I have tweaked last year’s letter to my RA in the New Year.
Here we are headed into year five sharing the same body. Well, it is year five since I found out you were the one wreaking havoc on my immune system but it is much longer if you count the time you stalked me before. While I wish I could divorce you out of this bad marriage, it seems we were married under the Roman Catholic Church and I am stuck with you. No annulment because of the time frame and like my student loan debt, I am stuck with you for life.
Here is the thing: for 2013, I am ready to take putting up with you to a whole new level. Maybe you can go on a vacation for a while – somewhere freezing cold or scolding hot perhaps – a year maybe two while I enjoy remission. While you guaranteed I did not enjoy remission in 2012; I have accomplished more than I did in prior years. I made changes to my diet and I lost weight and I gave you more than you expected from me.
I did what I promised. I lost well over 30 pounds and I made healthy choices. You fought back with the nausea and hair loss so my hair did not have an opportunity to grow back. After all, you are the reason I have continued to use methotrexate and while it has helped some, it has not managed to keep you tamed. Meanwhile, my stylist, Peter, still misses me and I still miss him and I can’t see Peter if my hair refuses to grow and is falling out. You are still in the way of mine and Peter’s relationship and I need Peter to feel beautiful. Well played, but it doesn’t appear that you have won the entire battle because the weight loss and diet changes have made me feel prettier and happier and above all, they have kept you tamed.
By the way, you still are not reliable. See, all those family events I wanted to evade in 2012, you were quiet as a mouse and when I had an important work project or quality time event, you managed to do what you always do, keep me in bed. I spent most of the summer reeling from infections and flare ups. How can I be successful in my career and enjoy my personal relationships if you are always in my way with the brain fog, the forgetfulness, and the joint pain?
Despite your havoc to my body throughout 2012, I still won. You wanted to keep in bed and I did not give in. I fought you as much as you fought me. You kept trying to take away from me the things I cared about and I told you it really was not up to you. I fought back by making diet and lifestyle changes. I wanted to further my career and I wanted to spend time with my family and friends and sometimes, you did ruin my plans but you didn’t get to ruin my life like you had in prior years. I fought you so that I would remain a productive member of the human race and while you made my life difficult at times, I still won. Okay, so maybe you were kind and cut me some very minimal slack in 2012, so I am asking you do the same in 2013. No wait – I am demanding.
I am demanding for more mornings where I am not hunched over in pain and for you to allow me to be a fighter more often. I am demanding to have more days where I can feel beautiful and normal and just not sick. I don’t think that this is too much to ask considering you invited yourself in my life all those years ago. I have no plans to foreclose upon you, or have you arrested and I cannot really throw you off a tall building. The way I see it, you are just as stuck with me as I am stuck with you.
The fact is that I am not negotiating with you in 2013 nor am I begging. I am taking my life back because this life is no longer on your terms. The fact is you came into my life uninvited and yeah, I am still kind of bitter about that. Sore subject, but I cannot throw you out, I cannot pay you to move away and I sure as heck cannot send you to the Bermuda Triangle so my animosity is warranted.
In 2013, I am not asking you to behave, I am telling you to behave. If you want to be especially good, may, just maybe, you can offer me remission. You can also hold off on the dry skin and eyes thing. I have gotten used to paying an arm and a leg for eye drops and lotion so it does not bother me as much as you think. Now, I still struggle with the brain fog and the times were I want to say the right things and the words do not always come out of my mouth in the same way that I think them. Can you please chill out on messing with my brain so much? I am asking nicely and maybe you can offer more mornings without joint pain? I am going to keep eating healthy, taking my medications, and being active so you cannot have every one of my mornings but I will take more if you want to be generous. You won in 2012 with all those infections but in 2013, I am going to challenge you.
Last year, I wanted to be on better terms with you and I was willing to compromise but you kept fighting back every time you saw me getting better. So, there is no more nice gal from me. This is the way it is. The only thing I can offer you is that I am willing to accept that you are here to stay. I am willing to give into my pain and rest when things aren’t going well but I will continue to keep fighting so that my symptoms stay away. I am glad that we can be on common ground now even if it means we are rivals from this point forward.
These are my terms. Live with them or get out of my way!
The Boss of the Body with RA
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you are all blessed with a happy, healthy and pain free 2013!