Posted in Living Life As I See Fit

I am not in remission


But I wish I was.  Rheumatoid Arthritis and the quest for remission, in my opinion, is like trying to locate the holy grail or it is like an exclusive country club. I have read all the information about remission and I have digested it like I would a religious script.   Research indicates that each of us with RA has a chance at remission.  I think I got there and missed it.  I figure – When we are there, we will know we are there.  It is like the Supreme Court trying to define porn.  Justice Stewart, in 1964, said: “I will know it when I see it.” 

No more than 15 minutes of stiffness in the morning and no swollen joints for at least three months – that is remission.  Okay, well I will know it when I see it.  It is too good to be true but I plan on getting there or at least close to that.  I am still dealing with that Eustachian Tube Dysfunction issue from last month because of my weak immune system and I am hoping that I can avoid having to get an ear tube put in.  Let’s not talk about my luck and that decongestants and nasal spray are the only treatment.  I think I have more sinus infections than my entire family put together.   

They say that early treatment and combination treatment increase the chances of rheumatoid arthritis remission. Remission is also possible in those who have had the disease for a long time.  Early treatment within two years of the onset of symptoms puts a person at a 50 percent chance of achieving remission.   Mild disease activity and negative blood markers such as the rheumatoid factor increase your chances.  It has also been reported that RA patients have moderate disease activity compared to ten years ago because of the use of TNF inhibitors such as Humira and Enbrel. 

Apparently, I fall into that category of potential for remission but I am not in remission.  I suppose I will know it when I see it.  There is question that I have been thrown a lot of curve balls in recent months.  In addition, winter has also been harsh and the fluctuations in the weather, they are an arthritis sufferer’s worst nightmare.   

My life is changed drastically in the past few months and while I am scared, I am happy.   I am starting a new job and my marital status has changed to “separated.”  I don’t know where that puts me but I am hoping for remission.  My master’s degree will be complete come summer and with my new job, the sky’s the limit.  My marriage – I don’t know but time will tell. 

Right now, I know that I have achieved a lot and I know that I have come a long way from being a newly diagnosed RA patient.  When I was first diagnosed, I was scared of my diagnosis and the future. Now, I am optimistic and hopeful.   I advocate for arthritis and for fibromyalgia and who wants a negative advocate?  I am hopeful and optimistic about remission and my plan is to get there or close enough.   

I am a different person than I was before my brother became ill and passed away.  I am a much different person than I was at the onset of my RA and fibro diagnoses and I am a different person than I was before RA and Fibro.  I have learned to love myself despite my flaws and despite my conditions.  I have learned that I need to stop being this perfectionist because there is no such thing.  I am human and I laugh, cry, and bleed like everyone else.   

I am not superwoman and I am tired of trying to be superwoman.  I am also tired of those who expect me to be superwoman. Trying to be super means my body is stressed and my chances of remission are greatly reduced and I want remission more than anything. As a result, I have done away with factors and people in my life that don’t understand how much stress that I am in.  I am sad that my health suffered as a result but I am optimistic and hopeful for a second chance at remission.  My RA is a lot better than it was a couple years ago so I know that there is potential.

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4 thoughts on “I am not in remission

  1. Remission would be wonderful, but I honestly don’t expect it for myself. I am doing very well right now though. Who knows?
    Lana, you have too much going on, you have to slow down and take care of yourself. You amaze me with all that you accomplish, but just be easy on yourself.

    1. Terry, you know me. If I want something, I work for it. It might happen or I might get close. I couldn’t imagine myself slowing down but I am learning to change my perspective on a lot of things. That is helping. I know that I am a lot happier than I have been in a long time.

  2. I hope remission comes to you for a LONG time, you deserve it! You are a super strong gal though, I totally admire that in you. So far my FMS hasn’t returned since having the baby. I hear from most that a flare usually hits pretty heavy within the first few months—eeeee! I hope not!

  3. Interesting. I also am hunting the elusive remission and I can’t quite seem to find it. I do know what it looks like because I spent most of my early childhood in remission and its just been the last 3 years that have been the never ending flare.

    I’m curious about the moderate disease while on biological drugs. I was just told I have moderate RA and I’m also on Enbrel. I often wonder if those of us who have been on it for a long time (over 10 years for me) have built up a resistance. I also hope that changing from one drug to another can help since that is next on my list of things to do after surgery.

    I will cross my knobby fingers and send out a shout to the man upstairs for a remission for both of us.

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