There are those days when I am able to move. There are those days when I am able to enjoy life, and stay positive. Then there are days like today where I question everything, and I don’t how I can handle another day with this disease.
A whirlwind of emotions
This last month has been a whirlwind of emotions for me, and that whirlwind of emotions is almost always accompanied by a flare and depression. This last month has made me question who I am and if I am strong enough to fight anymore. The truth is that sometimes I have doubts. I recently started Lexapro, an antidepressant for my depression, and it has really helped. But all of the issues that I have regarding rheumatoid arthritis can only be treated if I am ready to work on them. And right now I am sad and tired. I am tired of being sad and tired. I get tired of thinking about how tired I am of being sad and tired. Should I go on…? It always seems to me that just when I think that I have accepted being sick, something happens that pushes me back a few steps and forces me to question my progress.
As some of you know, my husband took a job in the oil field working out of state to be able to afford the medications I have desperately needed for a while now. I have seen him a total of three days in the last three months. And despite the nice increase in pay, I am dealing with the “pre-existing condition” part of my health insurance. I will not be fully covered for three months to a year. We live in a beautiful tri-level house that I bought from my grandpa’s estate. It is on three acres with a pond out front and mature trees covering the whole property. But I just can’t keep up with the yard work, much less make it up and down the stairs in my own home. So here I am, in pain, and questioning how I can possibly live another day with this disease.
How can I live with this disease?
My first rheumatologist told me that she knew without a doubt that I would be in a wheelchair by my 27th birthday. I turned 28 last December and while I would love to have a wheelchair on most days, my new rheumatologist doesn’t want to go that route quite yet. Believe it or not that gives me some hope, despite the fact that I have not experienced remission not once in the last five years. I am able to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but sometimes I am in so much pain that I wonder if I can ever make it to see the light again. How can I do this?
I don’t have the choice to just give in. You see, since I was diagnosed (and even during my fight for a diagnosis) I have always had this drive to move forward. Even when I am in pain I am able to look around and see the desperation in the eyes of the people who care for me. How could I let them down? You see, I have learned that it is okay to fall back a few steps when things get hard and almost intolerable. I believe that when your life has been as drastically changed like ours that it is normal to question everything. But it is how you deal with these setbacks on you journey with rheumatoid arthritis that make you a stronger person. You look forward and you push on. And sometimes you don’t do it for yourself, but you do it anyway. If we are able to handle the intolerable pain this disease brings, what can’t we handle? What can’t we do?
I have hope
When my five-year-old little boy is loving on me because I am in pain, I can look into his eyes and see hope. And I realize that I see hope in his eyes because he sees that same hope in mine. I have hope, and although I have had setbacks I will push forward. Rheumatoid arthritis can’t hold me back because I won’t let it! How about you?
Published On: June 25, 2008