I've done the scariest thing I think I've ever done. For the first time during my 28-year history of psoriatic arthritis, I have time time away from work to take care of myself. This is terrifying! I have gone to work during the very worst times I could imagine. During the days that I couldn't step off or onto a curb unassisted, I still went to work. No matter what crazy things my body throws at me, I just keep on going. Taking time off had never even occurred to me. Until it did.
As you know, I recently found out that what I thought was hip pain turned out to be spinal degeneration. Now that I'm on medication for the nerve pain and some of the leg pain has subsided, I can absolutely feel that it is in my low back. It's still so difficult to sit or stand in one position for any length of time, but at least I'm getting a little more sleep than I was a couple of weeks ago.
My first thought when I found out about the severity of my spinal degeneration is that I would have to leave work permanently. After conversations with my many providers, I realized that long-term disability is not my only option. It's not even my best option because I really want to work. It's something that I enjoy. It never occurred to me that a few months away from my job to heal would be my best option. It gives me an opportunity to practice some self-care and a chance to rehab.
Self-care is somewhat lacking in my life. Sure, I do things that make me feel good sometimes, but many of those luxuries have been given up in this most recent arthritis flare. I don't remember the last time I did yoga, outside of goat yoga. (And let's face it, I mostly just snuggled with goats then!) Nora and I had a little spa day a few months ago, before our vacation, but I haven't had a massage since. Pretty much, I've spent my recent time laying around on the couch watching Dr. Phil. So, I'm gearing up for this time off with big plans. I'll have appointments with my general practitioner, rheumatologist, orthopedic, physical therapist, psychiatrist and therapist, but I want (or need) to do some other things just because they make me feel good. Here are things that come to mind to try.
3. Float tank (Who has tried this? I can't wait!)
5. Meditation (Any recommendations on how to start a practice?)
Please tell me what else you do because this is all I can come up with. Surely there are other things I can do for myself. What do you do?
The next 3 months will be a new experience for me, but I am convinced that I will return to work better and stronger for having taken the break. I hope that this will help me avoid surgery and avoid an early retirement. I'm getting ready to battle psoriatic disease and I intend to win!
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