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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?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Nonnie
    2 weeks ago

    I hear you and understand it and I do have weekends like that…but i think I now also suffer from Fomo…something I never had.‍♀️ I am involved in our local nature reserve so we work there a lot and we do walks etc. And I garden. I think I am scared of the times I will not be able to do these things, so I am busy most of the time.. as I said Fomo. Think my deep fear of not being able to do things is what is driving me and that keeps me busy. Weird? But I HAVE to sleep at least 1 hour on Sunday afternoons…that is my recharge

  • Kelly Dabel moderator
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing Nonnie. It sounds like you’ve found activities that you really enjoy and that fill you up, seems like a great way to spend your time. You are not alone here in needing to recharge. Keep doing what you enjoy. Wishing you the best, Kelly, Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team Member

  • Nonnie
    2 weeks ago

    I hear you and understand it and I do have weekends like that…but i think I now also suffer from Fomo…something I never had.‍♀️ I am involved in our local nature reserve so we work there a lot and we do walks etc. And I garden. I think I am scared of the times I will not be able to do these things, so I am busy most of the time.. as I said Fomo. Think my deep fear is what is driving me to keep me busy. Weird?

  • Blessed1
    2 weeks ago

    Completely hear and get this. I feel like this every weekend. Would like to WANT to do more. But too tired and know I need to recharge. Nodding at each point you made. No shame in resting. Thanks for this.

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Hey @blessed1! Thanks so much for your kind words on my article. I am glad it resonated with you.

    It’s hard, isn’t it? We want to do things, our minds need to do things but our bodies won’t cooperate. You reminded me on an article from Tamara about the importance of rest: https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/empower-nap/

    I thought you might find it interesting! All the best, Monica

  • jbaccadutre
    3 weeks ago

    It is hard you want to enjoy your weekends with family and friends but most of the time it’s resting up from the week of you not feeling good and then top it off with a infection like your sinuses well then you might as well put a fork in me b/c I’m done!! When I have a sinus infection it makes the ra flare up and worst! A lot of people don’t always understand that!

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Hey @jbaccadutre! Thanks for commenting on my article! I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’ve had sinus issues since my teens but they got especially bad after my diagnosis. All infections are draining but sinus ones, especially so!

    I thought you might like my article on my sinus journey last year. https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/chronic-sinus-infections/

    All the best and thank you again! ~Monica

  • jbaccadutre
    2 weeks ago

    Ur welcome! Thanks again and I’ll check it out!

  • Wendy
    3 weeks ago

    PERFECTLY stated!!! You have put into words what I’ve been trying to explain for years. It’s easier to fake well at work and collapse as soon as I get home. Having 2 active tweens and a full time job with RA is quite the challenge.

  • qejm0g
    2 weeks ago

    Wendy-‘fake well at work’!! love this statement. I did this for many years both at home and work…the invisible illness syndrome I used to call it. Some days, I was literally lucky to stay awake on the 30 min drive home from work. I would call my husband, each of my kids just to stay awake! If I couldn’t reach anyone, I would just pull over and close my eyes.

  • Cynthia Ventura moderator
    3 weeks ago

    Monica, I love how you finished your article, with the recognition that you are doing the same thing everyone else is doing–re-charging. As we all know, our batteries wind down quicker. We start with approximately half the charge as a healthy person’s battery does so for us it makes perfect sense.

    Even though I am now retired I still use the weekends as a re-charge opportunity. The week is for doing, the weekend for undoing. Thank you for your article and providing us with a no apologies interpretation of why we do what we do, and don’t do. Keep the faith!

  • David Advent moderator
    4 weeks ago

    Monica!

    Your article spoke to me in so many ways. On the weekends, I find myself trying to justify not doing anything (with phrases like “I’m sick” or “I just can’t”). But, you’re right: a well-rested weekend is not a wasted weekend. I see it as a preparation for the coming week and as a way to take care of my body.

    Thank you for this great reminder! All the best,

    David (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member)

  • Monica Y. Sengupta moderator author
    2 weeks ago

    Thanks David (@mda1847)!! I really appreciate your kind words.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like the weekend is a time of rest. “I just can’t” tends to come up a lot because if I say “I’m sick” people expect there to be an actual I can see sort of illness, you know?

    If we didn’t spend the weekend recharging I’m not sure how we would make it through the next week!

    ~Monica

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