Friday, October 30, 2009

Forecasting ...

"Knife Arthritis". It felt like someone was taking a knife and sliding it back and forth, up and down, right through the middle of my bones.

This would occur, usually, whenever there was a change in barometric pressure. Along with that weather change, would be an emotional change.
  • Fear - Oh, no...is this flare-up going to be prolonged?
  • Worry - How much damage is being doing to my joints with this one?
  • Sadness - It's preventing me from doing what I want to do right now.
Rheumatoid arthritis - I have lived with it for 33 years.

What does it feel like? I've thought of a few things that may help you understand what someone goes through when they have this disease and they are experiencing a flare-up.
  • Tightly wind some elastics around your fingers. Then, put some heavy winter mitts on your hands. Now, open a carton of milk, a jar or unlock the door.
  • Put some marbles in your shoes. Put your shoes on. Go for a walk.
  • Bend your knees. Apply duct tape vertically along the front and back of your knees. Now straighten them.
How was that?

A flare-up means the disease is active and causing inflammation. It also affects the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Oh yeah, and energy. It sucks the life out of you. Everyday living tasks not only hurt, but are also next to impossible to do. (Don't ask me to open a bottle of water, much less a Tupperware container.)

The pain of rheumatoid arthritis varies and can include, but is not limited to, some of the following descriptions: throbbing, aching, sharp pain and dull pain. That is the querulous nature of the disease.

One thing I'm thankful for is that my "inner weather station" seems to be malfunctioning. Since I've learned about stress and work daily on transforming it, my flare-ups are further and fewer between, I am better at pain-management and I have more energy. I don't seem to react to the barometric pressure as I once did, either.

It stands to reason, because the constant activation of the stress response wears out the nervous system and high levels of cortisol, "the stress hormone", is connected to a number of medical conditions, including immune disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and fertility and menstrual problems.

If only I had known about this 33 years ago. I may not have had the pain, damage and surgeries. Like they say, better late than never.

That's why I started this business, to take people through this coaching program so that they can have some control over their "internal pharmacy", giving them more "fair weather" days.

Today's forecast: Note the stress on "today" - I am getting better at living in the moment. So much of my life was about fear and worry - past events and experiences which were dosed with a helping of creativity, magnified and then, projected into the future.

The way you think and feel is important for your "inner climate", which in turn, affects your "outer climate". What is the forecast in your world?

Related posts:
Image courtesy of Emre Nacigil

Please visit the blogs of Ashok, Conrad, David, Grannymar, Helen, Judy, Maria, Maria and Ramana to see what magic they've worked with today's topic, suggested by Conrad - Weather and Emotions.

10 comments:

  1. As you unfold more of your personal story, I find greater and greater courage in all levels of it. Last week I thanked you for growth - but, seriously, it is far greater than I imagined.

    Your descriptions of the condition you have faced is among the best I've ever seen. It makes it tangible, imaginable for me. And I can't tell you the delight I take in the internal solutions you have found. I wish you continued peace and harmony!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this; it was really great to read. I agree that the internal and external are greatly joined...and I agree with Conrad regarding your descriptions. x

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  3. A positive attitude certainly helps overcome aches and pains at all levels. 33 years is a long time.

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  4. You have helped me understand Rheumtoid Arthritis and the effects of stress. Thank you.

    I have some minor arthritis in my hands and when I read that you had dealt with this (10 times stronger than my pain, I am sure and for 33 years) you qualified as a hero. Heck, I could have written about you last week. LOL

    When I find myself living outside the moment, I will think of you and this post.

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  5. My sister has Rheumatoid Arthritis and until I read your post, I knew she hurt, but your description of the pain gave me a whole new understanding of what's she's going through! Thanks!

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  6. I sure need my head examined. I visited your blog last night and went away without reading the post thinking that perhaps you were delayed in posting the Friday blog. This is truly an inspiring blog. I have some problems with my health too and it certainly helps to read such posts. Thank you.

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  7. "Inner climate" - that's a new one for me, Marianna. I shall use this phrase again and again. All LBC writers have their own unique touch. I always find myself extremely surprised on your take on the given topic - again and again!

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  8. Conrad & Helen,
    In some respects, I have a hard time saying what it's like living with this disease.

    However, as time goes on, I am able to speak more freely about it, with the hopes that others, like Judy, who have relatives with the disease, can understand the querulous nature of RA.

    GM,
    Learning to change the self-talk is so important. Thomas the Tank comes to mind. :)

    Maria,
    I think you're giving me too much credit. There are many who face way greater struggles. One does, because one has to...the alternative isn't so attractive, so that's why I chose to be pro-active.

    Glad to hear that you'll be spending more time in the here and now!

    Ramana,
    No, you do not need your head examined! Must be the unusual title that led you astray. I'm glad you came back, though, and found some value in it.

    Gaelikaa,
    Thank you. My thoughts mirror yours - I'm always humbled by the writings of my fellow-LBC'ers.

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  9. Rheumatoid Arthritis OMG!

    I have osteo-arthritis & that's bad enough. (I've had replacements. Ahhh)

    I get upset over little things. My husband is never upset. He'll live forever. I try to put things in perspective. "Don't sweat the small stuff." I'm getting better.

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  10. BHB,
    That's the thing that is so important, to take note of and celebrate your successes. I think it's also important to carry on making the changes in order for us to grow.

    How is your shoulder coming along, btw?

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Welcome! I know your life is busy. That's why I appreciate your stopping by to comment.