Friday, 26 February 2010

So am I controlling my arthritis, or is it controlling me?

 Lately I've been been feeling my Rheumatoid Arthritis a bit - I started Pilates a few months ago, mostly as a result of the infamous sideways saddle incident which made me realise I was doing too much to protect my weak left side, I could see how disabled I was becoming because of it - when it gets to the stage when you can't get on or off your horse without using a crane, its time to look for help, which I have found via Emma my Pilates teacher who is doing a fab job with some frankly crappy materials, to be specific, my bones.    
Other than the pilates with Emma, I've had a busy few weeks - I attended several trade fairs - such fun! There is so much stuff you could spend your hard earned pounds on in an attempt to generate more pennies; so much stuff you never knew you needed before you saw it!!  It's fun buying, chatting to people, going back to the cafe for another cake and capuccino because you know you're going to be able to put it down on the business and the taxman will just have to lump it....I could spend and spend at these trade fairs, and it all seems like it could be the next best thing.
The last thing you want to do is wake up in the morning with your credit card receipt and think 'oh no, I didn't really, did I?'  

Trade Fairs are great for an instant creative recharge by hooking into other people's energy, piggy back style but oh my goodness, when you get back home, through the front door and sit down with the cat, ugh, exhaustion sets in.

I've bought some gorgeous new beads and creative thingies, I'll try and take some photos at some point - I spent several hours drooling over it last night which made rather a mess of the workbench, and of course made new jewellery - was still up at 4 in the morning when Mark woke up, came thumping up the wooden staircase to the studio (audible warning system in place there) to tell me off, but when I get into the creative mood, its just impossible to stop until I've at least got SOME of the ideas out of my head, otherwise I just wouldn't be able to sleep and I'd lie there under the covers fretting about stuff I'm desperate to make.  I guess it's difficult to understand if you don't have these spurts, they are so energising and such fun at the time - but - ugh - just TRY and get up in the morning after one!!!  

I think that and all the walking at the trade fairs - and more than that all the THINKING, evaluating one product over another, doing mental cost analysis, trend projections and comparisons between product A and product B, and the restarting of Pilates after Christmas has upset my bones and tonight I found my arthritis controlling me, as I've had to again start using a pain controlling drug which I hate taking - Fentanyl is a prescription opioid-based pain-reliever and whilst very effective, it is also highly addictive hence my reluctance because its horrible coming off it - you get the full spectrum of withdrawal symptoms I've managed not to take it for two years; it's an absolute last-ditch option, and I'm not happy about it at all.  
It gets to the point where you can't take one more night of waking up because this thing is constantly nagging 'ouch, ouch, ouch' -so I've put on a patch; its the first time in weeks I've been able to relax my shoulder, neck and upper back.  It feels like bliss, but there's no such thing as a free lunch as they say.   I feel deeply disappointed in myself that I've given in, on the other hand, oh, what a relief.  

This is all part of life's ups and downs and I know it will improve eventually - the Pilates is interesting, because we are working on controlling my core strength and stretching the bits of me that probably haven't moved in years (mostly my left shoulder and arm) using this weird contraption (picture at left) which helps stretching and moving - when I first saw this thing I nearly ran in the opposite direction!

It does me good to remember my visit to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in the USA a few years ago; when I arrived I felt a bit sorry for myself, having navigated all the way from Manchester via Atlanta and up to Rochester ALL ALONE which is a scary scary thing for a girly to do, I was in this depressing hotel room looking out at the rain in this strange place far from home, sobbing into the phone to anyone who'd listen (I did try the hotel concierge for this service but they didn't seem that keen....) - the next day I had my first day at the Mayo, still feeling sorry for myself and homesick and not very well and - well, I saw all these little bald kids dragging oxygen tanks round them and it hit me that actually in the grand scale of things, I'd got off pretty darn lightly - that its always good to remember other people when you're in that frame of mind. 
The Mayo did me good in so many ways, but that was the best thing I learned there. 

So maybe that nasty sneaky RA thinks it is winning tonight, but really, it isn't at all.

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