Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Rain, rain, go away...

It rained last night, and apparently it was one doozy of a storm that came through. I would be completely oblivious to this fact however, as I was already asleep when it began, and it was over when I got up; had it not been for the fact the ground was wet, and all my coworkers were discussing how loud and crazy it was. You see, I may have trouble falling asleep on occasion due to symptoms and just the all around blahs of having a chronic disease and all that entails, but I have always been a heavy sleeper. I once slept through a tornado coming through our area, we'd camped out down in our basement, and it was actually rather loud, but I was out and heard nothing. Which is why, when on Plaquenil I had trouble staying asleep was so disconcerting. But that’s a post for another day. Back to the storm. But first let me give you some background info: my last few days and my quest for better fitness! What I would have thought was creating today’s problems had it not been for the obvious signs, and people’s announcements, of the storm the night before.

If you have RA, Lupus, MCTD or any other arthritic like autoimmune disease, you know the almost devastating effect changes in barometric pressure can have. It's ridiculous really. I went to bed feeling rather good. I'd been trying to stick with a new exercise program: and by that I mean actually using the Pilates and core workout material/videos/equipment I already own and have...along with (so far) daily walks at the peninsula with my good friend Elizabeth. In the last four days we've walked over 12 miles: which let me tell you, is something I'm rather proud of, given my current state of not having my disease "under control". Yesterday was a little rough, I will admit. My sister Mindy went along with us, and I realized how much Elizabeth had been letting me set the pace to our walks. I was finding myself unable to keep up with them: the pain I was experiencing in my shins (weird I know, but muscles oddly are affected by Lupus/MCTD as well), knees, and feet. At one point I started to get a muscle spasm in the arch of my foot and I was regretting wearing my new sneakers.

I made a comment shortly after we started, that I could not walk that fast and my sister made some joke about stretching before exercise. And while I admittedly had not stretched, it wouldn't have mattered anyway. It was my body, and my disease's, way of complaining that I was doing more than it could handle at this point in time, and it telling me that I needed to slow down or I WILL regret it later... They did slow for a little bit, but after a while they got going again, and I was slowly falling further and further behind. I refused to push myself and be subjected to another flare-up. Missing another week of work? Home in bed, bored out of my mind, with high temps, an aching body and the need to sleep but the inability to do so? I'm sorry, not signing up for that thank you!

I was trudging along behind them, not able to hear what they were talking about, regretting not having my iPod, and wondering if I just turned around and went back to my car, would they even notice? In other words, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, and my current state and what this disease will do to you. The changes it makes to your body, the changes and compromises you have to make regarding what you are now able to do physically, not to mention the emotional toll of dealing with all these new changes, as well as getting to the point where you can accept and learn to live with it. Anyway, they eventually noticed I was lagging behind, and pulled off the trail to take a break. I didn't really need a break, just for them to slow down, but I wasn't really gonna argue with it. After we started back up again, it was a pace I could keep up with and it was all good. Another four miles accomplished! After the walk we came back to my place and hung out for a while. When they left, I was feeling so good, and really not ready for bed, so I did some ab exercises and ran up and down the basement stairs a few times. After all that I was ready for bed, and drifted off with no problems.

That brings me back to this morning, and my little rain dilemma. I still had no idea it had rained the night before when I got up, but the first thing I noticed was how much my feet hurt. As I'm getting ready, I notice the hands and the shoulder, and think: crap! I went too far! It's really bad when the mere thought of drying my hair just seems like too much work. So I did my typical wet hair twist, and headed upstairs to get my coffee on the way out the door. And that’s when I notice the large puddle at the end of our driveway, and that my car looked a little wet and was covered with a bunch of junk from the tree behind the house. That’s when the pieces started to click together...After hearing all my coworkers commenting on the severity of the storm that cinched it for me. I was doing alright pacing myself; it was the random storm that was behind it all. Which is nice, because it meant it is likely to go away when the weather evens out instead of meaning a flare was on the way.

It's amazing what a little rain will do, isn't it? Brings the old nursery rhyme to mind: "rain, rain, go away. Come...." wait a minute...maybe not. Wouldn't it be awesome if rain were not a necessary fact of life? Actually, it would be really awesome if it had no effect on me at all. I used to love it when it rained. And a good thunderstorm? Bring it on! I loved to watch the lightning flash across the sky. Now it means I have to loosen the laces on my shoes and add some extra Omega-3's to my collection of pill popping adventures, and wait for it all to pass.

No comments:

Post a Comment