Monday, April 13, 2015

After a Long and Painful Absence

This winter was long, cold and very painful. I have rheumatoid arthritis and until last fall the medications I was on were keeping it under pretty good control. I'd have the odd flare that would last a day or two and then I'd be OK for a while. But in September the flares starting coming more often and lasting longer and in November my whole body seemed to flare up - I was having pain in every joint. A couple courses of steroids helped settle that down, but my hands just hurt all the time. My rheumatologist has been trying to find a new combination of drugs to control the flares but we are still tweaking it. I'm on a longer course of steroids right now so I'm pain-free for the moment and after nearly six months of constant pain it's such a relief!

I found that when the pain and fatigue are unrelenting, not only can I not make much physical effort, I can't even think about making physical effort. Now I love planning, sometimes even more than the actual doing! I love looking at knitting patterns, browsing yarn websites, poring over seed catalogs, reading about travel, watching youtube videos refinishing furniture. But chronic pain narrows your focus down to just getting through the day, and anything else just sucks away the little energy you have. Even blogging and posting on Facebook seem like too much of an effort.

Also, I found that it's downright depressing thinking about all the things I can't do. At the worst of it I was missing a lot of work and I kept thinking "if this doesn't get better I'm going to have to quit work, and then we won't be able to afford house payments, and then we'll have to move, and how am I going to move house if I can't even move my hands, and I like my house, I don't want to leave it". Getting back on my antidepressants helped a lot with the anxiety, but it's still an issue I may have to deal with.

However, at the moment, while I'm pain-free, I'm taking advantage of the reprieve and in the last couple of weeks have had a little flurry of baking, knitting and gardening that I really missed during the winter.

I realized I never posted pictures of my Christmas knitting so I'll work on a post to show those, and one to show the beginnings of my veggie patch this year.

Here's to warmer weather and feeling better.


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