Wednesday, May 22, 2013

On Days Like This...

First, I want to clarify something. This post is about my struggle with rheumatoid arthritis. It's not a "poor me" post. I'm not asking for sympathy. I'm really not. My blog is just a way to document and deal with what I'm going through, whether that's my health or my writing or what-have-you. I don't view these posts as complaining, per se, but as a way to somehow help other people. How, you may ask? Well, if I'm going through it, chances are good that someone else is, too. And believe me when I say, it's important to know you're not alone in dealing with things.

So. With that out of the way, let's continue...

The weather changed here. For Nebraska, this is not unusual. But we went from temps in the high 90s (we actually hit 100 degrees one day) to the mid 50s and 60s within the span of a week.

My body is rebelling. I am having a flare-up and I'm so exhausted that I can barely sit up straight. But I'm at work because I have precious little paid time off left, and also because staying busy can keep my mind off the pain and on the task at hand.

In other words, I'm distracting myself.

My ankles hurt. My hands hurt. My head hurts. And now I can add my knees to the list. That was a new one that came up at my last appointment with my rheumatologist. While overall I am doing better in managing my RA, these flare-ups can kick my tush big time.

On days like this, I tend to crave sweets. I'm not sure what the connection is, but I usually don't argue. I'll eat a little more than my three pieces of Dove Dark Chocolate and maybe cheat a little bit in other ways, too. But I try to stick to my healthy eating as much as possible because let's face it - I don't need to make myself feel worse by downing bad-for-me food.

I've been distracting myself with Twitter, which I'm starting to like a bit more now that I'm getting the hang of it, but I still feel as though it's filled with too much promotional crap like, "Buy my book! Look at my first chapter! BUY MY BOOK!!!" That gets annoying after awhile. But I've been able to connect with some terrific people out there, including some major World War II historians and authors.

I've also been meandering through my novel's first chapter, trying to tweak it to my satisfaction since I'm in "revision mode." Being ruthless in cutting words and getting to the heart of what I'm trying to say is important at this point. Not easy, but important.

And it's at moments like these when I truly thank God for my writing. It's a welcome escape from the pain - my refuge. I honestly don't know what I'd do without it. In fact, this quote below represents how I feel about writing when I'm in the midst of dealing with the pain and cannot write at that precise moment (because of work or whatever). A warm glow spreads through me and blots out my misery.

So, on days like this, when the brain receptors are on overtime sending me pain signals from my feet and ankles and wrists, I close my eyes, take another bite of chocolate, and think about my fingers tapping across the keys...


  1. Oh, I hope the flare-up passes soon!
    I've been reading the journals of L. M. Montgomery, and it's amazing to hear all the awful things she went through...but she, like you, found a great amount of solace in her writing, in doing the work she loved and felt she was meant to do. I hope it keeps carrying you through! (And you should never feel guilty about chocolate--okay, at least dark chocolate. :)

    1. Thanks, Faith! I definitely love my chocolate, and if it helps the pain feel a little less, well, then, it's worth it!

  2. Yep, if chocolate works, go for it! You're balancing it with a healthy diet, so that makes it okay.
    And what a blessing that you have your writing. I find there's something about the creative process that dulls the pain - whether physical or mental - that we're going through. The past portion of that quote describes it perfectly: 'soul flung open like a window, sunlight streaming through.'
    Thanks for sharing, Melissa and I hope this flare-up dies down real soon. :)

    1. It's amazing how God made us, isn't it? I love how we can get so wrapped up in something else that the pain goes away. Thank goodness. And I just ate two pieces of chocolate - I'm at home now, reclining on my bed, and looking through a treasure trove of documents I just received from the National Archives. The cats are being rambunctious, so all is good in the world. :)

  3. Oh, so now I understand more fully daughter. . .I can see why if I walk into your space where you are joyfully writing and start talking 90 miles an hour - you give me that look:-) It all makes complete sense. Love you!

    1. LOL. I guess I do have a look, don't I? Sorry. :) Love you too!


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