RA Sins in Sin City

J.G. Chayko in Sin City

At the end of 2019, we took our annual trip to Vegas – it was a much-needed vacation after a year long program with the Writer’s Studio. The desert calls to me and it always offers a reprieve from painful joints. Winter or summer, the dry environment makes RA disappear from my world for just a little while.

Our Vegas vacation is more about relaxing rather then gambling or running around the city. I don’t do the night club scene, I see the occasional show, but mainly I lounge on a patio, read a good book, people watch, enjoy some good food, good wine, and my partner’s company – and occasionally, I like to break the rules – the RA rules.

When I say break the rules, I mean I stray from my regular routine of doing all the right things and indulge in little bit of decadent sin. There are so many things in chronic illness we are advised to avoid with good reason – limit or eliminate alcohol, don’t eat fried or fatty foods, and, of course, the big transgression for any autoimmune disease, no smoking. I am not a smoker nor am I an excessive drinker, but on special occasions, I like to step away from being the “good girl” and dive into the shadow of wantonness.

I need to break the rules every now and then, to detach myself from a life with chronic illness and remember what it feels like to be unbreakable if only for a few stolen moments. We’re bound by medications, physicians’ orders, flares, and responsibilities – sometimes it feels good to break the chains of restriction. It’s intoxicating to be untamed for a little while, like a wild horse running along the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

After an afternoon chasing ghosts at a haunted museum, exploring a delightful bookstore called The Writer’s Block, and a delectable dinner at the Chinese restaurant in our hotel, my fiancé and I took a late night stroll to a local bar and indulged in some very good whiskey and shared a very good cigar. I felt like I’d stepped back in time to the days of Prohibition and it felt deliciously wicked.

These moments of strength and well-being come around so briefly I need to take advantage of them. We know our own bodies; we know when it’s okay to bend the rules a little bit. I work hard all year taking care of my body, giving it the rest it needs, healthy food, lots of water, exercise, outdoor activity and even the occasional massage, but I also want to look back and say, in spite of the pain and inconvenience of living with RA, I stole little bits of errant pleasures.

Every now and then I want to be “the bad girl”, I want to give in to small rebellions, and once in a blue moon, indulge in a little bit of sin.






  1. Rick Phillips on January 26, 2020 at 5:25 pm

    Oh i bet the world can stand some serious JG sin. 🙂

    I hope you had a terrific time in Vegas.


    • J.G. Chayko on January 28, 2020 at 6:25 pm

      I had a lovely break, but now it’s time to get back to work 😉

  2. Shanon McQuitty on February 12, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    I think the need to break away without guilt is a way of taking back our lives… It’s hard to remember to do it… Great post!

    • J.G. Chayko on February 23, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Thank you 🙂 Sometimes we forget what it’s like to let go and live life with chronic illness. It’s always a pleasure to steal those moments. Hope all is well.

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.