People Are Who They Are!

A Permanent Visit from Arthur

A couple of days after I started this job, the top of my right hand swelled and hurt bad. I sling heavy boxes most of the day every day and figured I had pulled a muscle or strained a tendon or jammed a knuckle. I have tried to doctor it myself, at first with some success, but finally had to break down and go to the emergency room Sunday morning since I had the day off. It isn’t anything I thought it was. It’s Rheumatoid arthritis. Apparently if flared up the first couple of days and the work I do kept it inflamed afterwards. It got so bad this past week that I couldn’t lift anything. It was very frustrating and depressing. The news of what the problem actually is, is even more frustrating and depressing. This isn’t something that goes away.

I lucked out and got a really good doctor at the emergency room that spent a great deal of time with me and explained it in great detail. He said I would have to limit the weight I lift, however, he said this job was probably the best thing for me because not using my hands would only cause them to stiffen up and begin to deform. The diagnosis also explained why my feet hurt so bad after being on them all day because they also have the arthritis in them. I also have osteoarthritis which presents itself in the top joints of the fingers just below the nail bed. I’ve had little knots in them for years but they don’t hurt like the knuckles of my hands do. I had heard of both types of arthritis but didn’t know how to differentiate between the two. The Rheumatoid Arthritis presents itself in the knuckles of the hand and may cause severe deformities if the hands are not kept busy.

He gave me two shots of painkillers and steroids to reduce the swelling and stop the pain. They worked well and tonight most of the swelling is gone and all of the pain has subsided. I was actually even able to get some housework done this evening that I had been putting off because I was hurting so bad.

I have to say that I have been too happy with my job and my life in general to let this really depress me. I just know that I have to completely rethink my position at work now in order to avoid the flair ups. All of my employees have known that my hand was hurt and swelled and so I don’t think that it will be a problem to enlist their help in the change of duties. I will definitely have to hire a young strong guy to do the heavier merchandising that needs to be done rather than put it off on the other ladies in the store. They already work hard enough without having to take up my slack too.

It just goes to show that life is full of ups and downs. You never know what is around the corner every day. You just have to keep your chin up and keep moving on.


16 responses

  1. Well … at least you know what it is.

    Be careful with the steroids, they won’t let you play baseball anymore.

    September 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

    • Darn and I wanted to play really bad!

      September 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm

  2. That’s one of the few things young, strong dudes are good for. Utilize them. You’re in a perfect position to do so. Enjoy ordering your own personal slave to haul boxes for you! I can just hear it now: “Boy! Trot over here, boy, and lift this for me.” 🙂

    September 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

    • lol Kim. I’m not one to order people around, at least not at work. lol But I will get someone in there to do the heavy lifting. I’m not going to cripple myself for this job.

      September 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm

  3. Well, it’s a difficult thing to deal with (a co-worker has very severe flareups and she is only late 30s, so she got it so young), but you have the right attitude! So great that you got an excellent doc at the ER to explain and treat you well.

    Do hire some strong youngster to do the lifting. And that will give someone else a job, too! Win all around!

    Sending healing thoughts! You can dooo eeet! 😉

    September 5, 2011 at 11:32 am

  4. This was the first time this has ever happened to me. I was truly surprised when he told me what it was. Hopefully I will be able to rebuild the strength in my hands that I once had and it won’t bother me so bad.

    September 5, 2011 at 12:36 pm

  5. Sorry to hear about your RA flare, but your attitude is inspiring.

    September 5, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    • Thanks Steve. I can’t see a better way to be about it. It’s happening no matter what.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:36 am

  6. Freedom Smith

    So sorry, Ladywise. I am glad the doctor was of help and that you are able to rethink the lifting duties at work! I love hearing you so happy and upbeat, even with such a diagnosis. Like Steve said, your attitude is inspiring!

    September 5, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    • Thanks Freedom. The girls are already jumping in there to help, so I think it’s going to work out fine. They are afraid if I left that they would have to deal with a crap shoot of who they might get as a new boss and they like me.

      September 6, 2011 at 12:37 am

  7. Why couldn’t it have been King Arthur? Oh, that’s right – it’s WalMart, not Camelot. Delegate – delegate – delegate. Keep smiling.:)

    September 5, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    • Yes, I spent a lifetime with what I call the “knight in shining armor syndrome.” I kept thinking that he would show up and sweep me off my feet and take care of me from now on. NOT! So I go to work and yes I will delegate! lol

      September 6, 2011 at 12:39 am

  8. Sorry to hear about your painful diagnosis, but perhaps it is a blessing in disguise if you can catch it early and keep it under control. I know I’m getting arthritis in the fingers of my right hand. I broke down and bought an electric can opener last week. Hope you can find the help you need to get the boxes moved and merchandise stocked.

    September 5, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    • Me too CbD. An electric can opener sounds like an excellent idea as well!

      September 6, 2011 at 12:40 am

  9. Oof, sorry to hear a potentially life-changing diagnosis…but hey, treatments get better all the time, and like you’ve said, there are accommodations you can make.

    September 7, 2011 at 11:51 pm

  10. Ouch! Sorry to hear about that. It sounds like you are taking proper measures though to alleviate any future discomfort. I’ve heard of folks taking chondroitin and glucosamine as a homeopathic remedy with good results.

    September 8, 2011 at 5:10 pm

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