Encountering Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Modern Princess and the Pea | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Encountering Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Modern Princess and the Pea

A modern princess and the pea

modern princess and the peaWe were talking about featherbeds the other day and I recalled the fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea. My imagination wandered into a modern princess and the pea…

A woman was traveling across the country to visit her son for a holiday. It was a long drive, so she planned to stop for the night. She made reservations at a nice hotel where she had stayed in the past.

It was dinnertime when she approached the front desk. The crowded lobby was dominated by a talk show on a loud wall television. She fumbled for her credit card, getting herself organized while she waited in line.

Queen bed, check.  Non-smoking, yes.  Coffee pot, of course.  Ironing board – are they crazy? Room 212, “Here’s your door key.”

Off she shuffled around the corner, pulling her bag into the elevator, then across the hall. The door was heavy.

Sore from the car ride, the woman hoped to go to bed early. She clicked on the TV, changed her clothes, and gathered the extra pillows from the closet.  A good night’s rest will make tomorrow’s drive much easier.

Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis – like things that go bump in the nightPrincess and pea post 2

An hour passed. The movie ended. The woman cried out in pain. She sat up and called the front desk, “Hello. I’ve stayed here before. What is wrong with this mattress? It feels like it has nails inside of it!”

“Really? We’ll send someone up right away,” the night clerk utter robotically. The housekeeping woman checked the mattress thoroughly as she spread out fresh sheets and blankets. Everything looked good.

The weary traveler got back on the bed. A half-hour later, she was on the phone again. “I am sure there must be something wrong with this mattress. I feel like I’m being bruised just lying here.” When the clerk told the night manager about the call, they had an idea. Let’s put a feather bed from the executive suite onto her mattress. That will certainly make her happy.

Twenty minutes later, the woman got in bed once more. It did feel softer so maybe now she could get some sleep. An hour passed.

The night manager rolled his eyes when his phone rang again. They devised a plan to deal with her once and for all. “We’ll tell her that we found the sharp object inside the mattress and removed it once and for all. Then we’ll put another feather bed over top of the first one. She’s probably just a nut – thinks this is the Princess and the Pea or something.”

Princess and pea & Signs of Rheumatoid ArthritisThe woman did not make any more phone calls until she was in her car. Waiting in line to buy breakfast from a drive up window, she called her son. “I finally slept, but I’m sore from head to toe. I feel like I was run over by a freight train. I wonder what the problem is with that bed. It’s like a modern princess and the pea.”

Postblog: Many people suffer signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis for years without knowing why they have so much pain. Soreness and stiffness upon waking is just one little sign of RA that can emerge before RA is diagnosed. Stay tuned next time for a more serious treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis sleep issues: Rheumatoid Arthritis Sleep Issues.

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Kelly O'Neill Young

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked over 10 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over thirteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

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29 thoughts on “Encountering Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Modern Princess and the Pea

  • February 1, 2010 at 12:07 pm
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    LOL… Kelly, I absolutely relate to this! I have purchased a 6″ memory foam topper for my bed, and a memory foam knee pillow, and still my bed feels comparable to sleeping on concrete. I so look forward to your post on sleep issues, I feel like I drag myself through a fog of sleep deprivation daily!

    Reply
    • February 2, 2010 at 7:50 am
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      I think you are on the right track. I’ve done something similar to my bed.

      Reply
  • February 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm
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    i totally love it when a serious issue like RA is spoken about with such ease, along with a dash of humor…. once i went shoe shopping with my dad and stepped out of the store crying out loud because i had developed swelling in my feet while trying the shoes on and still couldnt find a single pair which wouldnt feel as if i was walking barefeet on stones!! the shop guy’s expressions clearly said “what a spolit brat…thinks she is too damn special for even the most expensive pair of shoes in the store”

    Reply
    • February 2, 2010 at 7:54 am
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      Shweta, I’ve had the same experience at a shoe store. I was in complete agony. My feet were swollen huge & I felt like I was standing on rocks inside my skin. My dr. had sent me there for “healthy running shoes” & everything I tried hurt too much. The guy at the store thought I was nuts.

      Reply
  • February 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm
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    LOL! Love the art, too! 🙂

    Reply
    • February 2, 2010 at 8:00 am
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      Thank you, Caysea. My daughter & I had been working at this for a while. I’m so excited to work w/her on some little projects. I miss her so much (college).

      Reply
  • February 2, 2010 at 2:12 am
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    great post, could totally relate and my husband and his father call me the princess and the pea LOL! i cant wait to show this to them!! cannot wait to hear about sleep issues, I am so tired of being tired and tossing and turning…

    Reply
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  • May 16, 2010 at 9:01 am
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    OMG, how appropriate after the lousy night’s sleep I just had!! I just couldn’t get comfortable, was itchy, my bad knee just throbbed…..I’m dragging butt today, but I had to laugh when I read this. Thanks for being so timely, once again.

    Reply
  • May 16, 2010 at 10:31 am
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    Sometimes I dread the thought of going to bed and want to cry because I know how miserable the night will be. Very hard to get the required hours of sleep when you wake up every few hours because of pain.

    I have heard a lot about memory foam toppers so that is on my list now to buy.

    Reply
    • May 19, 2010 at 9:08 am
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      Janet, I was that way to until I got my new bed a couple of years back. Now I sleep like a rock & that is my favorite place. You might want to read the posts on sleep here and here. The end of that last post describes my personal bed solution – I just encourage you to find one that is comfortable. It makes a difference.

      Reply
  • May 24, 2010 at 1:12 pm
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    Frequently, and undiagnosed, a friend comes with the RA called Fibromyalgia. This, I think, is where the “run over by a truck” feeling comes from. I have both. Feels like every cell in your body is achy.

    Reply
  • July 24, 2010 at 3:00 pm
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    :inlove: :panda: :panda: :panda: :panda: :worship:

    Reply
  • September 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm
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    I was actually looking for an article on nodules, as I’ve found a lump on the inside of my elbow that is painful, when I came across this…very funny stuff! I can so relate. Mixing the nodules and sleeplessness, I have a couple of spots (1 on my rib about midway up my back on the right side and 1 on the rib under my right breast) that when I touch or lay in such a way that puts pressure on them, it makes me wanna stick to the ceiling like the cat with claws when spooked!! OMG it hurts! Anyways, they don’t look like the nodule pix that I’ve found on the internet, so I don’t know if that’s what they are. Any input? Thanx heaps!!! <3<3

    Reply
    • September 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm
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      Hi Raini, elbows are typical for nodules, but usually on the back I think. But they can be anywhere. Did you show your doc? Can you get someone to take a picture too in case it changes before s/he sees it?

      Reply
  • November 4, 2011 at 10:51 am
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    I laughed when I read this……for years I have often thought of this fairy tail when little things about my bed made me hurt and feel like there was a mountain where only a crumb exsisted. I have only just been told within the last couple of months that I have RA.

    Reply
  • January 20, 2014 at 10:48 am
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    For years (21 at least) I have explained to everyone that I could not sleep well because I felt like the Princess and the Pea. I have never heard anyone else use this, but this must be a VERY REAL issue in the lives of our RD friends. The right bed can make things so much better. I couldn’t buy a featherbed at the time but I had 6 nice feather pillows,so I put them next to each other under the mattress pad nicely and It worked wonders. Hang in there and HAPPY SLEEPING wishes your way.

    Reply
  • December 5, 2014 at 6:25 pm
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    I love it! Ineffective Rheum #3 prescribed sleeping pills (and nothing else) when I spoke of this particular symptom. I started laughing because I totally thought she was kidding!

    Reply
  • December 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm
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    I think one could add a pillow count to DAS28. 5 or more is a symptom.

    Reply
  • December 6, 2014 at 11:28 am
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    I was so pleased to read this, for years I have not slept well dispite buying over the last 5 years a new memory foam mattress, a new deluxe pocket sprung matress, mattress topper and too many pillows to shake a stick at! I am not going mad! Wishing all RA warriors a good nights sleep x

    Reply
  • February 16, 2015 at 8:44 pm
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    pricess and the pea is exactly how I have described it to my husband. Thank goodness for the information that you share.

    Reply
  • March 26, 2017 at 9:36 am
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    Some nights my bed feels so comfy and then other nights the pillows are rocks and the bed fights back.

    Reply
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