Have you ever noticed that no two types of inescapable pain are ever the same? I'm discovering that now.
I've realized over the past 24-36 hours or so that I'm in the middle of what is probably another RA flare-up. It feels very little like the flareup that first alerted me to my RA, back during a stretch in May and June of this year. No white-hot pinpoint pain, at least. No pain resembling sand-blasted bones scraping over each other. no pain when I move my wrists or thumb this way or that.
What I have had is a steady growth in the numbness and tingling arena. Tingling and numbness I'm familiar with - I was part of the original go-round, certainly - but I'm getting it every day now, and the sight of my finger tips (and, most recently, my toes) going yellow white for anywhere between five and 10 minutes before struggling back to life has become painfully monotonous. Emphasis on "painfully."
Unfortunately, I''m now experiencing a new and differing pain.
To be as accurate as possible about the Big New Fun, it feels as if far too much of the sub-cutaneous tissues in my hands (my right hand particularly) seem to be swelling, blocking the proper flow of blood to my hands, and nerve system messages from brain to hand and back again. My hands have looked like white and red sausages, off and on (mostly on over the last 36 hours) for about four or five days.
The resulting pain ... hmmm. How to describe it?
Try this. When you were little, did you ever tie string around your fingers, really tightly, so that the tips of your fingers eventually got purple or white and then start pulsing painfully, so that you thought all the blood caught there might burst through the ends of your mistreated fingertips? (Yes, kids do this sort of thing, because when you're a kid you will poke and prod at your own physical self to to see what it feels like. I did it, and I know I'm not alone.) That's the kind of pain I'm feeling.
It's slow and achey, not white hot. It's bone deep, but doesn't really feel like pain in the bones, or pain in the muscles. It feels as if my entire hand has been tied off at the wrist, and the blood has made my fingers swell, and is threatening to burst through my skin. Sometimes the numbness and tingling are there, too; only the numbness just makes me incapable of typing or other fine motor skills. It doesn't block the pain.
Last night, the pain kept waking me up. I couldn't get uninterrupted sleep until Bob concocted a pill coctail that knocked me out. God bless the "bricks and a 'luude" sleep therapy.
I've got an appointment with my incredibly awesome rheumatologist Monday. I'm fearful she'll just shrug and say "yeah, you're going to have flareups, and every one is going to introduce you to a new and noteworthy type of pain. Deal."
How the hell can i take care of Bob if this shit is going down?
(But in an effort to end this on a positive note, I did make bread today, so the house smells good. And Bob and I got caught up on Bleach (can someone please tell me that Aizen eventually dies a slow and painful death? What a horrible, horrible demi-god!), and ... well, Bob's been just wonderful to me. So all of that is good, right?)