Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis - My Hopes For 2012

Leslie Rott Health Guide
  • 2011 has not been the greatest year for me, although I am grateful for the opportunity to have joined the HealthCentral family.


    Not long after 2011 began, my boyfriend of over a year, the man I thought I was going to marry, broke up with me totally out of the blue. I didn't really talk about that here, as it happened before I started writing for HealthCentral. But it was a stunning blow for me, and along with some other personal issues, really put a damper on things, to say the least.


    This year, I found myself grappling with illness, trying to understand it, and ultimately making some mistakes along the way. I've struggled with how to balance living the life of a "normal" 26-year-old, and living the life of a chronically ill 26-year-old.

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    I learned that the physical and emotional lives are inextricably tied together.


    I traveled a lot, and illness was right there with me. Traveling with illness was a challenge at times, but somehow I made it through.


    I have also spent a significant amount of time working on my dissertation.


    I started kickboxing, determined to kick lupus and rheumatoid arthritis in the butt, and learning some important lessons about myself along the way.


    I've dated a steady stream of guys who haven't been quite right. And I've struggled with when and how to disclose to them. I have come to realize that actually, my illness news isn't really so mind-blowing. I've discovered some serious flaws in many of the guys when things have gone astray. We all have our things. And for me, illness is mine. At least I own it. And I'm beginning to realize that, if you are actually going to have a life together, with another person, you have to be able to share intimate details about yourself.


    And as the year is coming to an end, I've had a change in my treatment and am adjusting to injectable Methotrexate, which, as I have discovered, I am in good company with other Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers. The whole self-injection thing has been a challenge for me, but I'm plugging - or sticking - away.


    2011 has been a year filled with missteps, both big and small.


    I've never been good at concrete New Years resolutions, but this year, I resolve to put myself first, to care about myself, and to love myself, warts and all. In the past, I've spent a lot of time trying to change myself to fit others expectations of me. But I am who I am, and there is something inherently good in that, despite the fact that I have chronic health issues, which at times, significantly impact my life.


    I can only hope that 2012 is better than 2011.


    I'm wishing all of my HealthCentral readers a happy and (as healthy as possible) 2012.

Published On: December 23, 2011