Traveling with RA can be a pretty unpleasant experience for me. Once, I went to the beach on methotrexate and got so nauseous at dinner that I had to leave. I got sick and cried myself to sleep. Then I went to the mountains and was so stiff and uncomfortable with the cold and snow that I ended up leaving early. Again, tears. It’s just so unfair that I can’t always enjoy the same things that everyone else gets to. Sometimes I even dread it.
Last weekend, I went to Baltimore for the wedding of one of my favorite people and to hang out with a lot of my other favorite people. I was absolutely determined that RA was not going to get the better of me. And…it was an absolute blast! Someone told me earlier this week that “everybody just looks so happy in the pictures” and they are right- and that was the whole weekend, not just for pictures. I could tell you story after story about how much each of these ladies means to me….but that’s a whole separate post about support systems. They mean the world to me. Sorry I’m gushing but seriously, they rock.
I slept well both nights- which is unusual for me in a strange bed. I was able to still be comfortable even with pouring down rain and cold- I was really stiff Sunday night but that could’ve been from sleeping on the plane. I haven’t restarted my methotrexate yet (did this on purpose so I could have alcohol) so I didn’t have much trouble eating. Dancing? No sweat. Flip flops in my purse! Scariest part of the weekend- walking down a steep hill in spike hills in the pouring down rain. I had visions of my butt hitting the cold, wet concrete and somehow hurting my hands….but I didn’t. I will admit that I did hit a little bit of a wall on Saturday night after the reception- but I think someone without RA would too after flying, staying up late, dancing like crazy, and just having a lot of active fun. And it wasn’t the bone crushing mental fog inducing fatigue I usually experience but more of a I MUST EITHER SIT DOWN IMMEDIATELY OR GO TO BED IMMEDIATELY.
Sure, Monday was hard. I got up late and went to bed early. But this is the most successful trip I’ve had since being diagnosed. No crazy “I just don’t have the energy to get out of bed but did anyway and spent the rest of the day in a hateful mood”, no pain, no vomiting, no having to skip out on things because I just don’t feel great. Whew!
What did I do differently? I actually planned for all of these things to happen. Seriously- I convinced myself that I was going to feel like crap. I started taking Airborne, Vitamin C, and Zinc supplements several days before. I even considered getting a B-12 shot the day before I left. (I didn’t though- didn’t have time. But may in the future.) The night before I left, I went ahead and started taking Aleve. I had Thermacare heat packs, Biofreeze, and Prednisone with me. I don’t know if it was the whole immune system jolt I gave myself or the whole “if you wash your car, it’s going to rain” thing that seems to be true of my life, but someway somehow I was able to finally enjoy myself in spite of RA.
Now, if I could only see my peeps more often. Hint, hint.