I decided that I am lazy. Laundry was piled up, closet a mess, dust everywhere, dogs unbrushed and stinky, clumps of fur on the carpet, dishes stacked, yard- we won’t even go there, and what am I doing? Hibernating under the electric blanket. Television seemed to sense my sedentary ways pointing out that it lowers the number of years you have to live and increases probability of disease. Meanwhile, other people with RA compete in triathlons, marathons, and other physically strenuous activities. My cousin said she has a friend who has RA that is “the most fit person” she had ever met and even runs on the beach “every single day.” When seeking medical advice from Mayo Clinic and WebMD, I learn that exercise is not only beneficial but can also improve RA! I better get my ass on the move!
Though my knees and ankles ached and I did not feel well, I decided the blobby and inadequate feeling was winning. I found a light yoga video on YouTube and to got moving. I gently moved myself onto the floor and prepared for pose one. I completed the poses and dizzily made my way to the shower. My right knee hurt more than before and when I got out of the shower I noticed a bruise appeared. Oh, come on! Really? Really.
When I was working a million hours the house and yard work piled high. I never participated in a triathlon, marathon, or any related physical competition nor have I ever had the desire to do so. My cousin’s friend may have mild RA where the medications actually make her better- good for her! Let her run and be a super fit warrior! Meanwhile Mayo Clinic and WebMD can hang out in the dark thinking RA is another form of arthritis where exercise is the answer.
Comparisons are awful and for the most part I do not participate in them. However, I pushed when I shouldn’t have because I fell into the comparison trap and was scared to be viewed as lazy or unmotivated. More so I was scared of self judgement. If this person can do this with their ailment, if that person can do that with RA, if medical advice says this, and okay this is stupid. I’m not lazy. I have a serious disease that makes days, weeks, and months hard. Some days I need to celebrate moving from the bed to the couch. While other days I need to celebrate being able to dress, wash, clean the dishes, vacuum, do laundry, pull weeds, walk on the beach, and/or grocery shop. I know that when it is possible I will do what I need to do, exercise included. Before RA hit me like a ton of bricks, though I never did triathlons, I was super active. RA didn’t take away my joy of being busy and active, it made it impossible.
I had a few easier days since and I celebrated my ability walk on the beach, wash dishes, dust, clean the bathroom, grocery shop, cook, clean the closet, vacuum, and sweep the floor. Today, I am celebrating getting from the bed, to the couch, to the shower, and back to the couch under my warm electric blanket.