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Hope Rheumatoid Arthritis

Don’t make decisions for tomorrow based on today. 

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Today was one of the worst days I’ve had in my five year battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I woke up hurting but taped myself together and took three tabs of ibuprofen as I dropped my son off at school.

As soon as I got on the road to start my 50 minute commute, my elbows (freshly taped this morning) were so painful and felt so weak that I had to switch back and forth between each arm to hold the steering wheel. My hands started swelling and my knuckles wouldn’t crack, no matter how hard I tried. I grabbed my heavy compression gloves and put them on at a red light.

My knee decided to join the party a few minutes later. Since I was driving, there wasn’t much I could do except massage it (and punch it) with the tennis balls I keep in my center console.

By the time I arrived to work, my eyes were red from crying and I was exhausted.  Continue reading

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Unwelcome Glimpse into the Future

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Last week, I fell down the stairs, right on my ass (I’m fine). It hurt like hell to do anything- sit, stand, lay down..not fun. As if falling wasn’t terrifying enough, my recovery gave me a glimpse of what my future with Rheumatoid Arthritis might hold, and that was awful.

I fell on a Friday night. Saturdays are when I typically go to the grocery store, Target, do laundry, clean up the house, etc..but this time I was in tremendous pain and really uncomfortable. My husband made me promise that I wouldn’t go anywhere without him, so he could help me. In theory, I love help. In reality, I hate it. Why? I hate not being independent. It drives me insane. Just leaving my car at the dealership for an afternoon and having to feel “stranded” at home really bothers me.

Up until my fall, my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis was as predictable as it could be. Even though my pain can be horrible, I know how horrible it will get. I know that although I will need a nap, I can go to Target by myself. My fall opened my eyes to what my life with RA could be in a few years or even a few days. The pain was relentless..my huge ice packs, prescription pain meds, and compression gear weren’t giving me even the tiniest bit of relief like they usually do. I needed help to do everything including reaching my water bottle on the coffee table a few feet away.

This terrifies me because I know how quickly my quality of life can change. Five years ago, I didn’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis. I could run, I could do a push-up, I could go out late at night with friends. Four years ago, I couldn’t walk down the stairs or bend my elbow. And now, I can’t survive without strong pain meds, lidocaine patches, a brace on my knee, and doctors appointments almost every week. In a year, I could be asking for help reaching my water and not being able to do anything on my own.

So, what do I know? I know that I’m going to keep fighting. I’m going to keep pushing through each day, one day at a time.