I live with arthritis.
I don’t suffer from it.
What I really suffer from is stupidity. The stupidity of making the same mistake – drinking the same, condition-triggering amount of wine in to the early hours on a weekend.
Laying on the sofa, feeling warm and immortal from the drink sloshing around in me. I really should have gone to bed when A. did. Sensible A.
Next morning I wake up. Or at least my eyes open. My body refuses to move. As if someone has come in during the night and stapled my skin to the bed sheets.
It takes a good few minutes of moaning and groaning to be able to get up. Reluctant limbs flailing as I try to rise from the bed. Pain in every joint. Every part of the body no longer numbed by the booze.
The ritual is always the same. Use the upper body weight – for there is a fair bit there – to propel myself forward and downstairs. Fight the pain and gravity to lift my arms up and reach for the medication in the cupboard. Four tablets. One for my stomach – to counter the tablets I have been taking since I was 18. One for the inflammation of the condition and two for the pain. Effervescent. Just like the night before.
Then I move around. Anywhere. Walking around the house to get the blood pumping, the pain subsiding. The breathing isn’t always great at this point. Heavy shoulders collapse the chest. This cold I have doesn’t help.
I sometimes think a bath will help. The pain is that bad that I consider a bath. I hate baths. I’ll still end up having a shower.
By lunchtime all will be normal again. A ‘dull’ ache rather than a pain. That’s what normality is. Dullness!
So, why not avoid this crap. Why not put down the wine glass and remain dull.
It’s a question I have no logical answer to. Only a solution. Only a routine to counter the many nights before.
To suffer from stupidity. To live with arthritis.