Never a Wasted Weekend
“There is this neat embassy open house this weekend.” (How long do I have to stand?)
“There is this awesome bar hop happening! (Even if the bars are on the same road, how much do I have to walk?)
“Let’s go see a movie!” (Aside from sitting for two+ hours, I also have to pay attention the entire time).
My social life after rheumatoid arthritis
Before my RA the weekend was a time to party. TGIF!! Hashtag weekend vibes! Part-ayyyy!
I grew up a city girl and never truly appreciated the sheer amount of things to do. I mean, there is never not something happening. Let’s say I wanted to do something at 1pm on a Wednesday; I guarantee there is something going on somewhere!
I grew up a city girl and appreciate all my city has to offer. That being said, do I go to any of them? Absolutely not. Do I wish I could? Absolutely yes.
Staying away from crowds during an infection
For example, as I write this, I opted out of an amazing Christmas Market because I woke up with a sinus infection. Okay, so this one I am kind of upset about since I was very excited for the event! But, as hopefully you can relate, being around so many people when I already have an infection, is a recipe for a health disaster.
Okay, but I’m sick. Everybody declines an invite when they’re sick. Here’s the thing. Even when I’m not sick I rarely do things on the weekend. And everyone always asks me why. It’s not because I’m boring. It’s not because I’m lazy.
Using the weekend to recover from fatigue
It’s because the weekend is the only two days I can recover from the previous week.
The average able-bodied person can’t remotely appreciate what it’s like to live with a chronic illness let alone work with one. Yes, they understand it’s tiring: anyone would agree to that; but, add a baseline never-ending pain/fatigue, and working those same hours quickly becomes torture.
Getting a headstart on sleep
“Go to bed early and get a good night’s rest like normal people”, they say. Oh, but sleep does not come easily to me. I lay awake because of the pain and stiffness I accumulate during the day. And, the next morning I do everything again but with less energy.
Weekends are different for people with RA
TGIF!! Grab a drink with friends after work? Are you kidding me? I’m in bed by 9. And, I purposely keep my weekends free. Free to sleep, free to rest and nap as needed.
The average person uses the weekend to do the things they didn’t have time for during the week. Or, do something fun to unwind; get away; hang out; chill. They see me sleeping through two days or curled up with my eyes glued to my streaming apps and say I’m wasting my weekends.
A well-rested weekend is not a wasted weekend
I don’t see it like that. The weekend is the only time I can really recover from the sleepless nights, the adrenaline, and the social energy that take a toll on my poor autoimmune body. In fact, the weekend is not wasted at all, in my eyes! Without it, I couldn’t function.
We're all recovering from hardwork
At the end of the day, aren’t I doing the same thing as everyone else? People go out and drink, watch movies, party to recover from their hard work. I sometimes think those things are wastes of money the same way people think I waste time. Aren’t we all re-charging? My way is just a bit different…Just like my entire life with rheumatoid arthritis.
Can you relate? How do you spend your days off?
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?