I didn’t realize that what i was dealing with was in all likelihood rheumatoid arthritis until my new job pointed out that i wasn’t making my time requirements and i began downing 2 monster drinks a day in order to meet my quota (which i then began doing). It felt like i had electricity in my veins and i was fast fast fast for 8.5 hours. My phone clocked me as jogging 10 miles per shift and i sprinted the orders through the parking lot rather than moseying. however, the faster i got, the more my right knee began to buckle. My ankles felt like they were eating themselves from the inside and it got to a point where i couldn’t make it from the bed to the bathroom without my knee dislocating every step or every two steps. My life became a regiment of braces, wraps, tape, and ointments. I had to get up 4 hours before it was time to leave for work every day and had to bind my joints with ace wrap just to stand in the shower. My fingers began to ache at the joints and things began to swell. My legs looked like they belonged to a really heavy person at the end of the day and my finger joints became swollen and knobby. Sleeping became harder and harder. I would clench my teeth at night and wake up with lock jaw. I would be aware of the pain through any hours of sleep i managed to obtain and sleep itself ceased to be restful. Friends and family started mentioning arthritis to me. They would say “you ought to cut out the caffeine” or “that sounds like rheumatoid arthritis”. But, it wasn’t something that had occurred to me. I was 32. Then i remembered when the joint pain had first started. During the second week of my first bought with Covid in March. I had excruciating joint pain and muscle aches. It had gotten better over time but it never went away. Then i began downing 2 monster drinks a day and i guess i made it ten times worse. I googled “covid – rheumatoid arthritis” and realized scientists were studying patients in china who presented with rheumatoid arthritis in one or several joints following their recovery from covid with no prior history or family history of arthritis. As far as they could tell, the longterm side effect appeared permanent as the arthritis did not subside once the patients tested negative for covid-19 for several months. I sighed. I had survived but it was hard to fully understand at what cost, because, we haven’t really studied this beast yet. We don’t really understand it. I can’t open a textbook and read about it at length. Well, i tried all sorts of creams and ointments. Eventually, i went to the local health food store and asked for a cbd product for arthritis. They sold me one and i popped one of the beige horse pills. As i sat in the car reading the label, i realized i had to take it back. I knew they wouldn’t give me a refund because i opened the bottle, but i realized it had to go back. It said “full complex cbd”. When i googled those words it said that meant the thc was not extracted. It could cause you to fail a drug test if taken over time and allowed to build up in the body. Disappointed, i dutifully returned it to the store. I went about running my errands for the day. About thirty minutes later, i was getting into the car in a walmart parking lot and i realized my fingers didn’t hurt. My knee didn’t hurt. My ankles didn’t hurt. I had no pain. It was utterly and completely gone. I mean, gone. I felt like i was 30 again. I felt at rest. It was so good to feel good. I sat behind the steering wheel and cried. I cried because i was happy to be out of pain and i cried because i knew i could never experience this again…not if i wanted to hold a job. It lasted 6 hours. I got the chores done in 15 minutes. I carried bags of chicken feed and dog food and jugs of water. I walked around the kitchen. I cooked. I made trips to the bathroom without my ankle and knee braces. I couldn’t believe how blissful pain-free time could be. 6 hours after i had taken the pill the effects wore off and i was riddled with pain and joint instability once more. I buried my face in my pillow and cried; this time tears of sadness and anguish. It was like a light had been turned on, illuminated everything, and then gone out, and it was dark once more. I wanted that pain relief again. I wanted it not to be over. I began researching online. I found a company who was top rated and used a third party lab to ensure their products contained 0% thc. I bought a vial of thc free cbd oil. It would take 5 to 7 business days to ship. Unfortunately, i bought it on a friday night. In the meantime i completely quit caffeine and began downing turmeric tea and putting turmeric in everything i cooked. I popped advil like candy and waited eagerly for the cbd to ship. At work, because i was no longer on insane amounts of caffeine, my superiors were hounding me to be faster. So, i had to hustle that much harder to make up for the fact that i was not on energy drinks. This meant wrapping and bracing all my joints tightly and ignoring pain. But, something else was happening. I was losing sensation in my fingers. I could feel pain in my finger joints but i could no longer feel if i was holding the plastic bag handles in my hand, nor could i feel how tightly or loosely i was holding an object. All this amounted to me dropping items i was trying to grasp, which my coworkers covered by saying “i got you” and running to the appropriate aisle to grab the replacement item before i had to take the order out to the customer. I was already older than most of them there. I was slower without my energy drinks. I was now having to use my eyeballs to see if my fingers were grasping the items i reached for. All i could do was wait for this cbd to come in the mail. More than anything, it was my knuckles that bothered me. When i looked at them i saw an old person’s hands. I wished “express ship” was an option but it wasn’t. I would have to wait. Patience was never a strength i possessed. I hoped that the damage being done to my joints was reversible, i prayed for the thc free cbd oil to arrive, and i hustled to make up for it all at work. I hustled hard, pushing myself to make those time quotas, running on determination alone and willing myself to ignore buckling joints and screaming pain. Lord help me…send cbd.