So today is the first day of #RABlog Week where a group of bloggers from around the world come together to share their experiences with RA (or an autoimmune joint condition, in my case).
I have decided to show you a day in my life through pictures… Much like how I used to do 12 of 12s.
6.30 I wake up half an hour before I need to get up so I can use my heated blanket on the parts of my body that are particularly stiff. This lives next to my bed so I only have to grab it and plug it in on a morning.
7.30am Morning meds. I’m lucky that my morning meds only consist of 4 medications (I take Seretide for my asthma, which isn’t pictured)… I should also point out that you are supposed to eat food before taking these but I find that I feel very nauseous if I do that, so I eat food about half an hour after taking my meds. I DO NOT SUGGEST THAT YOU SHOULD DO THIS, THESE MEDS ARE HARSH ON THE STOMACH AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE TAKEN WITH OR AFTER FOOD.
10.00am… It’s a practical day at uni which means I’m kitted out in my shorts and T-shirt. At this point I was wondering whether I should wear my ankle brace because my ankle was already causing a lot of bother.
10.45am. I’m almost at Uni. It takes me 50mins to walk in even though most other people can do it quicker. Where I live, walking is the fastest way to get to Uni, although there is a metro station near-by that I can get when I am really stiff and sore.
6.30pm – sitting at the pharmacy. I had ran out of naproxen and paracetamol (I get paracetamol OTC but they put it in the prescription bag for me). I am so thankful of the pharmacy having chairs I can sit in as there are always problems with my prescription.
8.00pm – Doing a re-cap on today’s lectures/seminars/practicals… It’s actually amazing how much I can relate to what we learn about pain. “It is possible to have pain and no tissue damage, and it is possible to have significant tissue damage with no pain”
9.30 – after a shower I usually try to do some gentle stretches to maintain my flexibility. You can see here that my knee is slightly swollen which means that stretches on this leg are difficult. I am very scared of loosing muscle mass and even more scared of the possibility of contractures so I try to do these stretches every day. I’m hoping to start yoga soon.
9.45pm – back with the heat blanket on my ankles… I am really regretting the fact that I didn’t use an ankle support today but everyday with a chronic illness is different, so I guess I will learn to take my brace with me to use if I need.
It is actually quite hard to document a day in the life of someone with an invisible chronic illness through pictures… You cannot see how I had to hobble out of bed, or how I struggled to get off the toilet or how tired I am. To an outsider I look completely healthy. The fact that I wake up earlier than I need to so I can get my joints sorted enough to walk to uni doesn’t cross most people’s minds. Unless I tell someone that I am sore, it is hard to know that I’m struggling.
I also didn’t take pictures of the paracetamol or voltarol that I use throughout the day because I don’t want my day to revolve around medication. I managed to walk 6.2 miles in just over 15,000 steps which I am proud of. I try to celebrate my successes, no matter how small. And if I fail at something, or don’t do as well as I was supposed to then that is okay too, as long as I did my best.