This Week, I Have Been Mostly Wearing……..

……..a grumpy face.

I have been particularly grumpy, actually.  Annoyingly, people have noticed and it’s not good when people start pointing this stuff out to you.  Now, I could put this down to my age.  I’m 46, rushing headlong into the long dark tea-time of middle age, but happy-go-lucky with it and not usually a grumpy old bastard!

Well, I have been this week.  My wife, my kids, my workmates have all had to put up with “Scott, the Grump Who Stole The Mood.”

It’s not been a great week.  After feeling quite pleased with myself in my last update, things just didn’t get back to normal.  I was waiting for my hands to recover and they didn’t.  In fact, everything just went a bit mental, sprinted quickly downhill and I really felt like a creaky old arthritic.

It’s very difficult to put into words what being a creaky old arthritic feels like.  The only way I can describe it is like being a really old car, that someone does their best to take care of but it still doesn’t perform quite in the way you expect, it limps along and you never quite know when it’ll break down – and when it does, it always gets going again but it’s just a bit ropy.  Like a bad Top Gear challenge.

Anyway, my creaky old arthriticness left me with shock, upset, disbelief, upset, anger, upset, tears, introspection, upset, swearing – oh, the swearing!  Now, I know what you’re saying.  This is all being a bit melodramatic and one should really get a grip of oneself.

Maybe you’re right.  I was, however, reminded of the dreadful flare up I had a few years ago that started with sore feet (which I ignored).  I put the feet down to lack of sleep, a bit of stress and worry associated with having two little 34 week premature babies in hospital, trying to see as much of them as I could and still do my job (saving my paternity leave for them coming home, see).

Last week, I had sore feet.  Also, my fingers weren’t settling, my right wrist was immobile, washing my hair in the shower was suddenly the most difficult and painful thing to do (not to mention towelling – I would have killed for a man-sized tumble dryer) and my knees were behaving like the unruly 7-year-old girls my tiny babies have turned into.  And my knees – jeez my knees!

Knees.  They’re funny things.  The most awkward of human joints.  Not so much a joint as a very ill-conceived mashing of unmatched bone ends and Forth Road Bridge suspension.  Doomed to failure!

When my arthritis has been bad, I’ve been able to feel the ends of my bones, especially the tops of my tibiae – it’s a particular pain that’s somewhere between an itch and being stuck with a needle.  I suddenly had that pain again and it began to worry me a bit.

Time to take action and I reached for the medication.  I had to.  I honestly felt like I had failed and last Sunday was a rotten day – in my head anyway!  By the end of the day, the drug was kicking in and I was beginning to feel much better.  I’m lucky, Adilamumab works so well that I can go for ages without it and it’ll re-establish within hours.

This doesn’t, however, make me feel better emotionally.  I haven’t been as clean as I could or should have been.  I have given in to temptation in the last few weeks and paid for it.  Maybe, I’ve reached the limit of what I’m able to do without the drugs?

My wife, who is my greatest source of encouragement and support, put it very well.  She’s pretty clever, my missus.  “You’re trying to undo 46 years of habit, Scott,” she said.  “Look at what you’ve achieved?  In the last 14 months you’ve gone from being on weekly injections and not feeling great to maybe taking them once every 6 or 7 weeks and feeling brilliant!”

She’s right and I think I’m probably being hard on myself.  She’s right about the habit thing too.  You know, I LIKE bread, I LOVE naan bread with a curry, I ADORE cakes, I’d KILL for a stodgy pudding with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.  Custard, ice cream, crisps, sweets, loads of beer and Pickled Onion Monster Munch!

I am finding this quite a challenge and it’s a battle with myself and myself only.  Eating Paleo is easy, having the will to put all the other crap aside is the difficult bit.  I’ve always been impetuous, quick out of the blocks to try anything, do daft stuff and I’ve never thought of myself as having much in the way of willpower.  I like that side of my character, though, it’s who I am.  In the last few days, I have been questioning whether I am capable of sticking to what I am trying to do.

Maybe it is melodrama and I should just get a grip, because I know what it’s feels like to feel great and this is important.  This is about being well, feeling great, making the rest of my life good instead of descending into ever more ill health.  I feel great when I eat clean and I have to hang on to that.

Best get on with it then!

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