Those of us with chronic pain all have those particular days when the weather really affects us. Today is one of those days for me. I have multiple chronic illnesses that cause pain in my body. Today, the fibromyalgia and the osteoarthritis are yelling the loudest. And it’s in large part due to the weather.
Our weather here in central Illinois is changing from hot, muggy and sweltering summer heat….into cooler, chillier, wetter, windier days & nights. Autumn is such a beautiful time. I am always ready to wave bye-bye to the heat and humidity that we endure every summer here in the heart of corn country. But once autumn has settled in, and is moving ever-so-slowly into the end days of autumn…..my body becomes highly attuned to every temperature change, every drop of precipitation…..and it hurts like hell.
I have already been going through a flare up of my fibromyalgia (about 5 days in) and also the tendinitis in my feet (about 6 weeks in). Today when I opened my eyes, the pain was there to greet me. I did not yet realize that it is a wet, rainy, chilly, windy, gray, nasty day outside. But my body let me know post-haste.
Every inch of me literally was screaming from the moment I opened my eyes….muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, skin, hair…..well okay, not my hair. But you get the picture.
As I threw the covers off of me (hot flash – menopause), I laid there for a minute to get my bearings. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I knew I couldn’t lay there all day. I had to get to my meds in the other part of the house. So with a deep breath, I swung my legs slowwwwly over the side and got myself upright. It took about 30 seconds before I managed to get myself sitting up straight. I groaned. I looked around. Fumbled around for my glasses. Petted the cat who sleeps with me and watches over me (I love him, my little shadow)….and pushed myself off the bed with my hands.
I shuffled into my Orthaheel sandals (best arch support EVER) and got my legs moving, one foot forward, then the other, then the other, then the other….still not standing completely upright, until I made it to the hallway, and by then my gait was moving along pretty good. (about the speed of a turtle)
Made it to the bathroom, and as I looked at myself in the mirror, I thought OhMyGod…..lovely, just a lovely sight to behold. If you cannot tell, this is sarcasm. LOL (it always freaks me out when I look at myself in the mirror in the mornings, I don’t know why that is LOL). So I do my thing in there, then move on into the dining room to give my two cats their Good Morning treat. This is a routine that I dare not try to forget or they will hound me with plaintive meows until I want to bang my head into the wall.
So we sit in my chair, which is positioned in the corner next to my large bookshelves, and I rattle the cat treat bag. Okay, bending over to place the treats on the floor in front of the cats…..then straightening back up again….I look out the window and see…..oh, yeah okay……it’s raining. And it’s…let’s see…..57 degrees. Yep. That’s it right there. That right there is about THE WORST weather combination for me, hands down. This damp, wet, 50-ish degree weather is worse for me than bitter cold. It’s worse than 90 degrees. It’s worse than anything. This combo ALWAYS absolutely makes me feel like – #1) I’ve been thrown in an industrial-sized clothes dryer and tumbled for about 2 hours. #2) I’ve been beaten up by Mike Tyson, twice. #3) I’ve been tied to a pickup truck and dragged down a country road for a couple days.
If you think I’m exaggerating just a little bit….you would be wrong. I am not exaggerating. This is exactly how it feels to me. Especially when I was already in a flare up. Then this weather happens. If you are like me, and are battling the Pain Monster…..you know, I ain’t lyin’. This is the god’s honest truth.
This is the thing about invisible illnesses. We don’t actually “look” like we’ve been dragged behind a pickup truck. We don’t “look” like we have been beat up. There are no bruises. No marks. No bloody gashes or stab wounds or well, you get what I’m saying. It’s all contained INSIDE. Where no one else can see. No one can tell. No one. It’s a very lonely, personal struggle.
So anyway…..after I wrote a couple poems for my blog at my chair on my laptop….I started the journey into the living room alcove, where my office is. Where my main computer is. Where my meds are. I thought, What the heck are you waiting for, get in there and gulp those meds!!! So I shuffled myself along, sat down in my nice comfy office chair and reached for my first of three pill organizers for the day. Down the hatch. Okay. Eyeballing the clock so I can guesstimate how long it will take before I finally start feeling a little relief. I don’t foolishly hope that I will be pain free. Oh hell no. Not today. LOL Just will take the edge off, that’s all. But I’m not complaining. I’ll take it. Yes Ma’am.
So after typing all this, now I got my fingers warmed up a bit (osteoarthritis), but they still feel like they were smashed with a hammer. They feel all broken inside. Yeah. Just another day. LOL
So……if you know how it feels, if you can relate to what I’m saying here…..first of all, I’m so sorry. It sucks to feel this way. It really does.
If you do NOT know how it feels, or if you can not relate to what I’m saying here…..first of all, count your blessings. And never, ever, ever judge someone when they tell you that they hurt. Especially when you see no outward or visible signs. There are many of us all over the place…..shopping, pumping gas, mowing the grass, delivering the mail, working next to your cubicle at work, taking care of their kids……you might not have any idea just how many of us there are all around you. Because many, many times…..there are no visible signs at all. You would be surprised how many. So don’t judge. Ever. Be grateful for your good health. Remember this: it could happen to you one day. Yes it could. It could happen to YOU.