Posted in chronic, Fibromyaloga, joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis

My Life Is Not Normal, But I Make Lemonade Everyday

I have rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and I know that I will never be “normal” nor will my life. I am mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a legal assistant, and a legal student. So many people rely on me on daily basis. My life was far from normal to start with.

When I watch the world move hastily and with ease, it really gets me real emotional. I have forgotten what it is like to be healthly, and not in pain. Mornings are tough for me. I usually have not gotten to sleep until real late because of the pain and the sleep problems associated with fibromyalgia. I sometimes feel like both these conditions have dominated all my 33 and half years on this earth.

The fact is, it has been less than two years since both diagnoses. Some mornings, I can get out of bed with little stiffness and pain, and other mornings; it feels like I have been run over by a truck. I am lucky though. I know others with these chronic pain conditions that need help getting out of bed. I can still work, care for my family, attend to my studies and take care of my home.

However, my marriage has suffered, and I find that my husband has had a lot of difficulty adjusting to what is happening to me. I don’t understand it, but I know my husband, and denying that I am sick, makes things easier for him. Deep inside, he knows I am going to get worse, and he knows if he says it out loud, it will hit him as hard a baseball in the face.

Getting myself and my children out the door every morning is a difficult task. My husband is long gone to work by the time I wake up. I get up early enough to stretch my muscles and deal with the morning stiffness and pain. I go straight to the kitchen where I keep my RA and Fibro medications and my supplements and take those with food. If I do not take them with food, I end dealing with stomach issues the rest of the day. I have to take baby steps getting myself and my boys ready for the day. My feet, ankles and knees don’t always want to move.

Some days it is better, some days worse. This morning it was very difficult getting my seat belt on because my hands hurt very badly. Driving to the daycare, I watch people walking and riding bikes and I know that these are things I cannot do. The pain is too bad. I look at my boys, ages 11 months and 9 years old, and I wish I could spend more time with them instead of being tired and in pain all the time. I remember how much time by nine year and I used to spend in the park and the sports we used to play. I remember that when he was learning karate I was learning with him, because I would help him practice. We studied wrestling moves last year and practiced those, and we spend so much time walking and getting fresh air while we were getting to know our new neighborhood.

For me, that life looks a movie that my DVD plays over and over as a constant reminder of who I used to be. I remember my nine year old when he used to tag along to the gym with me two years ago, and how he couldn’t get stay out of trouble. That me no longer exists, and it hurts more than the physical pain does. It is even painful to hold the baby. I am lucky to have my nine year who is the best big brother in the world. While I would I love to curl up in bed all day and hide under my covers, I can’t let RA and fibromyalgia get the best of me. I have to continue my life while focusing on my health. When I get to work, I again have to take baby steps to get from the parking lot to my office. I type for a living and some days, I have to type with hand, finger, wrist and shoulder pain, and it is getting harder by the day. Before my diagnoses, I knew I would be successful at everything I did, but now I just want to make it through the day and provide for my family the best that I can.

Every evening, I think about my day and what I have done despite RA and Fibromyalgia. Life has given me lemons and I have made lemonade. There is a lot to be said. I can’t control RA and Fibromyalgia and what they have done to me and what they have taken from me and the people I love, but I can control how I feel.The thing that both these chronic pain conditions have not taken from me is my spirit. Deep inside, I am the same determined, strong, and intelligent woman that I have always been. I can still succeed because I know that I am not alone. I am not fighting these conditions alone and there is an army out there dealing with chronic invisible conditions as well, and I think about how important awareness is. I talk about my conditions every opportunity I get, on my blog and in my life. I know that there is hope and because my conditions are capable of going into remission, there will someday be cure. I have hope and even if a cure does not happen in my lifetime, it will happen someday, and there will be hope for future generations.


11 thoughts on “My Life Is Not Normal, But I Make Lemonade Everyday

  1. Thanks for dropping by my blog, Lana. I do SO understand this post. I try not to think about the old me very much and try to move forward as much as possible, but sometimes it is hard not to. My kids are a little older and remember the long bike rides and swimming in the lake. I still swim sometimes but not if it is cold, because then I will ache for the rest of the day. It's hard to say "I can't today, sweetie" when my heart wants to say the opposite. Anyways… hang on, and keep making that lemonade.Blessings, Mallen

  2. I so identify with your post and thank you for it. My daughters are 10 years apart and I am a totally different person with my youngest because of my fibromyalgia.I've had pain (migranes, neck problems, back problems, chronic pelvic pain) since I was a teen, but always been able to push through it. I thought that I would always be able to push through pain and didn't understand why other people couldn't until fibromyalgia became part of my life.Almost overnight I went from being a crazy, busy mother to not being able to take a shower. I had to find daycare for my 2 year old and had an immense amount of guilt about it. My husband does most of the housekeeping and daily chores now, something that I used to do with ease.It has taken me a year to start to come to terms with my life as it is now. I say starting to come to terms because I go back and forth on accepting where I am and not accepting it. I still long for those crazy days when I could "do it all". I know my 13 year old and husband miss them.For now, I have to embrace the little successes like reading my 2 year old a book or staying up late to talk about life with my 13 year old. That is what gets me through to tomorrow. I'm not sure it's a full glass of lemonade, but it's a start.

  3. Thank you both for visting my blog. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That is all you can do. I have faith my family, my medical providers and myself that I will keep going as long as I can. You have to have that attitude or these condtions will consume you.

  4. I can remember those painful, exhausted times like they were only a moment ago. One never forgets that level of sickness or feeling of helplessness. I just encourage you to step into each new moment with hope and look for a way out. Don't give up. Occasionally God provides them when we look AND expect them. I'm reaching for the sweet lemonade plus the cookies right now! How about you, dear one?? Cinda

  5. I have been active my entire life and it sucks having to give up some of that control over what I want do to RA. I have always pushed myself to do more and I continue to push myself after being diagnosed. I've never been one to sit around and whine, instead I stand around whining about hurting from doing too much the day before. LOL

  6. All is you can do is move on tharr. The world keeps moving and we have to keep moving. RA makes things harder, but there is a lot to be said about people with chronic pain conditions, strength is one of those.

  7. You are doing amazing things in your life even though your life has changed so much in the last year. Hopefully the sweetness comes soon.

  8. Your post really toughed me. I hope you find peace and joy in each day. Look at everything you’ve been blessed with! I know it is hard. I hate mornings too. Such a struggle some days. But there are people that understand. Thank you for your blog! ~ Peter

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