As my body is healing and recovering from four years of medications and five years of rheumatoid arthritis, I am learning that each day is truly just a stepping stone on my pathway to health and life. Some days the stone feels a little wobbly, but it always leads me to a stronger step that is getting me to where I need to be.
Each day I feel more energy and strength and less pain and swelling than the day before which I am so grateful for and gives me great hope. However, yesterday I felt the warning signs of a flare-up coming: slight fever, achy body, sore throat, and fatigue. As the day went on, I napped and watched my knee slowly grow larger. This morning when I woke up with stiff fingers, wrists and shoulders and a rather large and stiff knee, I wasn’t surprised. A little disappointed? Yep. Definitely. I tend to want to go into my own world the morning of a flare-up and that is exactly what I am doing. I am spending my day resting and reading The Time Traveler’s Wife which allows me to enter a different world for now. I am also taking lots of deep breaths today and focusing on the many wonderful things in my life.
When I jumped into the shower this morning, I realized something happy. Even though my knee is swollen, I didn’t have to use both hands to help lift it over the tub. I was still able to get into the shower fairly easily. My shoulders are stiff, but my arms can still lift above my head. My wrists feel awkward today, but I was still able to pull the blankets over me as the night turned cool and lift my tea cup with ease this morning. My fingers, well, I am kind of just used to them. These may seem like little tasks, but when living with RA, you learn to be grateful for these capabilities.
This flare-up, just like my good days, are just stepping stones to better health and a stronger me. My flare-ups continue to be further apart than the last and less severe. So, on this cloudy cool day, I will embrace this stone I landed on and know that better stones are around the corner.
6 thoughts on “Stepping Stones”
Whether the flare comes or not, you are definitely prepared with the right attitude.
Thanks for your post, I too am learning to judge my RA not only be the frequency/duration/severity of my flares, but instead (and more importantly) by my coping skills that get me through the rougher periods.
I will be sending positive thoughts your way…
What a great attitude! I love it! Those little amazing moments when you realize you have made an improvement are definitely worth celebrating. Those are the moments that make each day better.
Hoping you see more improvement tomorrow and the next day.
You’re so good to your body Cathy! I am proud of you……miss chatting on email but think of you often. Rest assured that the good days are right around the corner.
I empathise with every word! Very best wishes, keep going, you are doing so well…and that’s a great book by the way!
You are amazing!!! I think there’s a picture of you in the dictionary under ‘inspirational!’
Sending my positive calming thoughts your way Cathy. I wished I listened as good as you do!