Arthritus Day

Some days are better - some worse. Since the late 90s I have been dealing with the pain and limitations of arthritis in my ankles and wrists. A few weeks ago I was depressed for several days after I saw the latest x-rays of my wrists. Not everyone understands the painful affects of this so I thought that it might help you share a few words from the blog of "hurt blogger", a 27 year old Stanford ePatient Scholar who writes to ease the pain of autoimmune arthritis through humor, sarcasm, and community. She puts a beautiful face to this debilitating disease.

I am highly fortunate that my doctors are not denying me pain medication. In fact, I recently emailed my GP and told her I planned to step down to a lesser strength pain medication that I already had on hand, and wanted to make sure that was safe. The response was an immediate phone call from her office manager asking when I could come in. A few hours later, I sat before my doctor being told she feared for me trying to be too tough, and as she filled out the triplicate forms for more of the strong meds, she insisted that this was not the time to be tough.

I have a disease that is actively eating at my bones and soft tissues (sound painful?), and I am only just now getting medicines in my system to treat the underlying problem. Similar meds have either failed me, or I’ve been forced off them to save my life in the previous months and years.

We made a deal. She would allow me enough to get through the next couple weeks till my new meds (should) kick in, then I could try and be tough. ... Any chronic pain patient can tell you we are never totally free from pain. But it is really tempting to get close, to free ourselves from the ever-nagging heinous hell of pain.

I stand there, bottle in hand, debating. What do I want my life ruled by? This miniature white pill that seems to laugh at my plight, or do I want to be ruled by the mental strength that I have worked 20 years to gain? Simple. I am stronger than that. My mind, though currently tempted, is not addicted. Now, just to convince my body of that.

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