I'm learning

I've always picked up new concepts and ideas really quickly. Not to brag, but learning has come easily all my life. Until it runs up against my stubbornness or a habit I really don't want to break. Like it did this weekend.

I was on vacation last week. All week long, I did really well with my anti-inflammatory food choices. I ate a lot of fresh vegetables from my garden, cherries, strawberries, raspberries, lean protein, and nuts. I avoided gluten but when I had it, I made sure it came from whole-grains and was a small amount, or I was careful to balance it with lean protein and plenty of vegetables. I felt really good all week long, so much that I was able to go on a long hike on Wednesday.

And then I got cocky. I thought it would be fine to loosen up a little on Sunday. My daughter made brownies and I am a total sucker for brownies. So I ate three. They were small but in the end, it didn't matter. I woke up at three o'clock this morning in agony from head to toe. My joints were on fire and my muscles throbbed. Even my head ached. By morning, the pain had diminished from a screaming nine to a bearable seven. I got up, showered, and went to work.

It was not the first day back I'd hoped for. I had planned to power through the pile of papers and bills that would be waiting and then have energy in the afternoon to catch up on a month's worth of filing that is backlogged. Instead, I had to settle for desk-bound tasks. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty to do. I finished everything that was critical, but the slightly more active tasks were the ones I was looking forward to, and unfortunately, I was unable to complete any of them. By the time I finished out the day, I was exhausted.

I came home and rested for an hour. After that, I felt much better - almost as if I had never had a flare. I went out and transplanted some flowers and worked in my garden for a while. Bouncing back from a flare this quickly is very unusual, but I like it. Hopefully there will be more of the same in the future. But getting to this point has meant changing a lot of things - it has meant giving up the gooey, unhealthy foods I love - like brownies! It has also meant cutting out bread, another thing I love. But I maintain that if it helps me feel better, it is worth it. The goal is to thrive, despite the RA. And I'm learning.

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