This winter has felt interminably long, and it's been hard not to give in to the temptation to hibernate, emotionally as well as physically. Even though it's cold and rainy, and there are still mountains of snow left to melt, I'm ready to start shedding some of my winter layers. There are the layers of coats and scarves, of course, but there are other, intangible layers as well: the I-don't-want-to-go-anywhere-because-it's-dark-and-cold layer, the I-don't-have-time-to-do-anything-but-work layer, the who-cares-what-I-eat-I'm-wearing-ten-sweaters layer. And maybe there's even an I'm-feeling-blue-and-flaring-and-I-just-want-to-sit-here layer.
It's been two weeks since my cortisone shot. It hasn't had the dramatic effect I experienced when I had cortisone injections as a child - there's still pain and stiffness - but my hip doesn't feel useless anymore. I don't dread standing up after class or maneuvering out of bed in the morning. With a renewed sense of confidence, I went back to yoga last week after missing a few classes. I also got back on my elliptical. And I'm back to sticking, more or less, to a healthy, home-made, primarily vegetarian diet.
I'm also 'cleaning house' by switching off Naproxen after five years. It was causing stomach ulcers, which was surprisingly difficult to figure out, both for me and my doc, as the pain was radiating to my back. I've been off it for a month now, and my stomach is so much better. Since my blood pressure is well-controlled with my beta blocker, we're going to try replacing it with Celebrex. I'm happy not to be taking an NSAID.
My lettuce and spinach seedlings!
I'm also doing a little social spring cleaning. Although I've been enjoying law school, I have to admit I don't really feel like I belong with the majority of my classmates - the girls in their tiny, tight skirts with their thousand-dollar bags and the guys comparing their Rolexes before class (really). With my glasses, scuffed sneakers and reusable coffee mug, I often don't rate a second look. Lately I've gotten to know a small group I often run into at special human rights and environmental law lectures, and we've started meeting up at a pub (NOT a club) each week. I'm so happy to have ferretted out some people I really, really like.
It's time for me to shed some layers. To stop paying lip-service to a full, active life and start actually living it. It's true that RA is sometimes to blame when I plonk myself on the couch at five o'clock and am still there at ten. And sometimes schoolwork is to blame. And sometimes it's the fact that it's pouring or hailing or minus sixteen. I don't think what I have been doing is wrong. I do think it's time for a new direction.