So it's January 2nd and I've already had to remind myself of one of my resolutions. I'm a little hesitant to write this post, but I'm trying to be brave and take chances and so I'm going for it.
I have arthritis occasionally. For the most part, it's very well managed. I get some aches and pains, but overall don't have a lot of trouble with it. I'm on medicine that has helped me tremendously. So much so that often when I run out, I think to myself, "I'm doing so well, what's a couple of days without my medicine?" I know this isn't good logic, but it has happened over and over through the last several years. Unfortunately, a couple of days turns into a couple of weeks, or more, until I start complaining of this or that hurting and Jaron, in an accusing tone, asks, "Are you taking your medicine?" And I slink down into the corner and explain that I just recently ran out and haven't had a chance to get more. His face turns red and he says that I cannot come home from work tomorrow unless I have picked up my medicine (or at least that's what he said when I worked outside of the home). But I digress....
So it's usually not a big deal. But there are times that I am in real pain. One or more of my joints will really hurt and I can't find a good position for it and the awkward positions I hold it in only make it worse. This causes me the most anxiety at night or early morning. Can't those times be the worst?! Because you're alone with your thoughts and your worries. I've had this happen several times lately. I have recently had a lapse in taking my medicine although not for the above reason and my dose has changed. I also think the very cold weather that has come in has made a difference. Whatever the exact cause, I've had several days or nights that a joint has caused me real pain... pain that makes me want to cry out when I move it wrong.
My right shoulder was the culprit last night and remains so this morning. I had a lot of trouble sleeping as I had to take much caution every time I moved or rolled over. I woke up very early and just lay in bed with my self-depricating, mean thoughts. I got so frustrated that this has been happening a lot and thought to myself that Jaron probably thinks I'm faking or being a wuss or just trying to get attention. In my mind these are some of the worst things people could think about me (Although they're behind people feeling as though I hurt them in some way. That's the absolute worst for me.). As I lay there, it all of the sudden occurred to me that one of my resolutions had been to be easier on myself in my parenting and in general, with more positive self talk. This was the opposite of positive self talk. I encouraged myself to be kinder. I tried this for about half an hour and found I kept focusing on the fact that I just needed to toughen up. Sometimes resolutions are hard, amiright?
Toward the end of my senior year of college was when I had the most trouble with my arthritis. It wasn't until I was put on medicine and started feeling normal again later that summer that I realized how many crazy adaptations I had made to my daily living to accommodate those nagging joints. One Friday, I had stayed over at Jaron's house. The next morning he got up really early to go on a class field trip. On Saturday! I know. Anyway, my body hurt all over that morning. I felt like I couldn't get up. I called my mom, weepy and sad. She encouraged me to call my roommates, but I felt too weak and embarrassed to do so. I didn't really know what I needed, so what was I going to say? Well that mom of mine called my dear roommates and they came over, brought me bagels, helped me out of bed and guided me to the bathroom. And you know what? They never once told me to toughen up or looked at me with doubting, judging eyes. They loved me and I knew it. They're part of my pit crew.
Remembering this story helped me to be a little nicer to myself. It's not weak to ask for help. Our loved ones want to help us, just as we would do anything we could to help them. One thing I did to be nice to myself was to get out of bed even though the rest of the house was sleeping, make coffee and write this post. For whatever reason, this blog brought me great joy in 2012, so I thought I'd treat myself to getting to work on it in silence this morning. Find a way to be kind to yourself today. I already feel so much better. And if you can't find your own way, take a little peak at some of my girls from college that I was telling you about. Jaron likes to say that this picture was just us on a regular Tuesday night. Oh, that Jar.