Being Gentle With Yourself

I was reading through some RA places (blogs, medical sites, general… stuff) this morning and thinking, at the same time, about some advice I gave someone I met on facebook (who said social networking and general game playing don’t have any side benefits…) who is new to the “adventure” (sarcasm implied) of rheumatoid arthritis.

This young woman has a young son who has epilepsy (again… go go social networking…) which is again how we started to interact.  She is going (hopefully) to see her arthritis doctor (not sure if it is a rheumy or not) soon, but was having an incredibly horrible flare last week.  She asked what she can do for the pain.

I gave her all of the tricks I’ve found (over the counter NSAIDs… hot bath… slink to keep weight off the painful shoulder… use other joints where you can, like open bottom cupboards with feet and shut doors with hip if it is shoulder-elbow-hand pain… oh… and… um… yeah… I had a package of metho-prednisone that the clinic prescribed for sore throat a while ago that I didn’t take many of, you know the ones, the blister packs that have the dosage on the back, if I get really really bad, I take a couple doses of that to try and take the edge off).  Yeah yeah, I know… but technically it was my prescription I was taking and  it isn’t like I haven’t been given the magic prednisone pills before.  There are times that you do what you have to do to keep from living the chewing glass kind of pain.

One of the best pieces of advice, though, that I think I gave her (and advice that I probably ought to take myself more often) is to be gentle with yourself, be understanding of yourself, and don’t just let people help if they offer, ask for help.

So that was the avenue I took down the… I’m up early, it is blissfully quiet but for the wind and the trains, I have warm coffee with cream, and I’m looking for research to help me with my RA book… rabbit trail.  I found some interesting takes on my theme.  Some make me cringe (especially given that my hip hurts about a 9.5 this morning from the change in weather) but in general they were good reads.

The Allegheny Medical Blog has some great suggestions, but not really if you are in the middle of the chew glass kind of pain… and most of it is kind of common sense, this is what will make you healthy, wealthy and wise kind of suggestions.  I always like to be reminded that stretching and gentle yoga can help and mindfulness of my own limitations lets me do this even when it hurts really bad and sometimes helps, but that isn’t something to actually take up when you are in the middle of “what the #@$$ can I do for this pain” kind of day.  And actually the 7 Fibromyalgia Coping Tips entry was more helpful and kind of more accurate.

I think, though, that one of the best pieces of advice is from Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy… Asking For Help Does Not Mean Giving In.  I guess it isn’t just a girl thing that says… I’m going to tough it out.. I’m not  asking for help, they should know I need help… or… I do NOT need help.  Let’s face it world, we all need help.  Don’t be afraid to accept it.  Don’t be afraid to ask for it.  I absolutely love RA Guy’s blog.  It is real.  It is honest.  It makes me have faith that I can do it even on my crappiest day.

And damn it, it isn’t just about RA, but every freaking thing in life.  Get over yourself.  Help someone, even if you don’t realize they need it.  Offering makes the heart smile.


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