Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Stress... Good for the Soul?

Doctors often mention to me that stress when you have RA causes it to flare and I’ve often wondered how likely this is. I have learnt the truth this week however, what with the various ‘stresses’ I have been dealing with. Obviously organising my fundraiser comes with its minor stresses, and the general anxiety of wondering if it will go alright on the night adds to that. I have also been overwhelmingly worried about money with the fact job offers are nonexistent. So I have decided to start my own business (more on this soon). The amount of preparation for that is also putting strain on me. So, to cut a long story short, these weights I am carrying on my shoulders have started to have an effect on my physical health. For starters, I am exhausted. I have not been sleeping well for a long time now and I am trying my best to alter my habit of having a nap in the day when I am tired but it’s difficult when your eyes won’t stay open.
Now my joints are being affected too. I have noticed that stiff, painful mornings are coming back on days I have lots to think about and days after I’ve had lots to do. So bloody frustrating. Am I supposed to sit around and do nothing so I don’t get stressed and cause a flare? I thought a little stress would be good for you. It’s certainly made me feel happier having things to concentrate on other than my life with RA. But does that mean I have to deal with the pain as just one of those things? You can’t have it all, right?
So I guess I’m probably stressing myself out for no reason. I am quite an intense organiser anyways, probably got OCD or something (but that’s another problem). I like to be on the ball with everything and ensure I’ve considered every eventuality so I need to maybe take a chill pill now and again. Problem is, I feel I’ve done enough ‘chillin’ since my diagnosis and actually feel guilty now when I need a rest because I have been doing better. I feel my friends and family won’t understand when I have bad days and that I am just making excuses to get out of doing something. They won’t realise that although I look alright and probably seem fine, underneath that mask I am suffering with pain or exhausted. They expect me to be well all the time now, like I am cured or something. I wish there was a soddin cure so I could get shot of this crappy fatigue I feel today. I wonder if wearing cocktail sticks to keep my eyes open is a bad idea?


  1. sometimes i feel that my family feels the same stepmom has even said stuff like 'oh she's just milking this for all it's worth' and then laughed like she was joking (but i know her all to well and KNOW that she was not joking). it's very hard for them to understand because on the outside i do look "fine". those kinds of comments really do hurt but i just have to brush it off and keep going. dont stress cuz that only makes it worse! lol - if only it were that easy
    keep your head up

  2. Oh Rheuma Girl, stress can cause so many maladies - it really is bad for us all, not just those of us with RA. I once let myself get terribly over-stressed and ended up with a very painful case of Shingles - brought on by the stress I allowed to take hold. Let me just say this as a little warning, if you had Chicken Pox as a child, you should ask your MD about getting the shot to keep you from getting Shingles. Believe me, you do not what that nasty thing. It's worse then RA when it comes to pain.

    As for the stress, try your best to take that chill pill. I know it's easier said than done, we do what we have to do. I always work best when under some degree of stress, but when it gets to be too much, as it did a few years ago, it can cause all sorts of unpleasant effects. Try not to worry so much - just do the best you can, rest when you need to do that, and get some people to help you out with this undertaking. Delegate, delegate, delegate and take some of the weight off your shoulders. Okay?