Today I’m Broke


Strawberry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some days I’m flush and I forget. I forget I have an illness. An illness that never goes away. That can only be contained. I equate it to living on a high wire. One from which you can never climb down. You are always there, suspended. Make a sudden move and you’re tumbling. And the worst part is not the tumble or even the landing; it’s the struggle to get back up onto that high wire. Because that’s where you are safest, on that thin grey line.

What makes me rich is energy. Some days my cup is full. Or at least, half full.

“You look great,” my friend says. We are out, dinner and a movie. One of our favorite things to do. And I do feel great. I treat myself to a strawberry margarita. After all, strawberries are anti-inflammatory. I’ve been doing my research. Strawberries are “medicine,” as is chocolate. And what better way to have strawberries than in a tall, cold, rim-salted glass?

That was two days ago and now it’s time to make another deposit into that good old energy bank. So soon. Perhaps if I had slept more that night I wouldn’t have leaked out so much energy. But the writing bug bit and I stayed up till the wee hours. Writing is medicine, too. Or at least, therapy.

Words have to be my greatest ‘disease modifying drug.’ Reading them and writing them. Forget the chemo; forget the steroid. I take them regularly, my little crutches. Sometimes they make me feel like the women of Star Trek, who became beautiful after popping pieces of colored jelly. As it turned out, that’s all they were. Placebos. It was actually the belief in themselves that made them beautiful.

I know my chemical drugs are not placebos and I know they help me, but I cannot rely on pills to keep me up on that high wire. I don’t want to rely on pills. I prefer to think of them as garnish, a sprinkle here, a scatter there. I’d rather the main course be the things I do that make me happy, make me feel worthwhile. Being productive sends my energy level soaring, gives me the balance I need not to tumble or stumble.

The catch-22 is, of course, that I must spend energy to make energy. Sort of like, you must spend money to make money. The trick is to deposit more than you plan to withdraw or you end up with a negative balance and no overdraft protection.

Which is definitely my case today. So when the question, “What do you want to do tonight?” arose, my answer was, “Rest.” I have learned my limits and more importantly, my limitations. I try to observe them and live within those confines. I have learned after all these years with RA to be faithful to me.

Therefore I will rest and refill my coffers; I have a long list of projects and deadlines requiring my attention. And I have no doubt that tomorrow will find me feeling like a million dollars again. For you know what else they say.

Tomorrow is another day.

And maybe next time I’m out, I will try a chocolate margarita.

Why not?

4 thoughts on “Today I’m Broke

  1. alicesadams

    I can relate to you perfectly! I have to pick and choose what I do on a daily basis! You are always planning around your RA! You want to go for a short shopping, and I mean short, I have to rest the day before!! Sometimes when I feel really good I overdo it and pay for it the next day! So go the life of a person with RA! I really enjoy your writings! Hope you have a great day!!! Alice

    1. Irma Post author

      Yes, you do have to plan around your RA. Sometimes the day is just not long enough for all you want to do. You have to schedule your rest first and then the things you truly want to do.

  2. J.G. Chayko

    I find your writing refreshingly honest and I can relate to your experience. I rest when my body tells me to, but outside of that, I do all I can to live. I try to gather all the energy I can to enjoy the life I’ve been given. Cheers to another writer living with this disease, and I mean really ” living ” instead of wallowing. And here’s to the writing bug keeping us up at night… 🙂
    J.G. (theoldladyinmybones)

    1. Irma Post author

      Thanks, J.G. Yes, this thing may curtail me, but it won’t stop me, or any of us! As I like to say, I have RA; RA does not have me. Irma


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