It is so easy to overdo it with RA. It happens to me all the time. When I feel good, my symptoms are under control for a day (or maybe two if I’m really fortunate), and I have more energy. Those are my “Up Days.”
On those types of days, I find myself working extra hard to get caught back up on things around the house and for my business. I feel like I should go with it and get as much accomplished as I can. I feel almost normal again…
But then… I start to feel a “Down Day” coming on.
Yesterday was an Up Day. I got caught up on laundry, dishes, organized my daugher’s closet, helped her clean her room, polished wood furniture, cooked dinner from scratch, planned the family meals for 3 weeks, and more! I even ironed my husband’s work clothes. He was in shock; I haven’t ironed anything in the better part of a year! I felt like the energizer bunny.
Then, something happened as I was trying to get just one more load of laundry done. I got this sharp pain, painful enough to stop me in my tracks, weird enough to get my attention. For me, the pain comes from my lower spine. It is an odd pain, one that I never experienced before RA. It feels like my joint is loose, if that makes any sense. When I try to take a step, I get the stabbing pain and it feels like my body will not be able to support my weight. This unique pain is my “uh oh, you overdid it again” pain. Once it happens, I know that I must rest.
So, today is my “Down Day.” The day I know I have to rest or I risk having a “Down WEEK.” It is frustrating because I have a whole list of things I want to do today in my head, but my body is screaming, “Oh, no you don’t!”
So today, I listen to the message that my body is giving me. No matter how badly I want to work on my to-do list, it has to wait. I have to rest, at least until lunch, and see if I can get back to my list by lunchtime. It is definitely my “Down Day.”
Ugh. This chain of events reminds me that no matter how good of a day yesterday was, I still have RA and I cannot just ignore the cues my body is giving. I have tried to ignore them is the past, but learned the hard way (more than once). When my body is telling me to rest, I had better do it.
Tomorrow is a new day, but today determines whether tomorrow is an Up Day or a Down Day. So today, I rest… And pray for my Up Day tomorrow. 🙂