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[personal profile] chestnutnola
I could never relate to people who complained of chronic or arthritis pain in my youth. I was unsympathetic, thinking they were seeking attention or making their pain seem more than what it actually was. Even having been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and dealing with the chronic pain of it all through the nineties really didn't change my idea of it. It was regularly troublesome and there were days that I was debilitated by it, until it was finally managed with medication and proper sleep. It's been managed for fourteen years with only the occasional flare. I was fine, I was doing well and having stiffness in the mornings was so commonplace it didn't even bother me anymore, once I got moving.

Fibromyalgia did not prepare me for the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The muscle pain of Fibromyalgia does not compare to the pain of an RA flare (at least for me). I was diagnosed with it in the fall of 2014, brought on by environmental factors and possibly genetics. The only reason I knew what was probably occurring was because my twin sister had been diagnosed. It took her doctors three years to figure out what was wrong with her, so I was lucky in that regard.

I've been having a flare since Friday while traveling and at a professional conference. When you have pain in multiple joints (hip, knee, and toe on one side of the body, and wrist on the other side), just sitting for hours is torture, getting out of an airplane seat and shouldering your carry-on a teeth gritting experience. That flare settled down yesterday morning only to be replaced in the exact opposite joints today. It makes concentrating on anything except waiting for it to pass difficult. I'm typing one handed, which is the B-word all around. My RA flares seem to do this, they will occur in multiple joints, stay in those joints for about twenty-four to forty-eight hours, then migrate to the exact opposite joints. It's really unbelievable and scary feeling so old and gimpy, when I know I have a bit of time before I can really own the whole Little Old Lady salutation.

If you have chronic pain, I get you now and I'm sorry I never took it seriously before.

Best, The Nut.


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