When I was first diagnosed with my nemesis Rita doctors kept telling me I had to slow my pace down and don't be as stressed. Slow my pace down and don't be stressed? Who in their right mind doesn't get stressed? Okay okay, I do stress easily and I understand when stress is being absorbed cortisol levels increase. I get the biology and chemistry of stress just not the how to not be stressed part. Being diagnosed working full time and attending graduate school full time was no easy task. One doctor felt that lethal combination was the straw that broke the camel's back. Maybe, or maybe it was just the genetic jackpot. We can argue what came first the chicken or the egg....I just want to know what can help me not be so stressed!!!!???!!!!! I am on a myriad of pills to help that but today came smacking me in the face. The stress of this Economics course is bringing Rita out in all her mean spirited glory. She quite frankly knocked me on my ass yesterday. I think my brain actually thought my body was losing it. I tried resting the stress away but as I was in my bed, I kept thinking about Economics and all that I have to get accomplished this week, how I was going to accomplish it, and how I was going to freaking pass. I started stressing myself out into a full blown panic attack. Which of course made Rita worse.
I went to bed wondering how me of all people got stuck with a disease that stress makes the symptoms worse? I think stress does not help a lot of diseases but I know the quantitative research that backs up stress being a giant no-no for RA patients. I now am in a flare. A big one. I feel this one might be a doozy. I feel the burning on the inside of my joints, deep in my joints. I never think my actual skin on the outside of the joint gets hot....but today it was so hot it melted an ice pack in a matter of minutes. Rut roh, this isn't a good sign.
I should listen to my body more about calming down and resting more but I was not built that way and I wish I was able to train myself to be otherwise. Yes, I have taken yoga. I was actually dismissed from yoga for laughing too much. I was laughing at the non-sensical aspect of picturing myself floating down the Amazon river per my yogi's instructions. I laughed out loud and said rationally speaking, we'd be chomped up to chummy bits in a nanosecond by Amazonian crocodiles. That was the end of that. I'm a smart ass with quick and quip responses, what can I say? I am who I am.
I actually hired a tutor today to help with the stress load. I never ever in my life have asked for help before and this is a big hurdle for me. I despise showing weakness. I have become worse with that aspect since being diagnosed with RA. I just feel the stronger I portray myself the more others will leave me alone despite disability. I see it as a preventative self-defense mechanism.
I hope the tutor helps with my stress load and I actually retain some of this Economics bologna. I just need Rita to calm the heck down so I do not look nor feel like this picture.
Pain can truly wear one out and only people who deal with pain (be it emotional or physical or both) can understand and sympathize with this picture. Every item in this picture that is circled might as well be circled on my body in permanent ink. This is me everyday. I don't want to be the hunched over person withering in pain and erosion. I want to be tall and expressive and carefree. I don't know if I will ever get those days back as this is my new normal. I still want to fight the new normal everyday though.
Pain makes you go insane in the membrane.