A good day, though, can make it hard for someone to understand the disease. "How can you not feel well on Thursday when you felt great on Wednesday?" "Your joints can't be that bad if they feel good some days. You must not really be sick, maybe you're just complaining." "We all have pain."
Sometimes, those of us with chronic pain would love to punch those people in the face. Even during the worst flare there can be good days: and, just a thought here, maybe the massive doses of prednisone may actually be doing their job and making me not feel like shit. But hey, I'm no doctor.
At the same time, you have to give the average person a break on this one. They literally cannot comprehend what chronic pain feels like. They haven't experienced the ever present fatigue. The way that the "same" pain feels worse and worse the longer it lasts, just because it never lets up. That constancy is an alien concept to them. And often, they don't think about the fact that you don't just hurt during waking hours- it hurts through the night, often keeping some of us up for half the night, making it that much harder to deal with the next day. For most average people the longest they've been uncomfortable was the time they had the flu, or maybe they tore an ACL playing sports. Both of those suck, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Often times for us, it can feel like the tunnel will never end. Or, worse even, we can see the light , but it seems to get father away from us with each passing day; a painful reminder of how little control we have sometimes.
Earlier this week I had a "good day". I only needed 2 doses of ibuprofen and I didn't need a knee brace. But I still didn't have time to put on makeup for work, or do anything other than a braid to my hair, because I needed more time to wake up my joints and get started for the day. That's part of ensuring a good day, giving yourself plenty of time to "prepare."
Sometimes the face of arthritis has a smile on it because a day with a moderate amount of pain is so much better than a day with severe pain.