I put a tri-tip steak into marinade today – fresh lemon juice, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, olive oil, Dijon mustard and Worchestershire sauce, minced onions, parsley – but that’s for tomorrow night’s dinner, along with a fresh green salad. Cary and Matt scratched up the cash for pizza tonight, and we all indulged. Cats and dogs are sleeping. Mr. Wren is outside – it’s still light at 6:30 p.m. now – he’s starting seeds for the summer vegetable gardens.
It’s quiet and my hands. Oh, my hands. Although I’ve never had a migraine, my hands definitely have headaches, and I’ll bet they’re migraine headaches. I put my Thermagloves on. No more lifting today. Not small dogs, not 3-pound tri-tips, not wet laundry. Fold the dry laundry? Tonight? You must be kidding. It takes both my hands just to lift my coffee cup.
It was another beautiful spring day today. Fresh and cool but not cold, a blue sky and a few clouds, birds singing. The barometer is holding steady at 30.9 degrees, there’s no wind, and the humidity is low. So why are my hands so miserable?
Simply, I don’t know. I have nothing to blame for them. This is rheuma at its most insidious. It exists because it exists; it causes pain because it can. If I were to go to an emergency department right now to ask for a painkiller stronger than tramadol, because tramadol isn’t touching it, the doctor would look at my hands and see no swelling. He’d see that I can move them, that I can use them, even if it hurts. He’d offer NSAIDs; I’m already taking one, plus a couple of other, far more powerful RA drugs. I’d ask him for Percocet – none of that “it starts with a ‘D’ stuff for me. And he’d dismiss me as a yet another drug seeker. I don’t think I can bear that disdainful look in his eyes.
So I won’t go to the ER. There’s no point in wasting my time, or his, or that of another patient who might need that doctor’s services far more than I do. Instead, I’ll just grit my teeth and live through another evening and night with hands that feel like some thug’s been grinding the heel of his steel-toed boot into them. I’ve done it so many, many times before.
For now, I’ll distract myself with writing, but I’ll have to stop soon. It’s starting to hurt too much. So, forced away from my computer, I’ll listen to a book on my iPod, propped up on my pillows in bed. Maybe that will be enough.
Because my mood is dark, now is a good time to count my blessings. My hands hurt like … well … like. No argument there. But my hips are fine. My knees are fine. So are my feet, my shoulders, and my elbows. I’m grateful, and mindful of the gift. I walked Finny several times today, and it was painless. It felt good to be out there in the open, feeling the warm sun on my head, breathing the chilly, fecund, spring-like air. One of our neighbors already has daffodils blooming in her garden; seeing their vibrant yellow and oranges was like a tonic. Crepe myrtles are blooming too. They remind me of clumps of thin switches with balls of red tissue stuck on willy-nilly.
It’s quiet. It’s good.