What I Miss the Most
I find myself saying, “Oh, I miss…” quite a lot these days. You could fill in about a million and one things at the end of that sentence. There is certainly no shortage in the list of things I used to be, but no longer am. The things that have changed, the things that I can or can’t do, the person I was, but no longer am. Living with psoriatic arthritis has brought about these changes.
Being honest, this list might be a bit silly to some, but what can I say, before PsA I didn’t realize how good I had it!
This used to be one of my ultimate luxuries. I’m talking best birthday gift, anniversary gift, and Mother’s Day gift all rolled into one. A good hot-stone, deep-tissue massage is so good it can make the world stop spinning on its axis. Now, I would pay a million bucks to just have people STOP touching me.
It’s sad really. This was one of my most favorite ways to just destress and let things go. If only for a little while. Too bad that the mere thought of anyone kneading my muscles or massaging my tendons now makes me screech like an owl and leap with all the dexterity of a cougar. (I bet that was a fun picture in your head.)
Oh alcohol. Sweet alcohol. Boxed, bottled, canned, or jello-ed, the form didn’t matter all that much really. I could savor a deep Bourbon Barrel Ale or delight in a light spritzer with the best of them. (I was a middle school teacher after all, folks. You’d drink too!) But now? Not so much. It was a rather sad day when it dawned on me that the few beers I had the night before were responsible for the flare I had that day.
Gone are the days of blowing off some steam with a few good friends and a few good drinks. Gone are those precious few hours when the whole world seemed to hurt just a little less. I miss those great days where the stress of the week could easily be managed with a few shared drinks among friends.
Many, many years I lived in blissful ignorance about the amount of pain that dairy was causing my body. Mocha latte? Yes, please! There are many times when I miss those days when I simply enjoyed my extra cheese pizzas and ice cream without the knowledge that I would be in pain hours later. Now that I know what dairy does to my body, I find it much more difficult to enjoy those delights, and oh, how I miss them.
Being an emotional eater is very difficult to be when you are limited to fairly basic fruits and veggies. Drowning my sorrows in a giant bowl of lettuce just doesn’t offer the same stress-relieving qualities as a giant scoop of double chocolate chip.
My nails haven’t responded to my medicine nearly as well as I’d hoped. And while there isn’t necessarily any medical reason why I can’t get a manicure, I still avoid them. Much like massages, my hands can’t quite tolerate the pain of being vigorously rubbed. Not to mention the fact that my nails rarely make it past my fingertips these days.
Between the pitting and lifting, there really isn’t a whole lot to work with. All the joy of a manicure gets sucked out at the thought of holding my wrists and fingers a certain way for a half an hour while it gets done. Add in the small patches of psoriasis on my palms and my joy gained with choosing just the perfect color goes right out the window.
No list of things that I miss would be complete without at least a mention of my oh-so-cute shoes. In fact, I miss these little dears so much that I devoted an entire article lamenting the fact. Peep toe, slingback, or wedge, I didn’t care, I loved them all and oh, how I miss my cute shoes.
I like to think that one day, I won’t miss these things so much. Perhaps I will get better at accepting the limitations that psoriatic arthritis has placed on me. But I won’t hold my breath. Until then, I’ve had to replace some of my favorite things with other ways to relax and manage my stress.
I’ve discovered the relaxing benefits of journaling, yoga, and a hot, Epsom salt bath. I’m currently in negotiations with my darling hubby lobbying for a hot tub. I figure, if I have to give up so many wonderful things like massages and manicures, surely we could budget for a hot tub. Right?
What do you miss the most?