Yesterday, I tried to be normal.  Yesterday, I tried to ignore my diseases.  Yesterday, I had fun.  Yesterday, I overdid things.  Today, I’m paying for it.

Yesterday was a busy day.  I worked both jobs until 6:30, then joined a group of friends for a “Ladies night” at a  wine and paint place.  I knew I would be exhausted, but I love to paint and be crafty.  Our projects were wooden signs.  The first step was to sand down the wooden board.  Then I had to stain it.  Then white wash it.  Final steps were two stencils. IMG_7118-1It turned out good, but I did not.  Actually, I was in so much pain by the end that I didn’t like the sign until the following morning.  The pain was all I could process after 3 hours of working on the it.

I’ve written in the past that I’d rather live my life doing fun things that I enjoy that cause me to pay for it later.  The last time I did this was in the summer, so recoup time didn’t impact my job.   This time, I had to get up at 5:30 am to get ready for work.  I could barely get out of bed.  Brushing my hair was almost impossible, but I eventually got it up in a ponytail.  My hands and feet were so swollen I had such a hard time dressing. IMG_7122-2 I put on a pair of shoes and had to promptly take them off.  My feet were so swollen that I couldn’t bare to wear them.  I had to switch out to summer shoes that had more stretch and didn’t cover my entire foot.  I struggled to drive because of my swollen hands.  My hope was as the day went on and medication kicked in, the swelling and pain would subside.  Guess what?  It didn’t.  I got worse as the day went on.  I couldn’t type, struggled to walk and felt like crap all day.

When I got home, I went through the typical emotions.  Guilt for doing too much the day before.  Anger because I am not an abled person any more.  Sad because pushing myself so that I could do something that was so much fun caused me pain.  My body is just not cooperating and my stubbornness keeps pushing it.  I’ve thought for years that I have accepted my disease but maybe I’ve been in denial.  Or maybe I’m just in denial of my limitations.  It’s something to ponder…..

At least I can walk away from this experience and flare knowing that my biologic drugs are helping.  You see 17 years ago, I lived in this kind of pain daily.  I still have pain and flares, but they are so much more controlled than I realize at times.  Do I dare say that the past day has been a good reminder of how far I have come?  Probably not because I’m not Mary Sunshine.  I will; however, look at my beautiful Philadelphia Skyline Sign and remember the fun I had with friends while making it.  I plan to do it again, but next time, it won’t be after working a 10 hour day.


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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

2 thoughts on “Yesterday…..

  1. I really like the sign. For me, I have these days every once in awhile. Next Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I will have those days. I will be traveling, two cities and three flights with three days in the air and three days in all day meetings. Yes when I get home it will be hell. But I will not stay home. It will be worth it. Staying home is not for me I am just mean that way.

    Liked by 1 person

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