Pain and honey

I went out to lunch with my Mom yesterday. Unsure of what we wanted to eat, we ended up going to old town Folsom (yes, the same one that’s named in the famous “Folsom Prison Blues”). After considering and rejecting an American café-style meal, a heavy European meal, and spicy Mexican food, we decided upon Hop Sing’s Palace and had a delicious Chinese lunch for a price I hadn’t seen since the late 90s. Mom even had a glass of wine.

Afterwards we wandered up and down the raised, Old West-style boardwalks, browsing the gift and antique shops. The day was cloudy and cool, very pleasant. There were quite a few people out and about, which surprised me until I remembered it was Veteran’s Day, and anyone with a government job was off work for the day.

It was really nice – except that I couldn’t figure out a way to carry my handbag without making my hands cry. I ended up hanging it on my forearm (the straps aren’t long enough for my shoulder). It worked, but made me feel awkward and clumsy as I moved up and down the narrow aisles in the tiny shops, trying desperately not to knock anything over.

I was getting tired and cranky and trying not to show it.

It was in the last shop we visited that I saw a small display for a line ofbaklava_close_up hand and body creams made in Idaho. I’m not usually real interested in hand creams – most of them make my hands and fingers feel greasy, which I hate. But my hands, sore as they’ve been, have also been very dry and itchy lately. So I tried one of the samplers.

You know how those singular “moments” can sneak up and just surprise the heck out of you? Well, this was one of those for me. The cream, made with glycerin and an eclectic combination of flowers and herbs, was warm and soothing on my achy hands. As I rubbed it in, massaging them gently, it sank into my skin, so it felt silky and soft, but not greasy at all. For a brief time, the world slowed down as I took care of my hurts and the scent of the hand cream rose into my nostrils. Honey. It smelled like honey. It smelled like warm baklava tastes.

Well, that was it. I bought a tube of the stuff. I’ve rubbed it into my hands three times since yesterday, and each time it felt heavenly, though the sweet scent is a bit more overpowering here at home than it seemed in the shop. That’s all right, though. It beats the scent of Deep Heating Rub!

My hands are swollen and painful again today. I haven’t gone to the gym since last Friday. I can’t face using them to push and pull and brace myself on the exercise machines, though I have done some walking. But man, I’m just feeling flattened – I guess from not sleeping well and from the continuous, unrelenting pain, which is making me worry. I also feel guilty for letting the rheuma get me down and keep me from doing things I know I should do. This is not good.

The new meds my rheumatologist prescribed for pain and insomnia haven’t arrived in my mailbox yet. I hardly dare hope they’ll be there today when I check, but I do have a little more hope for tomorrow. And I’m hoping, too, that this awful, low-level but unrelenting flare will ease off soon. Some days I just don’t have the wherewithal to stay upbeat, hard as I try.

Yeah, I know. Stiff upper lip and all that. Nothing that a good night’s sleep won’t help! (That’s an absolutely truism, that one.) Well, I’m working on it, OK? But for the moment, I’m going to rub honey-glycerin cream into my hands and wallow. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Always do.

1 thought on “Pain and honey

  1. I’m glad you found a way to be good to yourself and take care of the hurt, even for a brief time.

    And if you’re going to wallow, wallow with style and don’t feel guilty about it. Curl up as comfortably as you can, eat something you absolutely love, and make plans to do nothing at all.

    Feel better soon.


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