I have arthritis. It’s most evident in my feet, where the arthritis in one foot was bad enough to warrant a joint replacement. I also have arthritis in my thumbs, too. The prevailing wisdom from physicians is that it was caused by taking high doses of prednisone to stop a wicked case of colitis, but really, it’s hard to tell what the root cause of osteoarthritis actually is, especially when it presents in someone in their 20s.

This past week, my arthritis has been really, really bad.  My repaired foot is pretty much in non-stop agony. My thumbs hurt. Did I mention that my foot hurts? Like, wake you up kind of hurt. Actually take some medication and prop my foot up at work kind of hurt.

I think it hurts more this week for a couple of reasons: 1) I’ve had some kind of virus that’s made me fricking miserable; and 2) it’s been cold and damp all week. I have a personal germ bomb at work, my friend Sunshine with her two kids and a mad need to work when she’s sick. Sunshine came into work sick (for a whole week), coughed all over the place, and I picked up whatever she had.

Fine, you say, it’s just a virus, right? Except I’m not a cougher. I *never* cough. I can count on one finger the number of times I’ve had a cough. Two now, I guess. Man, it sucks. I hate coughing. I don’t know how you people do this all the damn time. It’s horrible. There isn’t even any phlegm – it’s just a choking feeling in my throat that makes me cough, which makes me catch my breath, which makes me cough more. It’s… horrifying. And, because my immune system is down, the arthritis bits can take over.

In combination with the most rain Ottawa’s had in a single december day ever, sunset at 4:20pm, and a temperature hovering around freezing, this is pretty much the worst. I’m sick, I’m miserable, and I’m in pain.

It’s hard to care about food and exercise under this particular set of circumstances. I’m trying to be an organized eater. I played squash tonight (really hard), but that was the first time this week I worked out. But I’m not perfect. (God, I can’t believe what a difference a year makes. I’m actually okay with the fact that I’m not perfect.)

Judging by usual virus standards, I should be feeling better by monday (like 11 or so days after I started feeling sick). My brother pointed out that in less than a month, the days will start getting longer again. And eventually my body will get used to the wet, as it’s kind of a seasonal transition thing.

Arthritis sucks. Being sick sucks. It being dark sucks. But yanno what? I’m still a cool chick. I have stuff going on. I have a good life. And on weeks like this, maintaining weight is enough.

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