photo credit: http://www.sarahmulondo.com
You ever had a day that was so bad, that by 10 am you felt like the universe should’ve given you a restart? You know, a day that by noon it felt like you had already worked three full days? Am I the only person that feels like Alanis Morsissette’s song “Ironic” was actually written to describe their life? I don’t know about you, but I have days where I find “10,000 spoons when all [I] need is a knife”. Do you understand how frustrating it is to need one measly knife, but only find spoons? I’m getting annoyed thinking about it. Friends, today was that type of day for me. Now understand, I still VERY much believe that every day above ground is a great day. As I have said before, my goal is to always remain on the right side of the dirt. But, I am not immune from bad days. While I have mastered the art of laughing to avoid crying…that doesn’t make my bad days any less bad.
I knew today would be problematic when I woke up to the sound of thunder and my clock couldn’t decide what time it was. Yes, I swear I looked at the clock and it said 7am, then 5 minutes later it said 6:50. Now, I am fully aware that it is not possible for time to go backwards…I’m just telling you what my clock did. This friends, was the first warning that my day would be completely ridiculous. While I am usually up well before 7am, my body completely refused to get up today. Somehow I slept through three alarms (we have already discussed my Type A tendencies). Once I realized that it was 7 am and I had one hour to wake and dress 2 children and myself, I knew there would be problems.
Determined to successfully complete all my tasks, I rolled (literally a tuck and roll) out of bed onto my feet into a standing position. Normally I roll onto my back to allow my stiff joints the opportunity to loosen up, but today there was no time for that. While my body knew that it rained during the night…my mind did not get the message. Immediately when my feet hit the floor, I heard three loud pops that sounded like the bubble paper I loved to pop as a kid. Confused, I slowly looked around to determine which limb made the noise. Before I could determine the noisy limb, I slowly felt heat emanating from my toes and slowly creeping up the rest of my body until it reached my head. Confused and concerned at this point, I tried to look down at my toes to determine the source of the heat. While trying to look at my toes, which I noticed looked like little sausages, I realized that my attempts to look around were restricted. My neck only moved a little in each direction.
As I stood next to my bed frozen, it quickly became apparent that the three loud pops that I heard earlier were from my two ankles and my neck. Hot and in pain at this point, all I could muster was “oh man”. Determined to show these limbs who was boss, I jerked my neck forward to get a better look at my ankles and toes. Yep, that was a terrible decision. While I successfully forced my neck to bend further than it wanted, my neck refused to lift back up. So, I guess it actually showed me it was the boss. After pleading with my neck for about 3 minutes, because walking around all day looking like I was shrugging my shoulders and saying “I don’t know” wasn’t going to work for me, I was finally able to move. Determined not to make the mistake of moving too fast again, I slowly grabbed my robe off the back of my bedroom door, and headed to my oldest daughter’s room to wake her for school. I imagine that I looked like the tin man walking around because my neck was stiff and my toes were numb from being swollen. With each step I could hear some limb click…possibly my hips.
Once I reached my daughter’s room and successfully woke her up, she put on her uniform that I had ironed and laid out the night before. True to her comedic DNA, while getting dressed she jokingly noted “you know your bones woke me up 10 minutes ago.” When she was finally dressed and her comedy show was complete, I headed to my youngest daughter’s room to wake her. After successfully getting my youngest daughter out of her crib with my stiff neck, I handed her off to my husband to dress while I started my bath water. As I headed back into my bedroom, I clipped the door with my collarbone which made a loud “BANG”. I slowly peeled myself off the door and mumbled “I’m ok” with a pained whisper. Despite my husband’s request to slow down, I continued on toward the master bathroom to start my bath. As I approached the tub, I noticed that I could feel the coldness of the floor tiles which meant my feet were no longer number. Encouraged now that my limbs were waking up, I kneeled down to start my bath water. As I kneeled down to start the water, my knee hit the side of the tub with a loud “BONG”. On impact, I grabbed my knee and crumbled to the floor. As I laid on the floor groaning in my bathroom, I heard my husband’s familiar foot dragging and raspy morning voice say “what in the world, go lay back down before you hurt yourself”. Now, in retrospect I can admit that my husband’s words were actually reasonable…which unfortunately meant I had to ignore them. I’ve never been known to do what was reasonable, so today was definitely not the day to start.
Still determined to accomplish everything I set out to do, I quickly sprung up and finished making my bath water. I had to dig extra deep to find the energy to get myself off the floor, but I was determined. Once the tub was full and I was undressed, I made the slow crawl into the tub. Apparently I did not go slow enough because I managed to hit my other knee on the side of the tub as I made my way in. Still not deterred, I climbed into the tub and laid back to rest and celebrate my accomplishment. As I mentally applauded myself and soaked my banged up joints, I inspected my body to ensure the rest of it was still in tact.
Despite my banged up joints, I washed my body and began to plan my exit from the tub. Bravely I stood up to release the water from the tub and make my graceful exit. Of course I fell out of the tub, a bad day wouldn’t be complete with that. Despite the not so graceful exit from the tub, I picked myself up off the floor again and brushed my teeth. Feeling energized at this point, I cautiously yet cheerfully walked into my bedroom to get dressed for the day. I crawled into bed and scooted towards the edge to lotion up. After the lotion was successfully applied, I dressed the bottom half of my body. Amazingly, this one task took so much energy that I needed to lay down for 15 minutes. After my break, I dressed the top half and again laid down for a break. Completely spent at that point, I decided to take a quick nap before I made my way downstairs to drive to the office.
When I laid fully clothed and completely still in my bed, it felt as if the weight of the world immediately came off my shoulders. My body definitely thanked me for finally resting. But, as fast as the weight of the world came off my shoulders, the pain of rheumatoid arthritis hit my joints. Every bone in my body immediately throbbed and felt as if someone stabbed each joint repeatedly with a sharp knife. I’m talking that deep pain that takes your breath away and prevents you from screaming. You know, the pain that hurts so bad that you are afraid to breath so you hold your breath or take very shallow breaths.
As I laid on my bed in pain and mentally reprimanded myself for doing way too much, I couldn’t help but notice that the clock on my night stand read 8:02 am. I thought to myself “8:02am and I did all this but now don’t have the energy to leave the house.” Completely frustrated with how hard I had pushed myself, I tried to figure out why I was so determined to do everything I did this morning. What was it about today that had me flying through my house like a rocket? For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why I was determined to use every ounce of energy I had to accomplish so little. It was not as if I didn’t have help…I did. But I refused to let my husband help today…why?
The answer is almost as ridiculous as my actions this morning. Get ready for it. Sometimes I push myself, just to prove to myself and others that I can still do the things I want to do. See, the days that I feel the worst, are usually the days that I push myself the hardest. I know, it is completely ridiculous…we have already established that my decisions are sometimes questionable. But, hear me out. Because I can control so little regarding my body, I have to work extra hard controlling everything else. Makes perfect sense now, right? Yeah I know, it still doesn’t make any sense.
Thankfully I am always learning, and I learned a few lessons today. First, thanks to my noisy bones, I won’t be sneaking up on anyone any time soon. Goodbye practical jokes, undercover missions, and playing “the lucky burglar”. Second, pushing through or moving faster does not ward off a bad day. In fact, it almost certainly guarantees you two bad days. I had convinced myself that if I just stayed in motion, I would beat this bad day. I think we can all agree that I failed miserably. Third, some days will just SUCK, and I don’t have to offer positive thoughts and encouraging words to show my appreciation for life. I will simply live through the bad day and hope that the next day will be better than the previous day. And fourth, any day like today warrants a bacon sandwich and immediate retreat back under the covers until the next day.