Its 3:42am and I can’t move.
My joints look the same as they always do. The skin around my knuckles is taut and shiny. You can see the purple discoloration of the inflammation. I can’t flex my muscles or straighten my fingers. They look like disfigured claws as I try to open my pill bottle.
Why does the pharmacy never listen to me when I ask for easy open bottles? It’s only been two and a half years. It’s not like I’m going to suddenly change my mind and say “You know what, you’re right! Give me the cap that takes me twenty minutes to open. It will be like a fun challenge to get to my medicine.”
To this day I’m pretty sure the pharmacist at the Kailua branch of CVS hates me. Every time I pick up my prescriptions and she hears my name she has this sneer on her face. I know it’s because of that one time I challenged her word. To be fair, she was lying! The night before she personally told me my steroid prescription would be ready for pickup at 7am the next day, and then when I arrived at that time she told me she would have never said that. Well, lady, you did, cause had you not, I wouldn’t have been here at 7am to pick them up. I don’t actually relish getting out of bed that early. Admit it, you messed up, and gave me the wrong time! Or… You could just sneer at me for the rest of your life. Your choice…
My left arm is so uncomfortable. All I want to do is stretch it out. But I can’t. It won’t straighten. And as luck will have it, straightening it will be the only thing that makes it feel better.
Hot tea. Do I have the energy, or the willpower to make some? Will I be able to carry the mug back to bed?
Why won’t my arms straighten? Why can’t I open my hands?
I’ve taken my medicine. Why don’t I feel better? When did it stop working?
I’m in so much pain. How do I fix this? I can’t even get comfortable in my bed, the bed that always makes me feel cozy and rested. There’s nothing left for me to take. I’m at the max of my pain medication. If I take more steroids I’ll never be free of them. There’s nothing I can take. Gone are the days of Tylenol, Advil, and Aleve. You might as well be offering two Skittles to me. What are people like me supposed to do when we get headaches you may ask?
Deal with it. That’s all we can do. When you’re already on so many drugs for so many different things, a headache is just something you deal with.
It hurts everywhere. Why. Why me.
I just want a solid 8 hours of sleep. No interruptions.
Two hands around the mug, Christine. You know you don’t have the strength to hold it with one hand. We don’t need to be the hero of the kitchen today. Mopping will be much too painful.
Hot liquid down my throat is welcoming and warm. My dry mouth starts to dissipate. The warmth of the heated ceramic is loosening the pain in my hands.
Im wondering if it’s worth taking a 20 minute hot shower. I wonder how much gas that uses up. What will my new gas bill be like? How much more money do I need to pay to live? To survive?
My cats have come to give me love. They always know when it’s bad. They lie on my hands, my elbows, my hips, trying to absorb the pain for themselves. Their purrs soothe me.
Astrid pushes her head against mine. This is how she shows she loves me. We nuzzle our faces together, her purrs louder and louder. She hops down from her perch on my bedside table and lays down on top of my left arm. Her paws clutching my hand between them.
Nuzzle, nuzzle, bite. Nuzzle, nuzzle, bite. I doze as she attempts to heal me with her kitty cat methods. My little sweetheart.
Ugh, I know I have to get up and use the bathroom but the pain stops me. How long can I hold it? Is a UTI worth the searing joint pain of getting on and off a toilet seat? Probably not.
Oh but the pure joy of finding an unopened box of Salon pas patches in my bathroom drawer! Three large ones go on my arm and one on my knee. Two smaller on each hand. The icy warmth already penetrating my muscles, my joints. I may tactually be able to move my limbs today. This is good news indeed.
I wonder what my Rheumatologist is up to… Maybe still sleeping? Or going for a run, making coffee, doing normal morning activities before going into the office. I’m his 8:30 appointment today. I wonder how much of our mornings are the same and how much are different.
Im guessing he hasn’t been struggling with pain for two hours. Or attempting to write a blog while dealing with swollen fingers.
Does anyone out there share this with me?