A few days ago I experienced one of the most painful episodes in the entire tenure of my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I had to be rushed to the hospital in the back of an ambulance, and then spent six hours in the ER while I was “repaired.” As I was lying on the gurney, I began to think about what life would be like if I could not count on the support structure I have availed myself of for years. Sitting in that hospital, I realized that having people you can rely on when you need help is probably the single most important asset in your R.A. toolbox.
Last Friday, I was just finishing up my shower when disaster struck. As I was sitting in the chair I have in my bathroom, I leaned forward to put a Band-Aid on my left foot. As I reached down, I felt something in my hip quite literally roll out of place. I instantly knew that the prosthetic in my left hip had become dislocated. The pain was instant, intense, and epic – my body immediately began to react. My heart began to race, I began to sweat profusely, and I was dangerously close to passing out. Just before I keeled over, my girlfriend, who I had called to as soon as it happened, grabbed me and kept me upright on the chair and made sure I stayed awake. After another minute or so, my body went into shock, and all the symptoms lessened enough for me to regain composure. The pain was excruciating if I moved the leg, but if I kept it still and supported it with my own hands, the discomfort became bearable. As soon as I stabilized, my girlfriend ran to get one of my parents to help with the situation. My father came into the bathroom and asked what was wrong while my mother called 911.