Friday, January 6, 2012

The Warrior in me

One bucket of red swollen joints with a constant sprinkle of pain & stiffness

Originally this blog was going to be about me going through separation and finding a safe little place for me to share my thoughts. Maybe rant and rave a little. Let out some steam. However, since I first started this back in June 2010, my life has turned upside down by a devastating diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (or the new, more descriptive term ~ Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease). Since my diagnosis (just a few days before my 35th birthday), I've often heard people say, I won't allow myself to be defined by this disease. However for me, it is currently defining me. I'm trying make friends with RA. But we don't get along so well, at least not yet. As a person, who thrives on familiarity and the feeling of being somewhat in control, this diagnosis has shook me to my core & does so every day. It is unpredictable, disabling, controlling, puts me in my place when I've done a little too much, or not enough ~ kind of like an evil parent. As I get to know my new Evil Parent better, maybe we can agree on terms, where we'd be siblings or friends, instead. I'm hoping to find balance and learn to manage my RA better.

Speaking of balance and managing... Last November, I felt so alone, depressed & isolated with my disease, that I was googling and researching RA, like a mad woman. I was trying to figure out the best way to control the inflammation & eliminate the pain. But what was hurting me most at the time, was that nobody understood & that my support network was non-existent. I stumbled upon a website/blog named and I felt I had fallen into a "Heaven for RA information"... instead of feeling lost, I got lost in her blog! In a good way! Everywhere I looked, every blog post I read, I gained more hope. My internal monologue was along the lines of "Yes, yes, yes, me tooooo!" Now I was not big on Twitter and I could never really get into it, but after I clicked Kelly's (aka Rawarrior) Twitter link, I dived into a world of incredible RA community! There are people like me everywhere, people who are in much more advanced stage of this evil disease. Some days it's encouraging, some days the gloomy thoughts take over and the future looks bleak. But I'm much more capable dealing with the reality of RA, when I know my support network is just a click away. There's no cure for RA at the moment, so no other word describes the daily battle quite like WARRIOR. Thank you Kelly Young, who I often refer to as my savior.

- I have so much more to write about, but instead of writing a book as my first blog post on this, I will write shorter ones & also give my swollen hands a break :)