Today, my husband and I went to Target. Technically, it’s one of those Target “superstores” that have all the usual Target stuff and a grocery section. I got a gift card as an early birthday gift from a relative – and we needed some stuff.

The plan was to buy a rug to put underneath the kitchen trash can and recycle bin, some socks to replace the ones I have worn out, and an 80′s looking headband (which I will wear at an 80s themed birthday party for a relative that is coming up soon).

I also wanted to buy 2 new bras to replace a few that have finally worn out. That’s not the only reason, though. It turns out that there are some fibromyalgia points located right where the bra straps usually go. This causes pain. There also are some points along the bottom part of my rib cage that get super sore when my allergies are bad. Underwire bras are no longer comfortable, and I was looking for an alternative.

We successfully found a cute rug for the kitchen, socks, and a neon-hawaiian themed- 80s headband. We also got some groceries because the Target has gluten-free fish sticks (and no other grocery store seems to carry them anymore). We also picked up additional groceries while we were there.

The bras, however, simply don’t fit. I have rheumatoid arthritis in my shoulders (and other places), and this means my shoulder joints are often swollen.

My bone structure is big to start with. I’ve got Polish and German heritage (among others) and this starts me out with big bones. Years ago, I injured my hand, and the physical therapist took one look at the x-ray and asked me if I was able to write. My wrist bones are so “fat” that a specialist didn’t believe I could write.

But in the past, I could find bras that fit around my swollen shoulders and big rib cage. The bras I was looking at today do not have the little thing on them that lets you adjust the straps, and the part that goes around the rib cage, well, didn’t. Not even close. This is after checking the size chart on the bras several times to make sure I got the correct size.

By the time we got out of Target I was super tired and my joints were screaming at me. For some reason, the Target “superstores” are bigger than they look. I end up misjudging how far I can walk without setting off one of my chronic illnesses.

Driving home was ok. If I walk around too much, my legs will be stiff when I get back to the car, and it takes longer than usual to get into the seat. So far, I still have the ability to grip the steering wheel just enough to drive the car. I know I’m taking longer than I should be to get my foot/leg to move from the gas to the break. Someday, my chronic illnesses are going to rob me of my ability to drive.

Today, driving home, in broad daylight – I nearly hit another car. We were both driving really slowly, and no damage happened. I wanted to switch lanes, and I looked, and didn’t see any cars next to me. But, there was one, and I managed to swerve back into my lane as the lady in the blue car honked at me.

This taught me that I can no longer turn around to look out the back window behind me while driving – or, at least, I can’t do it as fast as a healthy person can. I could have easily ended up in an accident today because of my rheumatoid arthritis making it harder for me to move. (It would have been a “fender bender” – but still!)

My ancient car is probably on it way out, and my husband and I were talking about what we would need to do to get a new car. But after this almost-accident, I don’t see any good reason to get a new car because it’s looking like I won’t be able to drive for much longer.

Rheumatoid Arthritis Ruined My Day is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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