Puzzled and intrigued …

Here’s a puzzle:  Since being bitten by Mouse-the-cat a week ago, I’ve had very little RA or bursitis pain.

Could it be because my attention has been more focused on the bite wounds? You know—this immediate pain is more noticeable than that other, older and more routine pain?

Like that old joke: “Aw, you’ve got a headache? Here, let me bash your hand with a hammer. You’ll forget all about your head!”

Or could it be that my body’s immune system has been so busy fighting the infected bites that it hasn’t had antibodies to spare for its constant, erroneous attack on my joints? And if my body isn’t attacking my joints and making them become inflamed and painful, maybe those busy antibodies aren’t attacking my hip bursae either?

I have no idea if either situation, or both, could be possible. But it’s not the first time that some immediate, temporary pain has pushed my RA pain out of the way for a while. I’m not alone in this, either—I’ve read several other RA bloggers who’ve mentioned this phenomenon.

Whatever it is, it’s real, odd and fascinating. Any thoughts on this out there? I’d love to hear them.


6 thoughts on “Puzzled and intrigued …

  1. I’ve read many others say something similar. I know when I caught whatever bug my kids were passing around, my joints felt better. If RA is a case of the immune system working overtime, I guess giving it a real disease to fight gives it something productive to do and it leaves the joints alone.

    Glad that your joints are feeling better, but getting bit by the cat is probably not ideal. I hope the bite heals quickly.


  2. Hmm … I can’t believe it’s a case of counter-irritation making you forget about joint pain, so there must be something in the ‘fighting a real disease makes it stop attacking joints’ thing … except that that doesn’t sound awfully biologically likely either. Intriguing – I’d love to know what’s going on scientifically but have no idea!! In the meantime, delighted that the RA and bursitis are better at the moment – although I wouldn’t recommend regular cat-attacks as an RA treatment.

    Just remembered – they used to use that bee sting thing years ago as an RA treatment – wonder if it works in the same way – whatever that way is.


  3. I have definitely noticed that my joints calm down when I have a cold or other illness. I’ve always thought it’s the immune system having something real to “chew on.” It would be interesting to see if there have been any actual studies on it, though!


  4. That is interesting. Your body also produces certain pain-reducing chemicals/hormones in response to injury, so maybe that’s it. (You’re getting natural tramadol!) The other thing to think about is that there is a good-sized population of RA patients that take antibiotics to control their disease. Maybe the intensive dose of strong antibiotics helped. (???) Whatever it is, it would be nice if we could bottle it! (Then all we’d have to do is get FDA approval … ). You sound like you’re feeling better and I’m very happy for that.


  5. Sorry to read you were bit, I had a very similar experience with some surgery last year. It was pretty painful before and after the surgery and my RA was non existent during this period.

    What ever it is, enjoy the break from RA … and take care of yourself.


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