On Wednesday October 5th one of my favourite blog authors Deb from the ABC's of RA wrote a blog called Hocus, Pocus, Refocus! I'll wait right here while you read this brilliant blog and then we can continue!
Welcome back...told you it was a very worthwhile read :-)
Deb really hit the nail on the head. October 2010 is when my health started to fall apart. Then I had the first two weeks of January where I thought finally things were turning around. Little did I know that I had two weeks to enjoy the last bit of "health" I will have for a long time. Since mid January I have been ill. Desperately looking for what was wrong. Reminding myself daily that the chronic pain, fatigue and a myriad of other strange occurrences were untreated. If I could just get a diagnosis things would go back to normal. I WOULD get my life back. It took 10 months and I had all three diagnosis. For those of you who are new to my blog they are: Hashimotos Thyroiditis, Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The hashimotos was promising a single pill a day and my thyroid would function normally...awesome...but I was wrong. My Dr. knew what I refused to believe that there was much more to this. 2 months later the Fibromyalgia was diagnosed. I have a family history of FMS so knew what I was in for. I was a little deflated but knew again with meds it could be managed for the most part. Then RA was diagnosed....that was 2.5 months ago.
Illness has taken over my life. First it was figuring out what was wrong, then treating what is wrong and the medications make me feel worse than I did to start. I am still not feeling any better. My life as I have known it for the past 40 years was over. But life was supposed to begin at 40...didn't my body get that memo?
Medication, Dr's appointments, tests and medication refills is what my life has become. Every single thing I choose to do in a day has a cost associated to it. Learning the economics of Chronic Illness has become my new reality. I am slowly learning to understand this new and uncooperative body of mine. I am learning to adjust daily activities to allow me to get the most done in a single day. Sadly most days I can commit to getting just a couple of small things done. Most days getting up and making my bed takes all the energy I have. Making kids lunches and getting them ready and out the door to school exhausts me. Once they are off, I log into work from my computer and make sure nobody is looking for me and then I curl up on the couch and rest while keeping half an eye on work. I now take showers only when my husband is home to help me in and out and of course to wash and condition my hair as I can no longer squeeze shampoo bottles. I keep saying I need to put my shampoo etc. into pumps...but I stay as far away from stores as possible. The walking (honestly less of walking more like shuffling), the looks from people who see a young woman with nothing visibly wrong (you would actually have to look closer than passersby bother to give) but clearly in immense pain, limping, shuffling along with her cane or leaning on a buggy for support. I would rather not go through that and don't for the most part. My husband does 99% of all of the shopping.
Speaking of shopping Christmas is just around the corner and it brings tears to my eyes. The overwhelming thought of trying to get all of my shopping done...sigh. I guess this year we will be trying out on-line shopping and hoping for the best. Oops sorry for the diversion but my daughter comes by her ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) naturally!
Somewhere in the past year living stopped. Yes, technically I still breath and I am alive but I am watching life pass by with me as a bystander rather than an active participant. When my diagnosis took the wind out of my sails and my life became about learning how to live in a body that was no longer to be counted on I got lost along the way. My dreams were gone, I threw my hands in the air and focused on just getting through the day usually focused on getting through each individual hour minute by minute. I didn't consciously think of my dreams again until October 5th when Deb's blog reduced me to tears.
I have had a difficult few weeks since Deb's post. I have added being sick to my stomach daily which drains the life right out of me. At first I thought I caught a bug but since it does not get worse and the symptoms can be accounted for by active RA and medication side effects I am beginning to think I am wrong. Off to see the Dr. soon to get his opinion. I just have to find the energy to make that appointment. During this time I did however have time to think. Rather than feeling sorry for myself I focused on two things 1) Coming to terms with my diagnosis' which I will share with you in another blog. 2) What were my dreams? Are they still my dreams? What do I have to change to make those dreams possible even with my current limitations?
While I am still figuring out some things, there is one thing I do know. One must have dreams, ambitions and a purpose to life. We all need a reason to get up each and every day. My reason for living is my family: my husband, my children, my parents, my brother. One of my dreams was to work on completing a novel. There is a contest that begins November, the goal: to complete a novel in 30 days. I think it is time for me to find the links again and outline my novel and be ready to go in November. :)
A heart felt thanks to Deb for reminding me that although this is not the life I had planned on living it doesn't mean my life is not worth living! What are you dreams? What makes you get out of bed each and every day to face the world no matter how you are feeling?
© 2011 Rhonda