Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On again.....Off again.

Lately the kids and I have been a little obsessed with reruns of That 70's Show. On the show Kelso and Jackie (both teens) have been in a long term relationship with each other that tends to be like many first time romances....on again and then off again. I guess in a way it is like rheumatoid arthritis. We enter into this serious relationship in which we have no experience vowing that it won't take over our lives and trying to make it work around the life we have already created. But, as is the case for Jackie and Kelso, we end up getting hurt over and over again. As a teenager I remember thinking that I wouldn't put 100% of my energy into my first love, but somehow he became all that mattered. Many days it feels the same with rheumatoid arthritis.

Generally though, the relationship with our first love and with RA is calm and we feel somewhat content and capable of continuing on in the relationship. Sometimes with RA we even find it enjoyable as we meet new people and find new support systems. It becomes our norm and we find comfort in that normalcy. Jackie and Kelso's relationship has been on again, off again for so long (flare-up on and flare-up off) that even though they both seem to want to move on they can't seem to pull themselves away from each other. I feel that way with rheumatoid arthritis. It keeps pulling me back like a magnet.

Occasionally, this relationship with RA gives us great highs that make us realize our strengths and gives us the energy to keep going and to make this relationship work. Do you remember feeling that way with your first love after a big fight? I guess rheumatoid arthritis is like a first love in that neither one will ever totally leave us. A part of them will remain with us our entire lives. Each of us with rheumatoid arthritis knows that we will have good and bad days and if we are lucky we might even experience remission. But, our joints, like our first loves are our weakness and they will always be our soft spots during times of stress and unhealthy habits. The cool thing about RA, in my opinion, is that we have a choice over how we want this relationship to end. We can treat it like many first love relationships end which is in hate and bad memories or we can be one of the lucky ones that make this experience something that we feel good about and years from now look back and hold fond memories of the growth we experienced and the strength we found in ourselves.

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I posted yesterday that I have been experiencing extreme pain in my knee and having a terrible time sleeping. My poor daughter Sophia accidentally hit my knee twice yesterday by once backing up and running into me and the other time accidentally elbowing my knee while getting up from the couch. She felt so bad when she saw the reaction on my face and I felt so bad for her. But, this morning I woke up shocked that I had slept through the night. I hadn't woke up once to turn myself over or to straighten my leg. Hmmm.....I needed to try it out while awake. Yes, it was true. I was rolling over with very little pain and my leg was bending, even if a little stiff still. I guess for today my relationship with rheumatoid arthritis is in a calm state. I am content with that.

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What I am noticing with my knee since starting the Body Ecology Diet is that each time I have a flare-up with this awful pain is that once the pain subsides, the swelling has gone down a bit more. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the pain is part of the healing.