Last month I wrote about the anxiety I felt before the vacation I had planned with my mom and five siblings to Maine. I worried that I might have a flare-up while on vacation even though I have been feeling really good. I worried about whether I should take my Enbrel with me in case something whacky happened on vacation and delayed my expected arrival date home. I worried whether or not I would be able to lift my suitcase into the carry-on and dreaded having to ask for help. Lots of worrying went into the trip, but once I was at the airport I calmed down, took some deep breaths, and focused on just enjoying myself.
The trip was amazing. I was able to spend quality time with my five siblings and mom without any outside interruptions. We did a little sightseeing, a ton of walking, a lot of relaxing, and plenty of bonding. It was great. On our last night together, I asked that we toast to the good health I have experienced this last year. It felt wonderful celebrating my good health rather than seeing the worry in my family’s eyes. It felt good for me to verbalize how good I am feeling to the people that mean the most to me.
When I returned home, I felt extremely tired. It took about a week to get my energy levels back up and I did experience a little flare. I wasn’t surprised. Although I remained pretty faithful to my diet of no grains (one night I did have a gluten free pizza), legumes, or dairy, I ate way too much sugar. Each night we returned to our rooms with two of my all time favorite indulgences: chocolate and wine. I seem to do okay with sugar in very limited amounts but when it becomes several days in a row, my joints just can’t handle it. To make things worse, I wasn’t ready to give up the wine and chocolate addiction right away when I got home and I ended up paying the price with a flare in my shoulder.
This trip was a good reminder to me that worry gets me nowhere. I can worry myself to death about all that can come from rheumatoid arthritis but in the end, I don’t know what the results will be until I follow through with my plans. Fortunately for me, this trip was a wonderful experience. Thanks rheumatoid arthritis for laying low on this vacation. You weren’t missed!
Cathy can also be found writing at her personal blog The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo
Published On: August 29, 2011