I apologize for going MIA for so long. I’ve been feeling sick and sad for myself for a number of months now. Frankly, I still feel like crap. You see, I knew that as I got older that aches and pains and new ailments would soon haunt me. I didn’t think that it would hit me so soon and so abruptly.
About 14 months ago, I started feeling lethargic, achy, and sore. The pain was concentrated in my joints. I chalked it up to a virus, stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, and so on. The pain continued after the Christmas candies and horrible eating patterns had come and gone. Working out was more than a challenge against my desire to be lazy in pajamas. It hurt.
My wrists, fingers, elbows, knees, toes, ankles, and hips all hurt. Then, I hurt my shoulder at work in February. I ended up with a damaged rotator cuff and impinged nerve. It distracted from the pain I felt everywhere else, and I was instructed by my physical therapist to take it easy at the gym. I thought my continued pain was from my lack of physical activity.
Nevertheless, the pain continued months after my shoulder had gotten better. The pain escalated to the point that I could not walk in the morning. The idea of getting off the couch to walk to bed was exhausting at night. Doing menial tasks like brushing my hair, emptying the dishwasher, or folding a towel became challenging. Things that brought me joy like playing with my two cats or doing one of the many crafty things I enjoyed no longer were fun but rather work.
My hands and joints began getting stiff and would lock up. My hips would give out after standing up. Sitting down on a four-hour long plane ride was sheer torture. Receiving a hug was terrifying because I didn’t want to get squeezed to hard. Seriously–freaking hugs hurt.
After giving in and going to a new primary care doctor and trying out a variety of anti inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil) and having several rounds of blood work done, the results showed that I have something going on with my immune system.
Off to a rheumatologist I went!
I’ll spare you all the ups and downs and all the sketchy details, but the rheumatologist is pretty certain i have rheumatoid arthritis. You would think that my blood work would prove one way or another. I’m showing the markers for Sjögren’s Syndrome, but I’m not showing physical symptoms. I am showing all the physical symptoms for rheumatoid arthritis, but the blood work isn’t matching up. I guess 20% of people with rheumatoid arthritis don’t show the markers, so I might be a statistic.
Evening pill routine.
It seems my doctor doesn’t know how to treat this at times and is just throwing random pills my way to see what works. He wants me on a low dose of steroids everyday, but I have decided that I am the one driving this bus and that option is a bad one for me. Sadly, the medicine he is giving me seems to be causing a headache which is ironic since I’m on two medications for migraines.
I’m having a hard time with this new diagnosis and the passive attitude of my doctor. I hate being in pain, but I hate feeling doped up. I’m going to try acupuncture next week to see if I can find a bit of relief as I am willing to try just about anything now.
I know this post isn’t the type that I usually write, but it feels good to air this out. I’ve read the blogs of many other people struggling with rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s Syndrome, and other autoimmune issues, and it gives me hope. I’m scared about the future tests, needle pricks, and pill regiments. I’m sad that I feel this way and that I’ve let RA get me down.
My hopes are that I can somehow lead a normal life again in the near future. I want to run a 5k this spring. I want to be able to bounce out of bed just one morning with some energy and feel motivated again. I haven’t felt that way in ages. I want to turn 30 this year and not feel like crap.
New Nike running shoes for 2014
I have a new pair of running shoes to help me along the way–let’s hope they keep me motivated. I’m going to stick with my yoga and pilates despite the fact there are some days it hurts like heck to do anything. Keep your fingers crossed for me.