I work 12 hour shifts standing and walking on a concrete floor or walking up and down stairs, the printing press I work on is 3 stories tall. Quiet often when I get off work at 7 am, after winding down for about an hour or so, I lay down dog tired expecting to get a good 8 hours of sleep. I have no problem falling asleep, but I will wake up several times through the day and usually two days out of the week, cannot go back to sleep. So usually one day a week, sometimes two, I head back to work at 7 pm with only 4-5 hours of sleep. As all of you with RA know, you hurt when you don't get 7-8 hours of good sleep, and I am no exception.
I get so tired of answering the same questions over and over again. It usually goes something like this:
Casual Work Acquaintance: Man, you look rough.
Me: Yeah, I didn't sleep very well today.
Casual Work Acquaintance: I didn't either, I just slept 5 hours today.
Me: That's about what I got today.
Casual Work Acquaintance: You don't look like you feel good though.
Me: I don't. I am hurting due to lack of sleep today.
Casual Work Acquaintance: 5 hours is pretty good sleep for me.
Me: Not for me with my RA trying to work 12 hours.
Casual Work Acquaintance: Oh yeah, I forgot. I think my xxxxxxxx (place assorted relative here) has that. He/she hurts a lot when it rains.
Me: Yeah, it can be pretty rough some days. (I don't even bother trying to tell them that is not what we have - it's not important enough for them to remember.)
Casual Work Acquaintance: Well, hope you get to feeling better.
Me: (smiling) Well, thanks but I probably won't. (Since when has walking 12 hours on concrete with steel toe workboots and climbing up and down stairs all night helped an RA patient after having only 4-5 hours of sleep.)
Now, I head out to the pressroom to do my job and wait for the same conversation, often asked by the same people, next week.