Rheumatoid Arthritis is a very frustrating disease. I am not in denial of it, I do not sit around and feel sorry for myself nor do I want sympathy from anyone. I go on about my everyday life as best I can, yet somedays it is on a day by day basis as far as what I can do. I try to plan things out, but as all of you with RA know, those plans may have to be cancelled or rearranged at any given moment. I don't like to complain, but occasionally, I just get tired of hurting!
Even when things do go as planned, often the after effects of having a few hours of fun can leave you questioning whether it was worth it or not. Yesterday I went riding with two of my cousins and we put in 90 miles with about 20 miles of it being rough single track trails. Prior to the ride my pain level was around a two with no fatigue, for me, I felt extremely good. I felt good through the ride, stood up on the pegs a lot through the day and had a good safe ride. Not that we didn't take a few chances and push the edge throughout the day, it wouldn't be a good ride if you didn't push your ability a little bit.
We hit one trail that was absolutely packed with spiderwebs and big spiders hanging on them. Since I was riding out front, I got all of the spiderwebs and collected all of the spiders also. I stopped several times to knock spiders off of me and I even had one walk across my goggles while I was riding. One web I hit had a huge spider hanging on it and I couldn't avoid it. It made a loud thud when it hit my helmet and, even though I'm not scared of spiders, it actually sent shivers down my spine. I locked my rear brake up and was trying to unbuckle my helmet with one hand while the bike was skidding to a stop. I quickly knocked him off, I'm not sure what kind it was, but it was a good four inches in diameter.
I loaded up feeling great yesterday afternoon and woke up in pain this morning. Right now my pain is a solid five, I'm having trouble walking and my hands are once again swollen along with joint pain in my hips and right shoulder.
OK, I am currently hurting because I'm hard headed and insist on not letting RA have total control over me. I refuse to stay at home when I feel good just because I'm afraid my RA pain level might increase. I wasn't prepared for this hostile takeover of my body and I vow to fight back and have fun every moment I can.