How much pain is too much? This is the question I am always asking myself and oddly enough NEVER have asked my doctor. I am typically not a complainer, I usually keep it to myself. I do have a higher tollerance for pain and so for me to actually comment about being in pain its conserable.
When I was first DX with RA my pirmary complaint was that I had very little use of my hands. They were claw like every morning, I couldn't grasp ahold of the sheets or covers at night to pull them up, I was unable to open doors, cook, hold a pen, type, and driving was dangerous. If I compare now to then - I am doing great! :) I have 90% use of my hands and fingers and very little pain or discomfort. Its the rest of my body that i am now dealing with. Again when I first was DX I was taking pain medication at night to help me sleep and frequently through out the day just to function. I also felt like I was old beyond my years, and felt like I was walking through mud dragging a huge weight behind me. I have been at the bottom of the RA barrel so to speak so I know what it feels like. Again if I compare now to then, I am doing great - but I have also learned to limit myself.
I am currently on enbrel 1x a week, methotrexate 20mg 1x a week. I have recently started to take pain medication again to help me sleep and I have started taking ibprofen during the day to take the edge off of the pain. My last visit my dr told me I was in remission. (um, yea!?) My hips hurt, my elbows hurt, my back hurts, my shoulders hurt, my ankles and feet hurt. My hands are probably one of the few parts of my body that I dont think too much about. I mean they bother me time to time but the rest of my body hurts more. I am not sleeping well despite pain medication. I feel like I am doing pretty good considering, but at the same time I feel like I am going backwards. So I ask how much is too much? How much pain is normal part of the "i have RA" package and when is it something more than that? I know there is no cure. I am trying to figure out where I should set the expectations bar for pain control. I dont want to suffer quitely if I have the bar set to high, but at the same time I don't want to set it too low and complain all the time about hurting when its just part of life living with RA. Maybe I am wrong to think that I can live with RA and expect little to no pain. I dont know. So fellwo friends living with RA, share with me your thoughts on living with pain and RA. Where should the bar be set? How much is too much?