Arthur-itis, that is.
Anyone with a chronic pain condition or autoimmune disease–like the rheumatoid arthritis I’ve grown to tolerate (most days)–is probably accustomed to the late night/early morning wake-ups.
Ok, so technically it wasn’t Arthur who woke me up. I dreamed that I woke up and thus woke up. Once I was awake, however, Arthur greeted me with stiff and aching joints.
Currently I’m lying on a heating pad at the highest setting. I know, you’re not supposed to lie directly on top of it. Some B.S. about burn risk or some such nonsense. Tell that to my back. The heating pad never stays on well enough to do any good if you lie on your side, and if you lie on your stomach that just hurts even worse. (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and it is not recommended by any manufacturers to use a heating pad in the manner I am now.)
Chronic pain, whatever underlying condition may be causing it, is a bitch. That being said, don’t let it define you. Yes, I’ve had moments when the pain has been strong enough to cause me to break down in tears, but I have also had times when I turned it into a joke, a way of laughing at arthritis and saying, “Ok, fine; you want me to be old before my time? That’s cool. I’m already starting to go grey early and I’m older than half of the coworkers in my department. You’ve just given me all sorts of witty comebacks.”
So that’s how I turn three o’clock in the morning pain into something less, well, painful.