Morning Pain and Progress

Let’s not say my bubble has burst, but it certainly is deflated.  Thursday I was delighted to get the news that my heart was fine.  I was appropriately grateful, but the irony of being overjoyed at being back to my baseline of daily poor health has not escaped me.  Currently it takes me about four hours of preparation to be able to leave the house.  I wake with pain in almost every joint and muscle, and I have to eat breakfast and take my medicines and wait for those dissenting parts to get it together so that I can bathe, dress and be on my way.  If I do go out, I’m pretty good walking around for a while (maybe the grocery store and post office), but once I’m back home the pain in my feet makes me want to slice them off neatly at the ankles.  I have reached a more painful phase this year, and it requires managing my medicines and activities differently. 


Yesterday, after my morning prep, I spent five minutes pedaling (did you know pedalling is also correct?) my new exercise bicycle.  And I was proud of that.  As you have to be, when it is all you can muster.  I do my five-minute stint with the same seriousness and intent as someone doing ten-mile runs to train for a marathon.  I know that if I want to get to that magical 30 minutes per day of aerobic exercise, I have to start with what I can do.  That would be five awkward, tortuously slow minutes.  If I’ve learned anything in 16 lupus years, it’s that you can’t psyche yourself into thinking that small efforts aren’t worth it.  You have to force yourself to perform the small stuff, and to appreciate that you are able to go that far. 


There are some dangers to living like this.  There were times, when I was still in practice, when I wanted to answer a patient’s complaints with “I don’t want to hear it unless you’re in more pain than me.”  It gives me heartache now to see someone wasting their ability and complaining over things they can control and overcome without even breathing hard.  I try mightily to see other people’s struggles as real and significant, and to not say “if I can do it, surely you can.”  I do find that I must work overtime to really see other’s lives, and appreciate that they have their demons and struggles, and to remember that the level of difficulty can’t be judged from the outside.  Still, that teeny voice inside me is sometimes shouting out “get a life!”


Mmhmm, Essie is not sounding like such a happy camper today.  It’s a reality check day.  I am not one to be in denial about myself (only about others when I want to find them “okay”).  I walk a very thin line between accepting where I am and who I am, and being over-critical of myself.  When I fall over into the over-critical territory, I blame myself for every facet of where I am.  That is a deep hole to put yourself in, best to be avoided at any cost.


From my gloomy tone, you might think that something awful was going on in this house, but no.  My daughter is here for the weekend.  You know I always rejoice to see her.  My youngest (and last) host son is visiting.  We’re looking forward to dressing him up for his prom tonight, and taking all those home-grown photos.  I have to remember the details that I’ve learned for the boy side of things, like having him clean up my car before he goes to pick up his lovely date.  My daughter discovered that he hadn’t ordered a corsage for the lovely date (why?!) and corrected that on her own.  We are such good prom moms! 


Yesterday I bound off the snood, and I have photos.  Like most just-knit lace, it is totally unimpressive.  It is a shapeless piece of material with lots of holes.  I’m going to block it today, wet it and stretch it out and shape it.  When it is dry, I will sew up the seams and show you again.  More knitting magic! 

        The top photo has accurate colour (yaaaay).  Have you ever noticed that when you spell it with a “u”, the word colour takes on a broader dimension, a fuller range, appropriate for the vast spectrum that it describes?  You can see that I am preoccupied with my words today, a normal but publicly repressed state of being for me.  I am an editor in the true life of my dreams.  I think I mentioned before that this yarn is Koigu PPPM.  I have no idea what the colorway number is.  It is about three years old, and Koigu does dozens of them. 


Hmm.  I think I’m good to walk to the kitchen for more coffee, and for that bath.  Gotta go knit today.  I am sooooo happy for that!





*Housekeeping:  You may have noticed that I’ve recently begun to categorize my blog as “African-American” along with “lupus” and “knitting”.  There are some efforts in the blogosphere to define particular groups of writers, with an attempt to enhance the readership’s knowledge of our presence.  I find the same with medical blogs, and have applied for some ownership and standards certification there. 


2 Responses

  1. I didn’t know about a one-l or two-ll “pedal(l)ing. The colo(u)r is an interesting distinction, too.

    I hope you’re having a great time at knitting this morning, and glad you’re feeling well enough to go. Our daughter is due here momentarily, so we await her arrival. They’re headed up for a softball game between the Lady Vols (softball, not basketball) and the USA team.

  2. When you have a family full of English majors and cross-word puzzlers and the like, minor details in words become major conversation points. I enjoy it, but I have to remember that others think I’m weird if I mention how cool words can be. Colour is one of my favorites, but it causes spell-check to have a fit.
    Your daughter is very kind and thoughtful to make sure the date has a corsage. I’m wondering how many boys even know it’s called a corsage… much less where you can get one!

    I am sorry for the pain you have every day. I used to think I had a high pain tolerance, until I discovered what real pain is. I’m now classified as a “pain wimp”. As pain can be something my particular disease can bring me in the future, I try very hard not to think about it, or worry about it. I’m just grateful for the preventative medications, and hope they continue keeping my disease at bay.

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