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.