Lupus Pain - Recognizing the Bad Days with Arthritis
Since I'm always up for a good read myself (recommendations welcome!), has anyone else picked up "The Weight of Ink" by Rachel Kadish? 📖
It's a great (albeit lengthy) book that I dug/am digging into this winter. One passage about the main character - an accomplished, yet ailing historian named Helen - caught my eye. It has little to do with the storyline, mind you, but you know how it goes. When a paragraph hits home, you take note.
Let me set the scene:
Helen has just gotten a call from a homeowner that he has uncovered a cache of seventeenth century documents in his historic home, and would like her to come over for a consultation. Setting out for the drive over, the author describes the limitations of Helen's aging, obviously arthritic, body:
"As she'd settled into the car, her keys had rattled so wildly in her hand that she'd had to tame the keyring with both fists before singling out the right key. Forcing it into the ignition took three tries. Today was a bad day, then. She'd need to bear that in mind."
I'm pretty sure I describe a similar car scene in my book, Despite Lupus! The keys, the fists, the attempts to force that slippery, rigid key into the tiny little lock. Oh, it makes my hands hurt just thinking about it. (And that doesn't even count the struggle with the seatbelt!)
It really was events like this - little tasks that seemed so insignificant, yet so insurmountable - that made life with flaring lupus so challenging. Considering "A Day in the Life of...", I'd find that every few minutes, each and every day, my aching body would find itself up against a seemingly impossible activity. In order to accomplish said task, I had to contort and cajole my fragile body, causing horrific pain in order to make it happen. Taking out bread to put in a toaster (ouch!), holding a glass and pouring juice with the other (ache!), or simple pulling my pants up and down a few times a day (ugh!) - the pain really can be constant, can't it? Unless, of course, you don't move a finger, lift a pen, grasp a phone, or make any other slight movement!
These days, I am so thankful that aching joints aren't an issue for me. I've made sacrifice upon sacrifice to successfully manage my disease, and stay healthy, stable, and strong. But I will never forget, and I try not to take for granted my current state of wellness. I wish I had been more mindful of those "bad days", and I hope you're able to channel your inner "Helen", the ailing historian, and recognize a bad day when it comes!
Here's to a happy and healthy holiday season!