It's a terrible thing to be diagnosed with any type of disease. I know what I suffer from pales in comparison to what a lot of people suffer from, but when I was first diagnosed with RA, I felt numb for what must have been a solid two weeks. I had more questions than answers, didn't know who to talk to, trust or how to research a good rheumatologist. My first rheumatologist was not much help either, didn't like you asking questions, was not open to trying anything except what he wanted to give you. I stuck it out with him for a full year before finding a good one.
In my first 6 years, I have had my ups and downs, pain and near pain free days, but I am so glad it was me and not my wife or daughter. I usually play down the effects of my RA or or my true feelings about having it, but some days it is so frustrating while other days it just plain hurts me. This has been one of those days, this morning I couldn't seem to hang on to anything (good that I did not go riding today) and I was extremely tired after just waking up from 9 hours of sleep. I am stiff and hurt all over and my hands are swollen and hurting badly.
I learned a couple of lesson's Monday. I have said before that having RA is a constant learning experience. Monday I learned that 171 miles is too long for me to ride with my RA along with a much more important lesson. I often take Tylenol Arthritis after a ride to help with some of the pain, if needed. Monday I was going to be slick so I took 2 Tylenol Arthritis 1 hour before we started riding. Then I took 2 more with me to take at our gas stop, about halfway or 83 miles into the ride. I didn't hurt at all during the ride and as I was loading up Monday, was patting myself on the back. I had ridden farther that I ever did in 1 day when I was younger and healthy. I could just barely get out of bed Tuesday from hurting so bad. It seems that the Tylenol covered up my normal pains. When I start hurting I will head back to the truck and load up, but since I was not feeling any pain, I kept on riding way past my tolerance point.
I can deal with the pain if I know I caused it and had fun getting there. But somedays my RA just bestows excessive amounts of pain on me for no good reason at all. And then there is the clumsiness, the days you can't think clearly, the swelling and fatigue. Who ordered this train wreck? I truly hate that any of us have to go through what we are enduring.