Monday, April 23, 2012

The Flare From Hell

I have had an absolutely miserable April, will be glad when it's May!  Ha, like our pain knows the difference.  It started out by working excessive overtime compounded by crawling around on the shop floor for 2 days getting the mower ready for use, a heavy helping of union elections at work (I was the election committee) and the stress of coming up with extra money for income tax owed ... it did me in.  
Then last Saturday evening we had 2 days of severe storms move through and by Sunday night I was hurting all over.  I finally broke down and called in FMLA last Monday.  I have had FMLA for 5 years and that is the first time I have ever used it.  I tried to go to work Tuesday and 5 1/2 hours into my shift was nauseous.  I called in Wednesday and took the rest of the week off.  I hate burning vacation days and not being able to do anything, but this was the worst I have hurt since being diagnosed. I could not raise my left arm above my waist and my left shoulder down to my mid forearm was hurting all of the time in any position.  I could not sleep, the pain would wake me within 30 minutes of falling asleep.  I once again started thinking at least when I die the pain will stop.  Finally Friday I noticed the pain was less everywhere and I had more range of motion with my left arm ... not much, but enough to feel like I was past the worst part.  I continued to do nothing the rest of my week and weekend and now have 75% range of motion on my left arm and little to no pain unless I try to lift my arm straight up.  
I am on my way back to work in a few hours so that will be the real test.  To let you know how bad I have felt, I haven't even started my bike.  When I hurt enough to not even think of riding ... you know it's been bad.
I apologize, I will catch up with everyones blogs this week and plan on riding this weekend.


CurleyGirl said...

I've had a rough April, too. I hope things continue to improve for you.

"Come on May!"

Anonymous said...

Oops that's my daughter's account.

Squirrel said...

Really sorry to hear that Terry. Hopefully just your body's way of telling you to take a short break and soon you'll be back to normal. Sounds like you've really been busy! Wishing you a pain free week ahead.

tharr said...

Curley Girl/Anonymous, NP, as April closes down, I hope May brings some relief for you!

Squirrel, thanks, so good to hear from you!! Have you been on your vacation yet? I will catch up with you this week. Hope all is going well for you.

Deb aka AbcsOfra said...

You take care of yourself! That is the most important thing. The rest will just have to wait. And I would tell you to take it easy at work but not sure if they can help you by lightening your work load. This ra stuff stinks! (((HUGS))) Feel better soon. And tell this flare from hell to take a hike!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how things have been with you. I can really relate with April, pain, and especialy sleeplessness. You have a house, a job, great family, and a bike to use if you can, so look at how fortunate you are. You have written this cool blog and I enjoy reading your adventures.
I know it sucks, but I know you will find a way through.
Stay positive buddy.

mary said...

Darn, I was hoping your absence meant you were having a good month. Rest up and I hope you can get back to 100%....well our Ra type of 100% soon. Not much riding here either. Getting ready to have my knees injected and hope to be back on the bike soon. Be well.

Wren said...

Aw, Terry. I'm so sorry you've had such a rough run. It's really hard to cope with shoulder pain like that. Amazing how much you CAN'T do when it hurts to raise your arm even a little.

I'm glad the badness seems to be easing. Here's wishing you a much better week ahead, with far less pain and a lot more sleep each night. My fingers are crossed for your upcoming weekend ride. Let us know how it goes, eh?

Candied Frogs said...

Sorry to hear that Terry. I hope you continue to recover to an acceptable level really soon. Pity about dipping into your time off. :(

Cathy said...

Those storms seems to get you every time, don't they Terry? I hope things improve for you soon and your next post is about a great ride you just accomplished.

Lana said...

I will be glad when it is May too. It has been miserable/painful April for me as well. I know what you mean about using time that you could use for vacation but I had to do the same thing. I have not had to do that in a very long time. My ankles, feet, hands, and wrists are getting the worst of it. I actually slept through my flare because it came with extreme exhaustion. I hope you are feeling better today. Hang in there, summer is just around the corner.

tharr said...

Deb, I made it through work reasonably well last night. They don't believe in cutting you slack (except for a few that are happy to brown nose management). I am feeling much better this morning, got out and worked in the yard a little bit. I truly wish that none of us had to endure this stuff, but we do the best we can and go on. We don't have any other choice.

Hey Phil, you're right ... I am very fortunate and I don't take any of it for granted. Thanks for the support, I may have a good solo ride coming up in about 3 weeks. I'll let you know. I'm about 80% now, so I am definitely through the worst.

Mary, I like the way you put that ... 100% for RA types. Get your knees (and lungs) ready, you're going to need both of them. I'm ready to hear about some of your rides this summer.

Hello Wren, a shoulder that is AWOL creates several sub problems. It was extremely painful putting a t-shirt on, taking a shower, even just trying to tie my shoes. Haha, I was quite a mess for a week, but I'm much better now. Thank you my friend, I should be back on my bike by this weekend.

tharr said...

Hey Andy, hope you've had some good rides with pictures. I'll catch up on your blog later this week. Yeah, it kinda sucks having to do that but at least I had time to take off instead of missing a weeks worth of pay!

Hello Cathy, I was pretty worn down when this round of storms pushed through, normally they don't bother me this bad. Thank you for the support and also thank you for your work with the Show Us Your Hands project.

Lana, April must have been ugly to most of us RAers. I know what you mean, my feet felt like they had been hit with a sledgehammer. Fortunately that only lasted about 3 days, unlike my shoulder pain. I'm glad you could get some sleep during your flare, I am back to sleeping normal now. I'm ready for summer, but we have more storms coming in this weekend. sigh

Shauna said...

Awww Terry,

So sad to hear of your recent flares being such a draining and long experience. I do not know what it feels to have RA, yet I understand feeling pain every day. Glad to hear you may be getting back on your beloved bike again soon, but please....

Take care of YOU first and foremost. As some of your commenters have noted, everything else can wait. I have had to listen (again) to my own advice during this year, namely Jan. and Feb. When things get rough, and our pain gets in the way of life, the best thing we can do, is take some TIME. To rest. I easy to say, yet I know that when my body is crying out this loudly for rest, that I have been a negligent operator. lol

Glad you followed your body's messages and did just that. So you could recover and get much better. Good Job!! It's not as simple as people without a chronic illness think it would be.

My prayers are for a respite from the pain, for it to be as tolerable as possible, and for you to get some sweet rest.

Gentle Hugs----<3

tharr said...

Shauna, so good to hear from you!! Pain is pain, it doesn't matter what brings it on. I, like you, find it hard to take down time even though I know thats what I need to do. This time though was different from one of my usual flare ups and I decided to take the time off ... okay, it was more I couldn't move so I had to take the time off. It's not easy living in our shoes, especially looking like nothing is wrong with us to most people. Thank you for the kind words and prayers.