Tonight I had a good cry. I actually found it hard at first to start crying. I could feel the tears stinging my corneas. I could feel them pool at the edge of my eyes. And then I cried. I cried pretty good too. Probably not long enough to let it all out, but I cried. I have so many wonderful things in my life, so many things to be thankful for, so many things that can be so easily taken for granted. But, lately, I have been overwhelmed by some of the bad or sad or painful things in my life.
For as long as I can remember, I have not had a day without pain, physical pain, somewhere in my body. It has usually been in my back and I have not thought too much of it, as I hurt my back in college. But the pain grew, it is worse, and I have just managed over the years to bear it. Slowly, my knees and ankles joined the painful fray. Like a team hell bent on making me stop in my tracks, they would flare here and there. Still, I didn't think overly much about the pain. I would go to physical therapy, I would take medications. But, the pain has persisted. And lately, the pain has increased. It flares in various parts of my body, flitting between joints like an Ouch Fairy. It wasn't until my wrists started hurting for no apparent reason that I became concerned. Out of nowhere it seemed, my wrists began to hurt like I had sprained them. I couldn't put away dishes, because the weight of a bowl was too much for me to deal with at the time. I called the doctor, I made the appointment.
I felt stupid in the appointment. How odd does it sound to say that you are having painful joints and the pain moves around your body and, no, there is no apparent cause. They are just painful and sore and tender and sometimes swollen. The doctor told me it was a symptom called migrating myalgia, not really that common. However, it can be a symptom of some autoimmune disorders. But he really didn't think that was it. He wasn't sure what it was, but he just didn't think that was it.
When I returned to see him a week or so later, the pain remained and he sent me for blood tests. Once again I didn't think much of it. I mean, really, it must just all be in my head. I went back to life as normal and just bore the brunt of the pain. Just put my chin up in the air and kept going. I was in pain, I was exhausted, but I kept moving through the days. And then this past Monday, about the time I was thinking I should call to check on my blood tests, the doctor's nurse called me. Something had been found, my inflammation marker was elevated and they wanted to refer me to a rheumatologist right away. What!?! Excuse me, can you just wait a second…What did it mean? I asked the nurse if it could mean I have RA (rheumatoid arthritis), she told me yes. I asked her if it meant I could have other things, she told me yes. But she wanted to get off the phone with me it seemed, "the specialist will explain everything when he looks at it"…I hung up, I cried, and then I went back to the world.
My pain continues. Right now as I type this, my knee is swollen and very tender and covered with an ice packet. The pain in my fingers seems to have subsided a bit, thankfully. As well as the pain in my back and neck…my feet are still sore. I don't know what I have in store for me. I am still waiting to hear back from the rheumatologist. I just know I needed a good cry and now I will jump back into things. Sore or not.