“If aches and pains are like a light summer rain, arthritis is like a storm, and rheumatoid arthritis is like a hurricane.”
–from “Conquering Rheumatoid Arthritis”
by William Bensen, Wynn Bensen, and Martin H. Atkinson
What an elegant description!
Now, maybe this sentence didn’t stun you like it did me when I read it for the first time last night. I just sat there, breath caught, and contemplated it for a while. It’s … it’s … it’s … a perfectly elegant analogy for a rheumatoid arthritis flare.
For me, RA is the physical equivalent of monster-size clouds and gale-force winds; of slashing, drenching, merciless sideways rain that just goes on and on and on until …
suddenly, it’s gone. And the sun comes out.
And you’re left with the ruins.
When I look at my hands, I see hillocks between my knucklebones where valleys should be. The small, tough muscles feel turgid and feverish, and my skin, which has always been a perfect fit, has somehow shrunk a size. And yet, someone other than me looking at my hands probably wouldn’t see anything “off.” They’d just think I was, maybe, a bit of a hypochondriac. A drama queen.
The damned hurricane is invisible, too.