When Life Gives You Lemons , Make Orange Juice and Leave the World Wondering How the Heck You Did It

My sweat sister!

I have spent a good portion of my life “chasing perfectionism.”  I did not start out this way, but there was a period of my life where this was being promoted and it has kind of stuck.  Especially so with not feeling well.  I was taught to never “show” that, to put on a happy face and face the world. I think you have to be very careful if you are counseling someone this way, because everyone interprets things differently.  Spending my life chasing perfectionism is exhausting.  Vince Lombardi said “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.”  I’d agree with that.  But it has also been said that “Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.”  and “Chasing perfection won’t attract those you are meant to serve, sharing your vulnerability will.”

It is with that in mind that I write this post.  I have not felt well for awhile.  But having been taught to never show that or talk about it, I’ve kept it quiet.  However it has affected my mood big time and I actually was hating my workouts for awhile now.  My crappy mood is usually what my trainer will pick up on as we are no longer in the same state and that is the case here.  I told him a few of my aches and pains, but not all and he cut me back some.  After one week of being cut back, I already could tell the difference.  My body needed that rest.

This past week I went to see my Rheumatologist for a routine appointment.  But I made a list of all the things that were hurting on my body and I asked her to help me sort them out.  Was it arthritis, was it tendinitis, was it carpal tunnel, was it a broken bone.  I would say that I do believe my doctors will help me if I am honest with them.  So I laid it all on the line.  Turns out that I have three different things going on.

A Motrin free hand for 36 hours – shows the swollen knuckle
of arthritis.

One – the rheumatoid arthritis is back – after leaving me alone for 7 years.  This I kind of knew, but was really afraid to say anything because I figured once it was back, it was back for good.  OR I would need to go on a
 steroid.  But here’s the thing.  My doctor has been with me on this journey of mine and she KNOWS that a steroid would work against my progress.  She is aware of many other ways to attack the RA before ever having to suggest a steroid.  AND it can go away again.  This is not the beginning of the end.  So we made some adjustments to medicine and I will go see her again in 2 1/2 months instead of in 6 months.  Unfortunately this affects my hands, my elbows, my ankles, and my feet.  But I feel confident we will nip it in the bud again.

Two – my right wrist has tendinitis.  I need to rest it for four weeks.  When she told me to rest my right arm for four weeks, it was like a ten-ton brick was lifted off of my chest.  I almost cried with relief to know that it wasn’t going to hurt every time I tried to pick up a weight.

Ring finger wouldn’t straighten.

Three – my ring finger on the right hand.  I think it got jammed when I fell off the stability ball and I am having trouble making my finger straight.  We did an x-ray (I do not know the results) and I have an appointment Monday with an Occupational Therapist.  But this needs to be rested for four weeks as well.

Now, having said all of that, let me state that she has NEVER told me to stop exercising.  EVER.  She suggested swimming, elliptical, leg day, abs, and anything I wanted to do with my left arm.  So even with all that going on, I can still get my exercise in.

Now here’s the really cool thing.  I started swimming again a little over a year ago.  I’ve become a lot stronger in the water.  And get this, on Monday I got in the pool and my ring finger was bent at the middle knuckle.  I began swimming.  The pain ran down my finger into my hand into my wrist — for about 200 yards and then the pain stopped.  When I got out of the pool an hour later, I could extend my finger completely.  Also when swimming, no joints hurt.  And swimming is one heck of a workout.  It’s the only thing I do that actually makes me hungry (starving actually.)

This is not a “pity” post.  I want you to know that you can do it too.  I’m going to keep doing the things I can, letting the right arm heal, and continuing with forward progress.  I know it’s working because I have to go clothes shopping again.  The treatment we started for the arthritis has provided MUCH relief and the rest I have given my wrist has helped too.  And I’m enjoying myself again.

This is me – enjoying myself again!

And if my trainers have made it this far into the post, please know that I am working on making sure you know how I feel, because I know you are not mind-readers.  It’s a personal problem with me from years of chasing perfectionism and thinking that I cannot show others my weaknesses.

Life is full of choices.  When life gives me lemons, I choose to make orange juice and I will leave the world wondering how the heck I did it.

2 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Lemons , Make Orange Juice and Leave the World Wondering How the Heck You Did It”

  1. Thanks Ramona. I didn’t realize how much my body needed a bit of a break until I started to give it one. Everything seems to be healing up great too.

Leave a Reply