Generally speaking, when someone hears arthritis, they think osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is more on the wear and tear, bone to bone action resulting in pain and loss of range of motion. Well, rheumatoid arthritis is not quite the same. Yes pain, range of motion, all the jazz are some of the symptoms, but its deeper than joint pain. And when you really get deep down and dirty with what this autoimmune disease can do to ones body daily, your understanding will blow your mind.
Living with a chronic diagnosis that is not only debilitating put also puts stress on the systematic system can be exhausting. You’re going to here me speak of energy and fatigue a lot because that is the common theme in my daily routine experience.
Here’s the inside scope on a typical day living with chronic pain:
Rise and Scoot…
Rolling out of bed is a total myth for those with chronic pain. More like scooting out a half inch at a time. Waking up should feel refreshing and having your body ready to conquer the day. But no, you wake up in pain, fatigued and drained. You might even hit snooze a few times before forcing yourself out of bed.
Do I Have to Put on Clothes?
Waking up is half the battle in the morning. Getting dressed is the other half. Imagine having to limp your way to the bathroom because your ankle is swollen and it hurts to walk. Then having to lift your arms up to put your shirt on. Or having trouble squeezing your toothpaste so you can brush your teeth. These simple morning task can make getting ready a constant pain.
Work is work. You exert most of your energy there where you put your A game on at all times. Simply put, you drain yourself with energy you barely have. During work you may feel your ankle swell up and next thing you know you’re limping. Now you have to sit down and take it easy. Your symptoms can change in a matter of minutes. You can be good one moment and the next you are in pain with a bunch of nodules popping up out of nowhere. Its never a dull day at work living with RA.
Got Energy For Errands?
ERRANDS!! Naw. Lets try another day. Who has energy for that? Unless you have like a half day of work. Errands will be made on Sundays, unless needing to be done asap.
Night Night Time…
Now its time to get ready for bed. Just like the morning, your body knows its time to go to sleep. So what does your body do? It attacks itself once more, making it hard to do simple task like take a soak bath. Sit in a tub? Yeah give me about 5 minutes to get my butt in that tub and another 5 minutes after to get out.. Where’s a walk in shower with a bench when you need it? Now there are somethings that can help you loosen up and relax before calling it a night. Indulge in some yoga, give yourself an essential oil massage, or listen to some rain sound music to help you fall asleep. We all know insomnia is real when you are in pain. Staying asleep is another problem at hand with dealing with chronic pain.
When you body is constantly attacking itself, it not only brings on pain but also drains your energy and causes major fatigue. There’s a thing called, iron deficiency caused by constant chronic inflammation, which has nothing to do with iron. Take your time and don’t over work yourself. If you find yourself overworking, take a break and give yourself much needed rest. It is not uncommon for someone living with chronic pain to have to takes things down a notch and focus on self-care.