Even before my lupus diagnosis, my body has had amazing accuracy when forecasting the weather. For someone with arthritis, this becomes an unwanted superpower of sorts. Because when the rain hits, so does the stiffness and pain in my joints. While painkillers can mask the excruciating painful limitations, they do nothing for the stiffness that is arthritis.
Last Sunday I awoke to warm sunshine pouring in through my bedroom window. I lay there listening to the familiar sound of my boys making breakfast in the kitchen, laughing and arguing over who would get to use the last of the maple syrup. My pups, Maggie and John, were anxiously trying to rouse me out of bed, having waited all too patiently for their much-needed potty break. I glanced at the clock, surprised to see that I had slept more than 12 hours the night before. I rolled over to kick my legs out of bed, and was almost blinded by the searing pain in my right shoulder and neck. “Great! Goodbye sunshine and warm weather. Helloooooo, rain and cold.”
I am not going to sugar-coat it. This past year has been hard. There have been stormy days and times of drought. Days where I actually could go outside and feel the sun on my face, and days where I couldn’t even get out of bed. If the sun isn’t wreaking havoc on my body today, the rain will tomorrow.
As far as superpowers go, I would have much rather had flying over forecasting. Weather control over weather foreshadowing. I guess if I had control over any of that I would have asked to not have lupus in the first place. There are times when I wish my body hadn’t turned into a barometer for the rain. But as always, life is about perspective. My body doesn’t just forecast the rain, it foretells the rainbows. It sees the flowers before they shoot out of the ground, and for that, I will always be grateful.
I moved my boys from cold and rainy northern California to warm and humid Savannah, Georgia. I desperately miss the smell of those old giant redwoods, but I do not miss the rainy winters. Watching the news recently day I saw they have had rain in northern California for 45 days and counting. Man, I do not miss that.
My shoulder starts to ache and I wonder if it’s all in my head as I reminisce on my times in California. Then I see the weather for Savannah. Showers and thunderstorms.
So today, when my body starts that old familiar ache, I will focus on the green grass that’s about to take the place of the rain. And the beautiful weather that will come after the clouds and rain disappear. Goodbye, Arthritis, Hello Rainbows.
(Photos by Bridget Gardiner.)
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