‘Tis true. The 43YOV is loaded to bear with flare. You know the pain’s bad when you wake up to the sound of cat puking on the bed and you don’t give a shit. I believe my response went something like this (without moving, obviously; I’m in a world of pain, people), “Oh, Breenie, you feel better now?” When an RA flare hits, empathy and compassion flow to others’ discomfort, at least my cats’. People rarely see it because you stay at home, attempting productivity (cleaned the litter boxes during half time–proud moment) ’cause you can’t lift your arms to take off sleepwear, bathe, don your Sunday duds, or carry the book bag on your “good” shoulder as that would involve moving your frozen, “bad” shoulder shouting, “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck that hurts!”
Flares are givers. Love to give. Along with the aforementioned joint pain, they gift you with “flu-like” symptoms. These symptoms must complete the most advanced “Method” acting classes because they become the flu, much like Val Kilmer becomes Jim Morrison in The Doors. Can I get a witness? Creates quite the existential crisis–“How can I have the flu when it’s not really the flu but feels exactly like the flu?” To puke or not to puke, that is the question. Yes, Breenie’s upchuck remains on the bed and I will (attempt) sleep next to it tonight without shame or disgust, reminded that I am not alone.
Plus it’s easier to clean when it’s dry.