Backing away, making no direct eye contact

When my eldest daughter was about three years old, she snapped one of my headbands in two while playing with it. Unaware that I was watching her, she panicked, put the bits down on the floor and walked away, very quickly. I stifled a laugh and quietly threw the pieces away without saying anything to her. (It didn’t take her long to come to me, scared and shame-faced, to confess.)

I feel like I’ve been doing the same sort of “put it down and run away” thing for the last few months. I stopped taking Pred (don’t look back!), I jab myself in the leg or belly once a week with MTX (don’t look down!), I’m trying to lose weight (don’t look in the mirror!), I had injections to try to fix decades-long problems with carpal tunnel syndrome (don’t watch while they stick needles in your flipping wrists!) and now, I’ve stopped smoking (don’t make eye contact with me!).

Note, however, that I say I’ve stopped smoking. Not that I’ve given it up. A friend of mine, a heavy smoker for most of her life, quit about six or seven years ago, justlikethat. She has not had a cigarette since, and I deeply admire her for it. She says one of the key things was to acknowledge that she’s a smoker, and always will be ~ but she’s not smoking right now.

It’s a psychological trickery, but it works. So it’s now been 28 days for me, thanks to Stoptober and my youngest daughter urging me on. The theory is that if I haven’t smoked for 28 days, I’m five times more likely to give up for good. The reality is, I haven’t smoked for 28 days and I want a cigarette five times more than I have ever wanted a cigarette in my life.

Mostly, though, I don’t even remember that I want to smoke. There has been no physical craving, only my mind and force of habit making me occasionally think I’d really like a smoke right about now.

So, anyway, the rest of it: no ill-effects so far from quitting Pred. The CTS injections seem to be working ~ I haven’t needed the Flexiseq since, nor the compression gloves at night, I can make a proper fist with my right hand again for the first time in over a year, and I can sign my name again without looking like it was done by a drunk four-year-old.

Downside: had my regular weigh-in prior to the CTS injections and had an out-of-body experience when the nurse announce that I was a perfect 100 ~ 100kg, that is. So, in the two years since I was diagnosed with RA, I have gained an astonishing 30kg. That’s 66lbs. Four and a half stone. The equivalent weight of a 12-year-old child. I know, right?!

As much as I’d like to put THIS down and run away very quickly, I can’t. Oh, the irony.

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