A person walking away leaving their rheumatoid arthritis hanging on a coat rack.

24 Hours Without RA

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the BFF none of us want. This disease sticks to us like glue, never leaves us alone, and affects every decision we make. Just like with a clingy individual, we wish for any respite we can get from it.

I wished RA would magically vanish

Ten years into my diagnosis, this is not something I ask myself often anymore. Before, I wished fervently that my RA would magically vanish and I could resume a “normal” life.

I daydreamed of a life without this autoimmune condition and often thought of all the things I could do if I didn’t have the pain, fatigue, or stiffness.

But, I was thinking about it the other day because I am a little more flared up and annoyed. Daily tasks were more of a struggle and I still remembered when I didn’t even think about doing them.

24 hours without RA symptoms

I wrote an article, a few years ago, detailing what I would do with 24 RA-free hours. I am making a point not re-read that article because I am curious if things have changed.

So, I ask the same question now: what would I do with a 24-hour respite from this nasty disease? How would I spend a day free of its restraints?

Get good, uninterrupted sleep

True to form, I would sleep. Okay, yes, right now I spend more than 12 hours a day asleep. But, it’s fractured sleep. I wake up often and move around constantly. I sleep at length but never feel rested.

I would spend 4 out of my 24 hours napping: a long, uninterrupted snooze fest.

I would only use two pillows and two blankets. I wouldn’t need the extra to prop up swollen joints or act as a weighted blanket on sores ones. I wouldn’t toss and turn. I would sleep right on through, in one position. It would be glorious.

Take advantage of a sunny day outside

Since we’re talking magic anyways I’m going to will a nice warm sunny day.

I would take my dogs for a long walk. I don’t know where we would go or for how long but it wouldn’t matter, would it? We would just go and turn around when we felt like it; not because we had to but because we wanted to.

We wouldn’t rest because my joints were swelling up. We could walk forever because I wouldn’t experience lasting pain or worry about the effects of a full hike.

Eat foods that may trigger a flare

I would eat all the potato things. I would scarf down my Dad’s amazing loaded baked potatoes, his always perfectly seasoned potato fries, and his always spot-on Lomo Saltado.

Potatoes are an instant (less than 24 hours) trigger for me. Without RA, I wouldn’t have to worry about a flare!

Sit for longer periods of time

I would sit and read for long chunks of time. Back when the Harry Potters were being released, I would read the whole book in one sitting. The idea I can do that now is laughable.

In theory, yes, I could probably sit for hours but I would pay for it later. If I don’t stretch my body every 20 to 30 minutes my joints lock up. I would sit for a long spell of time and it would be glorious.

Get back into rock-climbing

And, wow, I almost forgot (because I haven’t been to the gym in so long), but I would rock-climb!

I would go and hang out with my friends and spend hours at the gym. I would push my limitations and train hard. I would feel pain from fatigue and muscle use but not from basic inability. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

These are only a few things but I think they are good things. How about you? What would you do with 24 hours of freedom? LMK in the comments.

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