It’s that time of year when holidays are celebrated including American Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s my favorite time of year given all the sights, sounds, smells, foods, and time with family and friends. Our house serves as a gathering spot for many college students and other young adults. Because of this, the hustle and bustle of the season takes over for many weeks. I don’t want to be a Scrooge but the symptoms of RA are getting in the way.
We recently had 16 people at our house for Thanksgiving. That required a full day of food and house preparation. I got up early in the morning to smoke a turkey because one in the oven would not be enough. I served as a host all day and even took a nap during the day. By that evening I was fatigued beyond comprehension and every joint was screaming loudly. I went to bed but was up by 2:00 a.m. with a raging migraine that had me vomiting by 6:00 a.m. and taking Vicodin by 10:00 a.m. The rest of the day was a waste as I lay around trying to keep the headache at bay. I definitely paid the price.
By Sunday afternoon I was feeling better and proceeded to go outside on a rare sunny day in Seattle to put up Christmas lights. This has become an annual family event and I was not about to miss it. I got the ladders out and proceeded to climb on the roof to hang lights. Suffice it to say that a person who’s had three ankle surgeries should probably not walk around on ladders or a roof. But I was bound and determined to participate in this annual event. By nightfall the house looked wonderful as I waddled into the house to rest…which meant collapsing in a chair with an ice pack on my hip and not getting up for several hours. By the time I got up to get ready for bed, my ankles, knees, and hips screamed loudly in protest and I could barely get up the stairs. Even after two cortisone shots in the left trochanteric bursa over the past couple of months, the pain and swelling continue to cause so much pain that walking, sleeping, and sitting are difficult. This will be a point of conversation with my rheumatologist next week and we’ll see where that leads.
The bottom line, I refuse to let RA dictate my life. But I have to be ready to pay the price!
Creative Commons Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Christmas_lights_-_1.jpg