doc for the paperwork she looked askance at me (my RA is very mild and very well controlled) Then I said – Would you rather I was able to garden or go for a walk in the woods or walk across the asphalt parking lot – she saw my point easily. This disease means we have to make tough choices, weigh the value of everything we do. The blue tag, a rolling brief case – two of the best decisions I’ve made.

    Good luck. I hope your flare passes quickly.

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