It is bad days. Stiff and swollen knees, aching toe joints, weak hands unable to grip.
I felt rather sorry for myself, then started thinking back. Back to august 2009.
I couldn't open bottles on my own (hands). Or heavy doors (elbows). Or walk up or down stairs (knees and hips). Or walk at all without limping heavily (toe joints).
The pain was familiar, had increased slowly over the past 20-25 years or so. But at that point, so bad that I was getting very handicapped by it. I could type, my crooked hands could move across a keyboard. I could read. Finding a position to sit in that was as painless as possible was very difficult.
The doctors had always frowned and said they did not know why I was in pain. All sorts of tests had been made and remade. This time I was told to eat some more ibuprofen, in a letter from my doctor along with another set of negative test results. I was already eating so much of the stuff I had stomach problems without getting much relief from it. Now I got so mad I started nagging my doctor daily. "So, the tests were negative, how do we proceed now?" -
He sent me to a rheumathologist. Finally. It took a month, but when I got there she merely looked at my knees and feet, and stated that I have arthritis.
I couldn't stop thanking her. I mean, just the word. Knowing I wasn't making up pain, that it was real, all these years. Then she added to my gratefulness by giving me pills that slow down the inflammation.
Today? Pain, but by all hells, I can walk up the steps to the front door of my building and open it. That is such an improvement.
I mustn't forget what pain is really like.