Falling into Autumn – The Colors of RA

The summer is almost at its end. The days are getting shorter, the sunsets deeper, the lush green leaves are tinged with orange and a hint of crimson blushing around their edges. I look up at the sky, blue, with tiny wisps of clouds. I float on my back in the pool enjoying the peace of an early morning swim. There’s a small nip in the air, and the morning sunlight ripples across the light blue water in an iridescent orange hue. The colors are changing…

I have been a little bit absent for most of the summer, choosing to focus on the life that’s right in front of me. The summer was a beautiful adventure filled with vivid color. It was no more or no less remarkable than the last two years – my life has always been what I make it. The warm and dry weather of the summer is always the best season for managing my RA, even though there has been more humidity and sudden weather shifts this year – but even at its most stable RA is prone to changing its colors – except most of the time, we can’t see them.

The cool blue heart of RA is changing into a deep fiery red, ready to modify its course from summer to fall. In the misty mornings of September, my RA has become a loud whisper for Arthritis Awareness Month, reminding me that no matter how well I may be doing, its presence is always there. We can’t see the changing colors of RA, not the way we see the seasons change, but we can feel it and that’s what makes it so hard to understand. It’s challenging to acknowledge a disease that is so invisible – almost translucent.

One of the many colors we don’t see in RA or other chronic illness is the toll it can take on our mental health. It’s tough enough living with the physical manifestations of our disease, especially in today’s pandemic world, but it can take a turn for the worse if we fall down the rabbit hole of comparing our lives to others when there’s simply no comparison. Our circumstances are vastly different, so be proud of your own accomplishments, and don’t focus on what others are doing. Your successes and/or triumphs belong to you, and no one can take that away or top it, because no one is in exactly the same position. Celebrating your victories is a big part of Arthritis Awareness Month – and just imagine the rich color that small little detail can bring to your life.

The wind has arrived early, blowing in cooler mornings, dousing the late afternoon heat in the evening, and turning the sky from a bright blue to a deep violet. I can feel the shift between the earth changing over to a new season and how it changes the colors in my own life. I believe there’s a reason Arthritis Awareness Month falls in September – it’s so we can recognize, honor, and even celebrate the changing colors of our disease.

1 Comment

  1. Kathy Pierce on September 12, 2022 at 8:45 am

    Very poetic and beautifully written. I don’t often give enough thanks for mostly having a pain free body. I too have enjoyed the heat of summer by cooling off in the lovely waters of Aloette Lake. My effortless exercising of swimming for an hour with the message from my leg muscles the next day that I did indeed have a workout. Pacing myself with alternate days of swimming and over a few weeks noticing that my leg muscles have strengthened and my stamina has increased.
    It is good to tune into our bodies and I look forward to the cooling off of fall temps so I can have cycling adventures on my ebike to take me further and further afield.
    Even thought relatively healthy I find I need to build confidence in my physical capacity to endure and set my sites on greater and greater goals.

Leave a Comment

The information on this site are stories based on my personal experiences and is not intended for medical advice. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. All content is original and owned by the author and shall not be used or duplicated without express and written permission.

If You Like What You See

Some people have inquired if there’s a place to donate on my blog. This is for those who would like to offer extra support for my work and I thank you for this.

A bigger thank you to all my readers who offer ongoing support simply by stopping by for a visit. I enjoy writing and interacting with you.

About me

J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.