I will start by saying that my blog is about who I am and how I have grown, preserved, and endured since being diagnosed.
I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia (FM) nearly five years ago after many years of dealing with symptoms that no doctor could explain. All I wanted was closure and, to me, that meant finding an answer to why I didn’t feel normal. Several days after having my now almost five year old, I awoke to the inability to walk or use my hands and within a week, I finally had a diagnosis and this time, it sank in that it was real thing.
Steroids, a lack of energy, and physical pain take a toll on you. What the illness does to us, we cannot control. How we respond, how we choose to fight back, and how we go on is our defense against the war waging inside of us. Imagine being in a dark room and trying to make your way around. Then, imagine that you find a light switch and the room becomes dim, not bright, but enough for you to navigate your way. For years, I was in the dark about what was happening to me, and then one day, the room became dimly lit. What I wanted was closure but instead I found that there were more questions than there were answers. I learned that I had to change my perceptions on what closure meant to me and in this case it meant accepting that chronic illness was now a part of my life.
One of the things that I do know is that I am not alone and that there were so many exceptional people who, like me, are looking for closure, answers and normalcy. I share my experiences because I want to live a “normal” life and I want others to see that it is okay to have a normal life and to keep dreaming, trying, believing and looking towards the future. I write about my life with RA and FMS, my diagnosis, and my quest to find answers and I continue to do so because when it gives others hope it gives me hope too.
I have found through my experience and the experiences of others dealing with the same conditions that living with arthritis and/or an autoimmune disease gets easier even though the disease gets harder. RA and FM may control how I physically feel but they do not control who I am or how I choose to respond. It is never going to be easy and some days, the emotional part is worse than the physical but we all struggle with something and for me, it is RA and FM.
People who don’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) might wonder why something as simple as walking, baking a pie, or picking up the kids can be a victory. We know better. Living with RA isn’t easy. That’s why every victory should be celebrated. UCB will provide The Arthritis Foundation $1 for every victory submitted by someone with Rheumatoid Arthritis, until the goal of $30,000 is met. So go ahead… be proud. Submit your victory and let us all celebrate it.
So how does one keep up the fight? You take it one day at a time. You get up every morning hoping that today is better. You don’t stay in bed and think hopeless thoughts. You live for today, you do what you can and you don’t allow yourself to worry about things getting worse. Be thankful for all the things you have rather than what you don’t have. Strive for the strength and courage to accept chronic illness with self-respect and humility. Take care of yourself and those who love you and support you. Enjoy the beauty of today and don’t spend your days worrying about tomorrow. This is all you can do and this is all any of us can do. From Do I Ever Feel Sorry for Myself? READ MORE. http://livinglifewithraandfms.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/do-i-ever-feel-sorry-for-myself/
Rheumatoid Connect is a social network that empowers people living with rheumatoid arthritis. We make it easy to start conversations, share treatments, read and post product recommendations, and much more.
"Hope is the belief in your ability to recover from whatever has knocked you down on any given day. Resilience is the ability to recover from the punch and the land on your feet, or on your own butt, or whatever supports you at that time. To cultivate your physical resilience, you must have mental resilience that comes from a place called hope.” From Women, Work, and Autoimmune Disease: Keep Working, Girlfriend! By Rosalind Joffe and Joan Friedlander
The Law of the Garbage Truck
Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they’ll dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don’t take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You’ll be happier. David J. Pollay
Check out my article “What does it mean to accept your chronic illness diagnosis” at Invisible Illness Week.
Disclaimer: This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. Nothing in this blog should be taken as medical or expert. I am not a medical professional. Any information presented on this blog or related endorsement is for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only. You should never consider any of the information presented here as a substitute for consulting with your physician or healthcare provider for any medical condition or concern. Any information presented here is merely general information. It is not medical advice, nor is it intended as advice for your personal situation. Please consult with your physician or health care provider if you have concerns about your health or suspect that you might have a problem.