A Ten Milligram Day

Yesterday I had one of those under-water-death-fatigue day. I treated it with an extra dose of strawberries and whipped cream. And while scarfing that down I wondered, if strawberries have anti-inflammatory properties and sugar exacerbates your symptoms, do they cancel each other out?

At the moment I didn’t care. It tasted so good, it made me forget that I was moving in slow-mo. And that it’s kinda hard to chase a toddler in slow-mo. But I figured out a solution to that, too. I don’t.

She loves being chased. It’s a game, but not to Abuela. At least not on these kind of days, so I just stand still and say, bye bye. She comes running back to me because the one thing she loves more than being chased is being included.

Bye, bye is what I also say to RA, but it too comes running back to me. Sometimes with a vengeance.

I am not an athlete, unless you count raising four kids, running a household and keeping up with a profession athleticism. Nor am I a warrior, though I like to think I have warrior blood in me.

photo (15)So I don’t know how to classify what happened to my right hand two years ago when it swelled up to the point of being useless for a month. Is it a sports injury or a war injury? But injured it is and every so often it swells up again to remind me.

I keep yearly photographic evidence of my hands. To see how they are holding up under duress. Today I can see the lumps and bumps between the metacarpals, the joints at the base of the fingers. The swelling is obvious.

The pain not so much.photo (13)

The dilemma this morning was how to untwist the cap and break the seal off  a new gallon jug of tea. I’d decided to up my Prednisone from the daily 2.5 to 10 mg. A veritable shot in arm, you might say.

But first I had to grip that sucker and twist for all my hand is worth, today. I can tell you it hurt like a **** but I am nothing if not persistent. It took three attempts that left me with the reddened imprint of the cap on my palm.

photo (12)

The Arthritis Foundation sent me a little gadget to open stuff. I remembered I’d packed it and ran and got it. Unfortunately,  it doesn’t work on caps this size.

photo (14)



I could have used this back in the day when I had to ask my nursing staff to open my bottles of lemonade. I hated the thought of having to ask for help, but RA makes you humble.

It also makes you stubborn and determined. I would have my glass of tea!

And I did.

Now to wait for the extra dose of Prednisone to do its job. I think I feel it working already. Or maybe it’s the hot water I ran over my hand for five minutes. Who would’ve thought washing dishes was therapeutic? Or maybe it’s the typing. Exercising my fingers goes a long way toward reducing the pain. Idleness is the bane.

photo (17)But there is no time for idleness now.

Not with these footsies to keep track of.




6 thoughts on “A Ten Milligram Day

  1. carlascorner

    Taking historical pictures of your hands (and/or other troublesome joints) is a brilliant idea. You’d think our rheumatologists would do that. Sorry that you had to up the prednisone, but 10 mg isn’t much and hopefully it will help you in your toddler taming (which should, in my opinion, be considered an Olympic event!).

    1. Irma

      Toddler taming! I love that! It should be an Olympic event. I debated whether ten or twenty. Decided to be conservative, at least in this matter 🙂 It should do the trick, five tomorrow then back to normal. Dealing with RA’s whims is like playing Whack-a-Mole.

  2. J.G. Chayko

    Oh gosh, I can imagine how frustrating it is to try and open a jar with sore hands. One day I was home on my own and wanted to open a new jar of peanut butter, but my hands did not have the strength to grip and twist – and so, with a bit of humble defeat, I waited for my reliable partner to come home and use his strong hands to open it for me…I have learned great patience with RA :). I hope you have better and more energetic days ahead.

    1. Irma

      It’s a wonder how far a little Prednisone goes! I feel tons better, just hate having to rely on it. What I usually do is tap around the lid with a butter knife, that tends to break the seal and I can open the jar/bottle easily. Guess I was so foggy I forgot about the butter knife technique. Thanks, J. Hope you’re having more good days.

  3. Fran Cherry

    I’ve also been taking photos of my hands to try and keep track of what’s happening to them. I can relate to opening the jars/bottles situation. If I’m with other people I now ask them for a hand but was reluctant to do so at the beginning. I now carry a jar gripper around with me from Lakeland (based in the UK) which works really well and is a good size so fits over all jars and bottle tops. Hope you are not in too much pain at the moment. All the best.

    1. Irma

      I have a jar gripper but unfortunately, it’s at home. Shoulda packed it. For some reason I’m reluctant to ask for help sometimes. I guess you don’t want to cave in to RA for anything! Hope you are doing well, Fran.


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