My Story

May 8, 2013

I have been thinking of updating my “about me” section for a while so it is long overdue.

I will start by saying that my blog is about who I am and how I have grown, preserved, and endured since being diagnosed.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia (FM) nearly five years ago after many years of dealing with symptoms that no doctor could explain.    All I wanted was closure and, to me, that meant finding an answer to why I didn’t feel normal.  Several days after having my now almost five year old, I awoke to the inability to walk or use my hands and within a week, I finally had a diagnosis and this time, it sank in that it was real thing.

Steroids, a lack of energy, and physical pain take a toll on you. What the illness does to us, we cannot control. How we respond, how we choose to fight back, and how we go on is our defense against the war waging inside of us. Imagine being in a dark room and trying to make your way around. Then, imagine that you find a light switch and the room becomes dim, not bright, but enough for you to navigate your way. For years, I was in the dark about what was happening to me, and then one day, the room became dimly lit.  What I wanted was closure but instead I found that there were more questions than there were answers. I learned that I had to change my perceptions on what closure meant to me and in this case it meant accepting that chronic illness was now a part of my life.

One of the things that I do know is that I am not alone and that there were so many exceptional people who, like me, are looking for closure, answers and normalcy.  I share my experiences because I want to live a “normal” life and I want others to see that it is okay to have a normal life and to keep dreaming, trying, believing and looking towards the future. I write about my life with RA and FMS, my diagnosis, and my quest to find answers and I continue to do so because when it gives others hope it gives me hope too.

I have found through my experience and the experiences of others dealing with the same conditions that living with arthritis and/or an autoimmune disease gets easier even though the disease gets harder. RA and FM may control how I physically feel but they do not control who I am or how I choose to respond. It is never going to be easy and some days, the emotional part is worse than the physical but we all struggle with something and for me, it is RA and FM.

I am the patient advocate for three Alliance Health online communities, Arthritis Connect , Rheumatoid Connect, and Fibromyalgia Connect. It is something I am very proud of and I ask that you join me so that you can find answers and give support to others who have a multitude of questions.

You can email me at livingit-lovingit AT

7 thoughts on “My Story

  1. I also have RA, OA, and Fibro. It’s inspiring to see others fighting and experiencing similar things. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I have RA, OA, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, spondylosis in my lower back and compressed nerves in my C3-4 and 5-6 vertebrae and sleep apnea. I am in constant pain or discomfort somewhere. My first flare with arthritis was in the mid 1980s in my right index finger. I have hurt for years but just in the past ten years finally diagnosed with RA and fibromyalgia. I was diagnosed with the nerve compression last year (2012) and have had two epidurals. I delaying having surgery as long as I can. I just found your blog. It is so refreshing to find your blog and read other’s daily issues. I don’t feel so alone. I am 55 years old and have been on disability for almost two years. I was a school teacher, and found I was losing my patience with dealing with all the students, school paperwork, getting papers graded, or even having the desire to plan for my daily lessons. It became a chore instead of a joy. Once I was out of work in 2010, through talking with my husband, I began to realize how difficult it had been for several years just standing on my feet to teach and monitor the students. How I had gotten to sitting more instead of walking around the classroom. How I was hurting all over all the time. That last year especially, I would come home and sit down and would fall asleep in no time. I stayed exhausted. I finally came to the realization that I just couldn’t do my job any more. Some days I just can’t make myself get up and do what I have to do. I began quilting, so that is my therapy. Many days I don’t even feel like doing that. I am too young to feel so old. I will be following your blog as often as I can. Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry my comment is so long.

    1. Hi Teresa. Thank you for coming by, reading and commenting. You are definitely not alone. Thanks for following and I hope that my words continue to help.

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