Lately I've been talking a lot about what a difference exercising and a healthier diet have made to me. I've not had any bad flare ups since I started exercising regularly, I got myself a fairly okay bikini body for my holiday and the pain that I did have was manageable. It was beautiful.
Then I got a great big slap of reality. I came back from holiday and kept telling myself "next week I'll get back on the health kick, the exercising, etc; next week I will". The problem was, "next week" was always put off a little longer, and a little longer.... It didn't matter though I thought, I wasn't piling back on the pounds; I was happy, life was good, it didn't matter. I was wrong.
I'd had the stirrings of a flare up going on for a few days in hindsight, but at the time I didn't realise it as I had gone so long without one. I was just cracking on with life, the constant nag of pain was there, but whatever, it was always going to be there. Then it happened. The murmur of pain became slightly louder. I thought it odd, but I carried on. I went to my pilates class as normal that evening, as sometimes this has helped me during a flare, and to be honest I thought it would just settle the pain back to a murmur. God was I wrong. That was the beginning of the end that evening. My hips clunked louder than ever with every leg movement, I could feel the grind of the cartilage. My back kept twinging constantly. I struggled to even maintain the lowest level of plank, when I had been just starting to master the main level of plank. It was a disaster.
I came home, I got in a hot shower, and I cried. I poured myself a large drink, took some painkillers (remember kids, DON'T take meds with alcohol, I'm an irresponsible adult, so do as I say, not as I do) and curled up feeling sorry for me whilst I watched the final of a programme I like. Then I went to bed and cried some more until I slept.
The next day was even worse. That murmur had become a shout and scream and bellow. I couldn't walk properly, my back was killing me, my hips were killing me, my shoulders were killing me.... Lets be honest here, my everything was killing me. It was a nightmare. But I wasn't ready to admit defeat. So I dragged my ass into work, and for the first time at this job, my colleagues got to see what my illness really meant to me. We've talked about it in passing before, but I don't think they've really ever seen it as a serious problem as they've never seen me not coping with it. But this time they did.
They were supportive, thankfully. They did their best to make me laugh, to minimise the stress on my joints, and ensured they offered to adapt my work tasks. I hauled my ass through that whole damn day, and was exhausted. But I carried on, because I knew I needed to this time. I was not ready to admit defeat to my body this time.
Thankfully, having forced myself to take a walk that night as well, to try and ease out some of the pain, I woke up to just a chatter the next day. It was in that moment that I realised what I needed to do. I needed to get back into routine, and exercise again and eat healthily. So that's what I've been doing. I've mentally committed to trying to do at least 20 minutes of some sort of exercise every night, and hopefully I'll get myself back to where I've been of being in control of this beast.