Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Boogeyman

With all the episodes of Criminal Minds and murder-and-mayhem beach novels I consume, I could find A LOT of things to worry about. But I don't. And it's most likely because the vast majority of my dedicated worrying energy is concentrated in one area of my life: worrying that my arthritis will come back.

I fear this more than almost anything in this world. I fear going back to a life of drugs and joint damage and disabled parking signs. I fear what it would rob from me and from my life and from the people I love.

(If you're just joining us, the Coles Notes version of this story is that I've had arthritis since I was 10. I went into remission at 22 or 23, the same year I developed fibromyalgia and basically won the Lottery of Suck. My arthritis has been mostly dormant since then.)

Every time I feel even a hint of arthritic pain, I have to fight the urge to capital-letters PANIC. I want to cry and scream and throw things and curl up in a tiny little ball. So far, the flares I've had during my remission are not usually a big deal and I end up feeling like a (slightly embarrassed) drama queen. But that reality didn't stop me from fighting these feelings like crazy when I flared up in BC this past month. It was easy to blame it on the rain or the altitude change or the time change or a hundred other little things, and I was looking forward to getting home and getting better.

But we're home and I'm not better. I'm worse. This past week brought with it a spiral of PANIC and an escalating series of casualties - first my fingers, then my knee, then my hips, and today my back. MY BACK. Almost twenty years with this blasted disease, and it had never touched my back until today. It's a new and special kind of hell, I think.

I had my brave face on this morning, but I think I spent more of this afternoon crying than not. I know that this flare could go away in a day or a week or a month... BUT WHAT IF IT DOESN'T? The type and amount of pain I've experienced lately is different than it's been in years. It's undeniably arthritis. It's the return of a Lindsay who my husband and daughter haven't met before. It's the thing I've been fearing most, and it's happening.

I've never been this scared before. I've never had this much to lose.

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At June 27, 2010 7:56 PM, Blogger Nikki + Shane said...

Praying for you, friend.

At June 27, 2010 8:00 PM, Anonymous Marilyn said...

It sounds like you are following a healthy plan: panic, then sit down and think about things: verbalizing always helps a bit. Know you are loved and trust and rest in Him for all you need.

At June 28, 2010 11:40 AM, Anonymous Nessie said...

That's my biggest fear, too. I hope your flare ends up just lasting a few days!


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