Thursday, 20 February 2014

In pain. Arthritis

My joints are screaming. The last few years I've learnt to cope with my arthritis so much better than before, I don't cry from it now, much. It takes an awful lot of pain to draw tears now, when I used to wake up most nights and cry with the pain, tossing and turning unable to sleep through that constant ache.

Even so, right now I'm in a lot of pain. Keeping my mind busy helps distract me a little, but there are moments it's so bad I cant concentrate at all and end up just lying here consumed by pain. I hate taking tablets every day and still not achieving great results, my fingers are twinging and my hips hurt but its my ankles and knees that draw curses from me. God my damn knees, I could smash them in with a hammer if it would stop this insufferable aching. Movement is a nightmare, every time I move my legs I feel my joints react and deny the action, my knees are stiff with stubbornness. Ever since I was little and the doctors said I had arthritis and I listened to them explain to my mother what sort it was and what it meant, I was fascinated. I still wonder while I'm here silently coping with this pain what's actually happening inside my body. What's the disease in my blood doing to my joints right now, could I see it if I had a fancy mini camera inside me that sped up processes like watching a flower bloom.

I remember so many bits and pieces of terrifying phrases and explanations when I was growing up, "Break down of cartilage", "possibility of severe disability in the future" "swelling"                                   "reduced movement" "immune system is attacking the affected areas" "it can travel to the back of the eyes and cause swelling which may restrict eyesight, we'll do a test every year just to be careful" "physiotherapy"

 "flare-up" "impossible to know when it will occur" "Movement therapy in a hydrology pool" "the exercises are painful but will help you to walk properly"
                      "we'll put her under anaesthetic" "steroid injections" "the joints arn't growing properly"  "you must wear these special insoles in your shoes to make your feet turn the right way"                                   
      "You can bring a nightie and a teddy into hospital"                                                                
 "If that doesn't work we'll try a brace to straighten her legs" "she might grow out of it, or it will likely get worse with age"

 Along with the information and medical book my mother kept from my childhood, I've read and re-read so many medical journals and articles on arthritis it all jumbles together a bit. A significant part of my childhood was going into hospital every week and being used to strangers poking and prodding me. It's important to me that I understand and keep up to date with my arthritis. I watch those god awful adverts with stair chair mobility machines for people who can't walk up the stairs. They make me feel sick, when I know it hurts my knees just to walk slowly up a few steps, a whole staircase is just over that line between uncomfortable to painful. Putting myself up more than a household staircase is pure agony and I hate admitting it, because I look lazy, but when I look at more than ten steps I feel my stomach clench and my body shout no. I'll likely be one of those people that in later life would need one of those awful machines and I'd rather drown myself in soup. I intend to retire to a bungalow and save myself the risk of that embarrassment.

I'm not in a bad mood right now, I know I sound awfully depressing. I'm just in so much pain right now that lying here writing is even a trial and I'm dwelling on it. I don't want to just vedge out on my bed like a cripple clutching a hot water-bottle beneath my knees. The sad thing is I need to go downstairs to make a cup of tea, and then I will cringe in pain walking like a fragile doll back up the stairs with my cup of tea. It's times like this I wish I had a kettle and fridge in my room.

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