`Working with RA can at best be trying while other days are just brutal. I work a full time job that is pretty physical. I start to get stiff and hurt if I sit for any period longer than 20 minutes. My co-workers, even though they know I have RA, give me a hard time when I get up and go work around a little bit to finish my breaks. We all know that if you keep moving you don't hurt as much, but outsiders don't understand this. My bad days include climbing up and down stairs on the printing press that I work on (3 stories tall), getting down on my knees and crawling around working with the two bottom print decks. Also, if we have had problems, being on my feet for a full 12 hour shift hurts my feet, ankles, knees and right hip. When a job is running good, we can usually sit down for about 3-4 minutes every roll.
The flexo press that I work on has a turrent unwind and rewind on it, which means that the press never shuts down unless there is a problem. We run 62 inch rolls of paper that average 13,000 linear feet. Run speed on the press is 1500 feet per minute so on average, we are changing rolls every 8.6 minutes. Add in checking print quality, inks with the XRite (computer color analyzation system), velvetol, monitoring and adjusting moisture applied to the paper, coatings, ink ph and viscosity. Because of the run speed, we have 8 ovens on the press to dry inks and coatings. To cool the paper after coming out of an oven, there are chill rollers which circulate ice cold water through them to help bring the web temperature back down as the paper exits an oven. Printing is no longer an art, it's becoming a science. I didn't mean to get carried away talking about the press.
If I have had a rough day and am hurting more than normal, I will not sleep well. This comes in part from hurting in my sleep while, I believe, subconsciously worrying about work tomorrow. I can not hold up to a 12 hour shift with 5 or 6 hours of sleep now, so on my bad work days I will take 1 acetaminophen pm as soon as I get home from work to help me sleep all night. I always make sure that I have 8 hours to sleep before taking one but have not experienced any of the grogginess or confusion listed as a possible side effect with the product. Also, it has not become addictive, on my days off, I have no problem with sleeping.