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It only takes a split second

There is something no one can explain unless you live in the body of one who suffers RA. With many things to do on a daily basis, the question is put before you – how do you do it?. I’ve been dealing with stiff arms, fingers, toes and legs. I mean literally feeling like a big old zombie. If it could stiffen up on me, it has.

I’m at not even one day at a time, but making it one second at a time. My pain has become unbearable and some days just to pick up my coffee mug is too much…

What to do when your body just doesn’t want to cooperate?

For me there are not many choices. You know you have taken your meds. You have rubbed your joints down. You are off your feet. You have plugged in your heating pad. I have come to the conclusion, second by second. It’s difficult to make plans or promise anybody anything because you don’t know whether you can make good on it. I stop making promises. I stop giving certain times I will be places because I have become so present to that when my symptoms kick it, it’s a second by second moment.

We have heard the old cliche to take it “One day at a time” but with multiple chronic illness, it’s not true. Even as I write today, my pain is at a very high level. I have cancelled everything I may have anticipated on doing today. Why? I can’t do it.I can’t properly get in my car and even go to the store. We use a lot of power by merely maneuvering the steering wheel of our car.I remember driving to a appointment and before I could make it back home I was having challenges.I had this car behind me trying to drive super fast,with my toes being in pain,my arms,my shoulders.I was lucky if I could go 20 miles an hour. This is not good. It was a second by second move. I realize now that this isn’t good.When I have severe pain. I don’t even leave my house.
We have to make better choices and sometimes they are seconds log minute sessions.

We only know our limits

Nobody knows your capabilities like you.No one knows your pain level like you. No one knows the aches,stiffness in your joints better than you.I was taken back when I was asked to do something that I know was not in my ability to do.Let us when we are suffering from the pains of Arthritis do things that will comprise our already weekend autoimmune system.Its not good.This will bring more damage to muscles,joints. Know your limits, know what’s durable and what’s not. Maybe it means second by second.

Timing Is Everything

Rushing,I was reaching in the back seat of my car to grab my purse.I didn’t think nothing of it. Foolisly, I turned my neck the wrong way, within a second I had further brought damage to my already comprised body. I was in pain. I couldn’t move my neck. My point is simply this, it only takes a second to change anything. Our bodies can be fine one second and raising cane the next. I know this today. My expectations are always high,but if for some reason this body doesn’t cooperate. I’m so reminded of my new cliche.One second at a time.

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


  • Mary Sophia Hawks moderator
    10 months ago

    Celia, I am so sorry that your symptoms require you to live second by second. Brava to you for recognizing this and treating yourself well. One of the most important things I have learned is the art of saying NO. It doesn’t always make sense to my friends. I remember having a major flare and being at home. My friend called and said, “Since you’re not working today, let’s go out and have a drink!” I remember explaining to her that just getting to the bathroom was a challenge, and that there was no way I could go out. She didn’t understand and kept on. Finally, I said I cannot leave my bed. She finally gave up, but I don’t think she understood. Even so, I knew I had made the right decision. Prayers for you.

  • Ed Burgoyne moderator
    1 year ago

    Celia123, it saddens me when I head stories like yours. So many others also have to zombie walk through life. Luckily at this time in my RA battle I only suffer mildly, but from time to time I forget to plan my next move and jump in head first and lose the round. Hang in there and keep dreaming of that one carefree day.
    Ed B. ( Team Member.

  • celia123 author
    1 year ago

    Thanks for your response!!!I appreciate it.

  • 2mra
    1 year ago

    Hi Celia:

    You sure know what you are talking about. That sounds like me, certainly like many others. Sorry that you are in this position also, especially now your neck.

    i don’t drive but I am a passenger. My shoulders and most joints have been in a lot of pain for years due to erosion.. About 1 1/2 years ago, I quickly reached over to grab the seat belt and pulled it. Wow! What a searing pain.

    After I had exrays, my Rheumy declared that I had a Torn Rotary Cuff. We have to be so careful, by how we move parts of our bodies. Yes, it just takes a second!

    Thanks for your message.

  • celia123 author
    1 year ago

    Thanks!!! Appreciate the reply!!!

  • Erin Rush moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi celia123! Thank you for being such an active voice within the community! I really appreciate your latest story! You really sum up life with a chronic condition very well. Sometimes taking it one day at a time is not feasible. And some days, taking it second by second can even be challenging. I am so glad you took the time to write this!

    Thank you again for sharing and for being a part of this community!

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

  • celia123 author
    1 year ago

    Thank you for taking the time to read my story and comment on it.It means a lot to me to know I am being heard.

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