There is no class for dealing with sleep and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) but it is an art of learning how to position yourself so you can sleep. I have been thinking about writing this post for a couple weeks and then my older sister called today, we were discussing our the aches and pains of Rheumatoid Arthritis (also known as Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease; see we refuse to be mislabeled). My older sister mentioned she talked to my younger sister who was having some aches and pains. It reminded me of last spring when I had talked to my younger sister and she mentioned it was hard to learn to lay on her back when she was dealing with pain in her hips and lower spine. All I could say was yes it is hard to learn to lie on your back.
So I kept thinking, what did I not say? What did I keep to myself? My first lesson of sleeping with Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease (RAD) was learning how to keep moving at night. It is easy to learn to do but frustrating to have to do it. Basically when I start waking up because of pain I rotate my body to relieve the pain and fall back to sleep. At times I could do this every ten minutes, other times once every hour. Usually when I have nights like this I can take some Benadryl and it will help me sleep through the mild pain and stiffness. But if the pain and stiffness is more constant or higher pain levels I do not just sleep during the night, sleep becomes a 10-24 hour process since I am waking up so often.