Saturday, 10 November 2012

No 'Knees Up' For Lauren Tonight....

Well here it is; the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You wanted a step by step guide of what daily life with arthritis is like, it just so happens that this week has been a particularly bad one in terms of pain so here goes... Jaw was still really painful at the beginning of the week so I was looking forward to acupuncture. I go to my acupuncturist every week. She always asks what is giving me the most trouble. Usually it is my jaw and seeing as the swelling that was in my knees the day before had gone down, I told her to concentrate on the jaw. After experiencing pain in pretty much every joint in the body, it's safe to say that facial pain is the worst. Perhaps because I've had the RA in my legs since I was 2, and only in my upper body since 18, it could be that I'm just more used to the leg pain but according to my doctor, I am right, facial pain is unbearable and most people stop being able to cope when it reaches the face. So the day after the acupuncture I got about 10% respite from the jaw pain, which in arthritis world is huge. When there isn't constant throbbing pulsating through your mouth and entire face all day long, it's a good day! However, the following bastard day my knees decided to swell up. The left one which is always the worst, was worse than the right but both had fluid build up. It is very hard to describe the feeling of having fluid travelling around inside you. I always say the only way to explain it is that it feels like jelly in between your knee caps, and when there is a lot of fluid, you can feel it moving around inside you like a foreign body that shouldn't be there. It's dreadfully uncomfortable. I usually don't worry too much about the knees as unless it is a really awful huge flare up, the swelling usually goes down by itself if I rest enough and do all my exercises, oils, creams, remedies and tinctures. But the next day it got worse and by yesterday - Friday - both knees were as swollen as each other and resembling anything but a knee... Today they are even worse than yesterday. If you've had severe swelling in joints before you'll know how restrictive it is. I can't get down the stairs properly as there is too much swelling to bend the knee enough. It's times like this where I know living in a 3 storey town house was just the best decision! (sense the sarcasm) I had to have a bath not a shower as swelling prevents you from being able to stand for long periods of time, but it is literally impossible to sit yourself down when you can't bend your knees - aside from the fact that my wrists are too swollen to support myself - so I have a special, oh-so-cool Red Cross bath seat for occasions like these. Daniel had to make me breakfast as I can't stand and I am now sat, legs raised, on the couch where I will stay for the remainder of the day. We have a friends engagement party tonight which I will have to miss. Why do I always get a flare up when I have a really nice outfit picked out with a cute pair of heels?? But on a serious note, this is it. This is the life I lead. There are constant flare ups and constant pain. There are always events I have to cancel and even people who know me really well or have known me for a long time get pissed off if I don't come to a birthday or an event of some sort. I really do do my best and I love going out, so if I don't go, you know I'm really not in a good way and I hope that from this, people will be a little bit more understanding of people with RA and why you might think they 'let you down' occasionally. Trust me, it is the last thing you want to do. When you have grown up being told that you can't do all the things you want to do, you want to do them even more. You want to work more, to party more, to go out more and just enjoy the little things in life. So while someone else my enjoy the excuse to be able to stay in, I don't. I look forward to nights out and dressing up because I never know the next time I won't be able to go. Tonight, is that next time..... But I am remaining positive that tomorrow it will be a little better, and the day after even more :)

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