Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tears of Joy and Pain

This morning was the morning of truth.  After not riding for twelve days, that seemed like an eternity, it was time to get back in the saddle.  Apprehensive I was, I had no idea how this was going to go.  Within a mile I realized I was crying and laughing in my helmet at the same time.  The tears were born of both joy and pain, the laughter was pure release and exhilaration of being back on the bike for all the reasons that we ride.  The freedom, the adrenaline, the wind, the scent, the love of the ride.

Twelve days ago my body started to hurt and I was unsure why and had difficulty with normal movement.  I now know it is because I am Rheumatoid positive.  This is my diagnosis story.

They say hind sight is 20/20.  Well hind sight now allows me to see things I did not see before.  

Sometime back in 2006 or there about I went to Virginia International Raceway for the AMA races.  We worked all day and drove all night to arrive on the raceway grounds and set up camp.  A day spent exploring the raceway and town on the motorcycle and by nightfall I had been up for nearly 2 days.  We slept in the cold damp tent and forgot to close the peak vent making it stay cool all night.  I recall tossing and turning due to hip pain, a hip pain that is now too familiar, and it taking most of the next day for the stiffness to wear off.  I blamed it all on being overly tired, sore from riding in the car and then a motorcycle for hours and hours, the damp, the cold and well, getting older.  I never thought about it more than that.  Over the next several years I discovered that I just can't sleep on the ground or in the cold as the same hip pain would be present.  Even in a hotel room with broken air conditioning causing it to be cool or cold would produce the same result.

About 8 months ago I took a day sick out of work.  Most people know, if I take a day out of work, something is up.  I am not a call in sick kind of person.  But I did.  My whole body hurt.  So much so, that I remember telling a co-worker that the even the bed sheet on my feet hurt.  I never thought anything of it but passed it off as I must have had the flu or a virus but for some odd reason it did not effect my stomach.  Lucky me!

During the month of May I woke each morning with this aching pain in my right shoulder.  I must be sleeping funny or maybe it is time to get new pillows.  Maybe I should turn the mattress.  I dismissed it.

Thursday June 5th I got home from work (on the bike of course) and sat down for dinner and thought to myself "Gee, my biceps hurt, that's strange because I am lazy.  I don't workout!".  By Friday my body was heavy, a tired heavy and stiff.  On Saturday morning I awoke to pain, everywhere.  Over the next week I had pain in every joint and had difficulty walking but more so difficulty lifting anything, I mean anything…even my coffee cup.  Getting up off the couch was a ten minute chore and I had to scoot to the edge several times before having enough leverage to actual get upright.  Sleeping became difficult as everything hurt and started to burn.  Again I thought well this is strange.  By Monday I thought maybe I had been bitten by a tick and I decided to to Urgent care to get checked.  Seven viles of blood later they sent me home and said we will call you.

They never called.  By Thursday I stopped by the same Urgent care to ask if they had received results and the secretary blurts out "your Rheumatoid test is positive".  No explanation, no consult, no further information nothing.

While I wait to see a Rheumatologist I have read lots of information.  Everything I read makes me go, that's me!  I read things that make me remember when and think about how I never thought it was worth even mentioning, afterall most of these symptoms heard by others would envoke a 'She must be crazy' reaction.  Other things I read make me wonder what the future will bring.  That is the unknown, but for now, I know I live for today, take it as it comes and never give up.  I spent the last 12 days on a journey through periods of pain and sleeplessness to periods of only feeling tired and heavy.  With the recent relief it was time to get back in the saddle.

I realized today how important motorcycling is to me.  How it is part of who I am and what I do.  The joy was a happiness that reaches your soul and overcomes the pain.  I have always called it 'Two Wheeled Therapy" and that now rings true more than ever.

Ride strong, ride proud, ride fast and live!


  1. I have no doubt that you will conquer this. Best wishes always Jane!

  2. Jane, you DO know about Enbrel and Humira? I'm here to tell you that that junk works! PM me on Facebook.... hell, I'll send you my cell #. The stuff costs over $1200 per month. I pay $5 per month. If you do not have insurance there will be a few extra hoops to jump through. I can help you hook up with the right people, track buddy. Your bud John "JohnnyX-14" Hopkins.

  3. Best regards and good wishes. ... make every day yours. You will rise above this. ...I know it.

  4. Jane, you DO know about Enbrel and Humira? These work for me.