Ow! Cough! Ow! Cough! Ow! Cough!
That's pretty much how my day went. My arthritis was awful. It feels like a million of the strongest people in the world are crushing my joints. So today it was mostly my lower extremities, especially my knees. It hurt my hips to sit down and my knees to stand up. It hurt my ankles to move in general. Oh when oh when will the Enbrel kick in? Yep, that's what I do when I'm in pain. Make little rhyming phrases to the tunes of my childhood songs. Mature, aren't I?
As odd as this sounds, I have trouble thinking when I'm in pain. I hear words individually instead of all together and I can't process them because pain is this enormous cloud in my mind. It sounds so metaphorical here, but it's not. It's reality for me.
Oh and then my cough. I'm pretty sure it's either a part of still getting over my spring break pneumonia or just a pretty casual cough. I thought I was done with the effects of the pneumonia, but it's been pretty on and off. I think it's probably just a "routine" cough. Because of my methotrexate and Enbrel, I get sick more easily than other people due to a weakening immune system. But I am strong! (and stubborn...)
People tell me that they "worry about me". Let's get something straight. I do not need anyone worrying about me. Even I don't worry about me. I worry about the arthritis, and I worry about injections (even though I'm pretty Super-Woman when it comes to those), and I worry about the future. (I know, I know, I shouldn't worry. I don't need a lecture.) But I don't worry about me. No one needs to. God's already got me taken care of. Worrying about me is like having the job of writing the number 7 over and over again on a slate of concrete in a blank room. It's a job that doesn't need to be done. So stop doing it; you're wasting your own time.
Not that I don't appreciate everything. It just gets old. Prayers are still welcome.
In moments of great pain, I desperately wish that someone could understand. But as many words as my mouth can spill will never bring someone to understanding. Understanding the frustration of my 2010 doctors, the life-changing moment of the knee and ankle ultrasound results, the devastation in being awake for two sets of injections, and more and more is an impossibility. The list of everything goes on and on and on, and while I need someone to "get it" no one does. How do I explain such an atrocious amount of pain without coming across as whiny or a complainer?
So I move on with my life and pretend that they all get it. I wonder if people even want to get it.
I always joke with one of my friends (who shares the exact same schedule as me from electives to core classes) that it's about time for me to amputate my own leg. Pros: No knee or ankle or toe arthritis. Cons: No leg. At first I was going to do the honor of chopping it off but I decided that it would be better if she did it. Of course, the plan is for us to say that I did it myself. She is not about to get arrested!!!
I wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have arthritis on a pretty much daily basis. Would I be walking down the hall to put my lacrosse gear in another classroom? Would I be running around the gym and beating someone in a flexibility contest? Would I be happier?
That last question bugs me a lot. I don't know how to answer it.
Can't be comfortable. Can't be out of pain. Can't relax. I have this disease, this polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Can't calm down. Can't take a deep breath. Can't breathe at all.
Can inspire. Can create. Can dream. I have this disease, this polyarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Can blog for 24 different countries. Can pray to the one and only wonderful God who listens and responds. Can live.
Arthritis stops me, but it also pushes me forward.