I have been really fortunate so far this winter. It’s been fairly mild- not too many super cold days, very little snow. Which, of course, means very little weather related pain. This week I have been feeling progressively crappy. I chalked it up to having my period and not walking enough (have I mentioned that I have found a definite link between how much I walk and how I feel?). Anyway, I’ve been chugging along, assuming that it would pass.
Last night it snowed, our first actual snow (snow less than inch isn’t actual snow when you live in Wisconsin). We have a couple of inches on the ground, very cold temperatures. And my body just….hurts. L asked me if my joints were hurting and I answered that my hips hurt, and my back hurts, and my hands hurt. Then I stopped and said, “So, yes, my joints hurt.” It took me actually adding up all the pains to put it together in my head that yes, I am having a very bad day. In the back of my head, a little voice is saying “Be prepared for a flare.” I have been so lucky this winter, these last several months actually, to have been getting progressively better, to be responding to treatment. I have been so lucky, and I have known it. So now on this bad day, I am scared. Could this be more than one bad day? That’s one of the many things I hate about chronic illness- the fear.
So today, I gave into feeling crappy and didn’t go into work. I am alternating walking around my house and wrapping myself in heat through my heating pad and my heated throw blanket. I am drinking lots of water. I am trying not to feel stress. I am stretching, as my physical therapist has shown me. I am trying to do all the things I can do to stop the bad day in its tracks. But none of that prevents the fear when I look down at my hands and see the red joints, which has been gone so long I had forgotten their ugliness.
F’ing winter. I can’t wait for spring.