Hope Rheumatoid Arthritis

Don’t make decisions for tomorrow based on today. 

Today was one of the worst days I’ve had in my five year battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I woke up hurting but taped myself together and took three tabs of ibuprofen as I dropped my son off at school.

As soon as I got on the road to start my 50 minute commute, my elbows (freshly taped this morning) were so painful and felt so weak that I had to switch back and forth between each arm to hold the steering wheel. My hands started swelling and my knuckles wouldn’t crack, no matter how hard I tried. I grabbed my heavy compression gloves and put them on at a red light.

My knee decided to join the party a few minutes later. Since I was driving, there wasn’t much I could do except massage it (and punch it) with the tennis balls I keep in my center console.

By the time I arrived to work, my eyes were red from crying and I was exhausted. 

I managed to get to 2:00pm before things seemed to spin out of control. The pain was relentless- I couldn’t even type without my fingers feeling like they were being pulled off my hand. The fatigue was so intense that I felt myself dozing at my desk. I mentally made a plan that if I couldn’t drive home, I would nap in my office or in my car on the side of the road, until I felt I could drive safely. I literally planned out what I wound do- this wasn’t my imagination running wild.

I tried stretching my legs, bending every which way I could. I cut up SalonPas into little strips for my fingers and covered them with my compression gloves. I took Tylenol- why, I have no idea. I pulled my hair in and out of a ponytail because the pain was so intense, I didn’t know what to do with my hands.

I typed multiple texts to my husband. I wanted to tell him this was it. I couldn’t work anymore. I needed help, I needed the ER. I wanted to give up. To tell him that my disease had won this last battle and I didn’t want to fight it anymore.

I deleted all of those texts before I sent them. Why? I remembered something I promised myself the last time I felt this awful. Don’t make decisions for tomorrow based on today. 

Fast forward to now, 7 hours later. I have some residual pain but nothing I can’t manage. I have an appointment for physical therapy tomorrow and a full day of working from home. I am so glad I focused on my pain and only that moment and didn’t let my disease dictate my tomorrow.

1 comment

  1. Rick Phillips

    Molly, if men did not make decisions based only on today we might, well we might, yes we might do logical things. OK, let’s not go overboard. I am glad you feel better this evening and I am sorry you hurt so badly today. U hope the rest of the week goes so much better.

    PS: No fear about the men thing we will never stop making rash decisions with little information.

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