Many of you have asked me how Humira has been working for me, and I have been hesitant to respond. The reason for that is because I am simply not sure. I just want to find a whole bunch of wood and just knock on it over and over. I took my first injection only two weeks ago and I will be taking my second this morning.
It is has been exactly one year since my official RA diagnosis and in the past year, I have not lived one day without pain. I do not even remember what it is like to be “normal,” as if any of us suffering from a chronic pain condition know what normal is.
For the past two months, I have dragged my left foot around hoping that I will be able to move normally again, and that I would remember what it was like not to be in pain from my knee down to my toes. (Get this! I have been wearing the same pair of hippie slippers day after day because nothing else fits due to the swelling in my ankle and foot. And Boy, are they ugly slippers!)
In addition to my foot pain, I have had days where I have not been able to buckle my seatbelt or the baby’s car seat – I am so grateful for my wonderful nine year old – he is my rock, and he has helped me through those tough days. There were days where I have had to type at work dealing with pain in my wrists and my fingers. Even resting my elbows on my desk is painful. There were days where I was too weak to clean my house or even get out of bed. It has been very hard for me to walk a quarter a mile from my office to the parking garage. I have to rest because my legs do not want to move and my hips and my back feel like they can no longer take it. There were days where it hurt just to pick up the baby and I was afraid I would drop him. Fortunately for me, he walked before his first birthday. And yes, don’t forget the days (short-lived) that I could conquer the world (or at least my life). Did I mention the brain fog? I could definately do without that.
This has been the norm for me for the last year. I have found my strength in the smiles on my children’s faces and in prayer. I have accepted it and I have accepted that pain is apart of my life. I don’t take anything for granted like being able to get up in the morning without that same pain that I have had in my foot for the last two months. Yes, you read that right. The realization that the pain in my foot has subsided is something I never anticipated. Of course, the stiffness and the inability to move my leg and foot are still there, but the pain is nearly gone.
It could be the Humira, it could the entire medicine regime I take everyday, or it could be me running towards remission (okay, I am thinking big), but I don’t take it for granted. This is my first big accomplishment with my rheumatoid arthritis and I wanted to share it with the RA community of bloggers. This may seem like a small victory, but for me, it is big, especially considering that I have not had a break in nearly a year. Small victories can turn into big victories.
I don’t know what the future holds and I know that there will be setbacks. I don’t even know if remission is possible for me, but I have hope, and I know that I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I have always been a positive and resilient person, and even when life hands me lemons, I make lemonade with a smile. Underneath that smile, I always hold on to hope no matter what my struggles were.
In the last two years, I have been handed obstacle after obstacle, and yes, there were times where I wanted to give up, but I always reminded myself what I was fighting for. I fight my children, I fight for my marriage, and I fight for my health. My children and marriage won’t be successful if my health isn’t.
RA has forced me to give up some of my career dreams, but it has also opened my eyes up to a brighter picture and for that, I am grateful. I would describe it as needing glasses, and if you wear glasses or contacts, you know exactly what I mean. Things are much clearer when you put on your corrective lenses, aren’t they? I am not unhappy at the things I have given up, and I am actually grateful that I was given the opportunity to stop and smell the roses. And if not for RA, I would have never known how sweet smelling those roses were.
UPDATE: 11:30 a.m.: The stiffness and feeling is coming back into my leg, knee, ankle and foot, and I am having a hard time keeping my balance. Apparently, I have forgotten how to walk without limping, pain and stiffness. Isn’t RA wonderful?