I have to admit, the term hangover has really taken on a different meaning since my diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis. Don’t get me wrong, fun nights out with friends still come with regrets the next day, but not of the sort you would imagine from times long ago.
My head isn’t hanging over the toilet bowl and if I’m lucky it isn’t pounding either. But my body does feel like it was hit by a mac truck. And just swinging my legs over the side of the bed feels like a monumental task.
Nope, this is not the hangover of days gone by, this my friends is a much worse variety. This is the psoriatic arthritis activity hangover.
This hangover cannot be cured by a tall glass of water, a few acetaminophens, and a greasy meal. This comes from thinking I could do more than I should have done. This comes from pushing my body to be the mom my kids deserve.
Everything from making to watching their activities to simply keeping up with the laundry and the house. Sometimes it is fun things like picnics and parades. I push through just to see them smile and allow them to have memories of a mom that isn’t sick. Other times, it is simply living day to day.
This hangover takes a little more to restore myself to my previous factory settings. I need rest. Ice packs and even heating pads become my new besties.
My dog can even sense my pain. She curls up by me, knowing that I am too tired to take her on a walk today. Activity hangover day is a minimal effort day. It is a day to cuddle the kids instead of clean the house. It is a day to watch my Netflix and curl up with my books.
When I’m nursing my PsA hangover, my nerves are on edge. I’m much quicker to snap at people. I suppose it is probably best if I’m left alone, or at least if people just don’t talk to me at all. I tend to be a bit grumpy, frumpy, sleepy, and dopey all rolled into one. Really, nursing a hangover isn’t fun for anyone involved.
I’m not in college anymore, my body reminds me of that every morning. But hangovers are still a regular part of my life. Sure, I didn’t touch a drop of alcohol and I still have very clear memories of every detail. But here I sit, nursing my very own psoriatic arthritis hangover.
I overdid it. I know it. And yet, looking back I’d probably do it all over again, especially if I’m lucky enough to ever feel “good” again. I don’t care how crappy I feel today. I felt decent and I took advantage of it. If that means I pay the price today, then so be it. I can’t live my life worrying about tomorrow.
If I feel good enough today, I’ll risk the hangover, every single time. Although everything hurts, I’m content knowing that for at least a day, I was lucky enough to get out and live life, if only for a little while. Knowing full well that I will be nursing a hangover for at least a day, probably more.