I have Psoriatic Arthritis. There, I said it. I don't like to dwell on it, and I refuse to let it define me. However, as with any disorder, there are days where I feel like I've hit a wall...hard...repeatedly. Today is one of those days.
For those of you who don't know, psoriatic arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, very much like its infamous cousin, rheumatoid. To put it in layman's terms, my immune system is so hyper and gung-ho, it attacks everything-including my own body. My joints take the hardest hit, with pain and inflammation every day. The "psoriatic" part takes its toll by way of psoriasis, which are itchy, flaky, painful skin patches. Thankfully, that part is not as bad for me as for some PsA sufferers.
Since this is a systemic disease, it touches on everything that happens with my body. Certain (ahem) times of the month, weather, particularly strenuous activity, stress...all of these can trigger a painful reaction.
Today, I get a whopping three out of four stars! For this reason, I am catching up on my blog subscriptions, research, photo editing and networking. My children are at their BD's (bio-dad's) today, so I am fortunate to be able to rest on the couch next to my snoring dogs and on my heating pad.
The clouds outside match the pain and mood I woke up in today. Chronic pain has a way of tainting the portrait of a life. No matter how upbeat we think we are, no matter how strong our faith in our Heavenly Father, no matter how many blessings we count each day, no matter how much we live in the deep and fulfilling joy of the Lord, there are just some days that we disorder sufferers get frustrated to our limit. It's akin to the "depths of despair" that Anne Shirley finds herself in when she is told that she's been brought to Green Gables by accident, and that she is not really the one the Cuthberts wanted to adopt. To this despair, Marilla tells Anne, "To despair is to turn your back on God."
Not so. It's not that I'm turning my back on God during these "down days"; rather I'm crying out to Him in anguish. I've ceased asking Him why I have this disease, because I know that I'll never scratch the surface on the infinite wisdom of God.
As a friend and I once discussed long ago, there comes a time when the level of hurt, confusion, sorrow and exasperation simply manifests itself in one single, guttural sob. There are no words, only a heart-wrenching cry. At times like these, our Savior cries with us. He understands what our unintelligible utterance means when there is no verbal translation. He feels our pain.
It is when we lay all our aches and pains and sorrows at His feet that He kicks them to the cross, picks us up, and carries us through. It could take hours, a day, sometimes even weeks. But when we allow Jesus to carry us, we can go limp in His arms and be comforted beyond measure. Like a sleeping child being carried to their bed, His strong arms will transport us to that place of rest. It is a rest in Him that will rejuvenate our souls and send us through life with our eye glimmer back. It is that glimmer, that likelihood of less pain tomorrow that will make the days that are not today so joyful. That is the hope we carry on these days.
So as for me today, I won't be able to get the housework done that I had planned (bummer or blessing?), but I WILL get all the pictures edited and uploaded to my gallery that I've been meaning to for the last couple years! See? There's the silver lining!
For more information on Psoriatic Arthritis, visit: http://www.psoriasis.org/psoriatic-arthritis