Posted in Fibromyaloga, Motherhood, rheumatoid arthritis

I don’t have regrets . . .

People always ask me how I manage to live in pain nearly every day of my life with two chronic pain conditions. I often tell them that the pain is nothing compared to all the other symptoms and the unpredictability. Some days, it takes a lot out of just to wake up and get out of bed. Getting my children and myself up to start our day is another challenge. Carrying my toddler in and out of his car seat and making into work on time is challenging as well. Compared to what my days are like, the pain is the easiest part.

The fatigue consumes the majority of your days. The brain fog kicks in at the worst possible times. Add the pens and needles poking into your skin and coming from the weirdest places (i.e. what appears to be your kidney location), feeling gross because of how puffy you feel, and the fact that you feel like you weigh three times your normal weight because of the swelling. This morning, I woke up feeling like the tin man from the Wizard of Oz – someone please oil me!

I try to pretend that I am in control and that my conditions are not winning but I am starting to feel that there are not as many victories as there used to be. I hate the weight that I have gained because of my medications and my conditions. I know that regardless how upset I am about how much havoc RA and FMS have brought into my life, I still have a life to live. I take the stiff upper lip and focus on the big picture and the big picture is not about me – it is about my family. Of course, I am scared that I will add another 50-60 pounds to the ones I have already gained. I am also afraid of being disabled and not being a productive member of society. I hate not being able to be active because of how much I hurt and how little energy I have.

In all honestly, I don’t always recognize the person I see in the mirror. I feel cold in an unresponsive and unemotional way. I am numb and sometimes, I just want to feel something and I don’t know how I am supposed to when I have build this wall around me to keep me from hurting. I used to be tough in a much different way because I never used to dwell on things or let things get to me, but these days, all I want is to make it through the day. I want to spend as much time as I can with my children and just be happy and enjoy the little things and the small victories. I have concluded that I can only do so much. I don’t want to give up on my dreams but something tells me that perhaps, I need to put them on hold at least until my kids are older and need me less. If I want to prioritize, then my kids are first priority. I hate that I feel less than good enough to be their mother.

I am so used to always focusing on success and always fighting for that success but I am only human. I want the life that RA and FMS took from me, but since I don’t have choice, I have to learn to choose my battles. I can’t have it all even though I thought that I could in the past, but it took RA and FMS to send me to a screeching halt. I have never had an easy life but the one thing I don’t have is regrets. I don’t regret anything because all of those things led me here to the life that I have now, and it is a life that I am very content with. I understand that RA and FMS wreck havoc on my already busy life, but I also understand that I am not always in control. None of us is in control of our destinies.

There is a Rascal Flatts song called “Here” that stands out for me and reminds that the life that I had before that led me here to the place where I am at today. I wouldn’t change a thing even if I had to go back and relive that life. I don’t have any regrets and that says a lot about my character. I know that lately I am starting to question everything and I know that it is my conditions talking but our bodies tell us when we need to slow down and mine is telling to figure things out. My sister tells me to just get a housekeeper and continue to live my life and keep focusing on my goals. I am only hoping that it can be that simple but when has my life ever been simple?

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13 thoughts on “I don’t have regrets . . .

  1. What is most important to you in life? What things are you willing to give up, in order to focus on that?Those of us who have diseases that rob us of energy have to eventually accept the fact that no matter how hard we push, we aren't superheros.

  2. What a nice song, Lana. And an excellent post. RA and FMS absolutely change the lives of those who have to cope with them, day in and day out. Yet you're dealing with the changes and uncertainty with courage and strength. It's okay to feel cold and numb sometimes; it's okay to worry a bit about the future. It's these things that give us the momentum we need to keep moving, keep doing, keep striving, and keep fighting. And feeling that way also allows us to contrast it to the warmth and confidence we feel on other days. It all works together.Have a good Sunday. I hope you're able to take some "Lana" time today, just for you.-Wren

  3. Dee, without a doubt, the most important thing in my life is my kids and second, my health. I just so used to being able to do so much, and now my health is telling to me to "slow down." I still have six classes to finish up my master's degree. I have work because of we are financially but I have been thinking of part time but that would mean that my job would just be a job and not a career. Life gets complex when you realize your health is winning but I don't need to explain that to you – you know.

  4. Wren, thanks for your kind words. They always makea difference. I know that it is understandable to feel this way and I figure I am not the only one. Sometimes, it helps to express how we feel so we are not alone. I do know that I am not alone but I figure if I say it, others will understand they are not alone as well. We all need to hear it to keep sane, I suppose.

  5. Thank you for posting about having no regrets Lana. It is so true, even though our lives may have been rough, without hitting the pot holes in the road we would not be where we are today. I am going through a rough patch right now, but I know on the other side is a life I want to live. No regrets.Even though you may have to change your dreams or put them on hold, be fortunate you have kids and family.It is a true gift to have that love and support.((hugs))Teia

  6. I've only now found you and glad you let me visit. I love your post and how you successfully describe what it can be like to look, learn and live with RA. Blessings to you and thanks for having me. Hugs.. gentle ones. Tammy

  7. Good post Lana, you are able to translate what we go through to paper so well. The numbness is a way we are able to get through life, even though it robs us of happiness and often times shuts us off emotionally from the rest of the world. Great song.

  8. Thanks Tammy for your kind words. I figure someone has to say how they feel about these diseases. It gets repetitive after awhile but what I do know is that I am not alone. There are so many people that feel exactly what is that I am feeling.Terry, thanks. I have a tendency to get ahead of myself and I know that other RA and chronic pain bloggers won’t express their humans. I figure it’s my way of feeling human. You are right about the numbness helping us to make it through. I hate it but it is the only way to keep sane.

  9. Rachel,Living with these conditions does not mean the world will stop because we need it too. We are stuck with these diseases so we have to learn which battles to fight and which ones to let go of. At least, that is what I think.

  10. Heavens, don't I know the feeling of being almost too tired to breathe. My hubby and one of the roommates spent all day Saturday pressure washing the neighbor's house for a few extra bucks, and by the end of the day they were so tired they kept dozing off. I wanted soooooooo bad to tell them that I START the day that tired, but I was good and didn't. It wouldn't help anything, and would just make hubby feel guilty because he doesn't make enough money for me to be able to quit working.Have you ever noticed how much time we spend NOT saying things??

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