I have friends that I can discuss a lot of topics with- sadly, this includes autoimmune diseases. One has RA and lupus, the other has fibromyalgia.
All three of us are in our 30s just trying to live our best lives.
One of the friends, the one who has fibromyalgia, said that she has a hard time slowing down when her pain is bad.
I told her that it takes time. It takes patience with yourself, both of which can be tough.
Lessons From My Joints
I have learned that I cant handle full-time work anymore. I still don’t know how long I’ve actually had RA but looking back, I’m not sure how I got through the physically demanding work I’ve done in the last few years.
I work part-time and its the best option for me. I’m glad that’s even a possibility. Many with autoimmune diseases and other medical conditions can’t work. Will I be working part-time forever? I have no idea.
The fatigue and pain I have at the end of some 5-hour work days is almost like when I worked 8 or 12 hours. But then, I’m working at a preschool.
There is only so much I can do in one day and learning when to stop is hard. I was used to running at full speed and BAM, I have RA.
I finally started a new medication this week and I’m hoping it helps the pain. I sit a lot more, and I remind myself that it’s okay to rest. If I don’t, I’m not going to be able to do much for anyone.
Back to the Rheumatologist
I went to my rheumatologist today (12/6) and here goes:
- Lab work to make sure that my meds aren’t doing major damage
- My hip pain is mechanical, not inflammatory, meaning I probably need to sit more and…have you seen my life?
- Back in two months.
I’m also looking at physical therapy if the pain doesn’t improve. Look, I’m just trying to avoid the hip replacement I keep joking about. I’m 36 and…nah.
I try to support my friends with chronic pain because I know how important it is. Trying to get through the day with chronic pain takes more energy than many think. They also support me and I appreciate it so much.
How can you help someone with chronic pain?
- If they’re into humor, memes. Send all the memes. They are a great distraction.
- Ask them if they need anything. It’s hard to ask for help.
- Just sit and hang out with them, if they’re up to it during a bad pain day. It means a lot.
- Be patient when they cancel plans or leave early due to pain. It isn’t fun to do either but it is sometimes the best/only option.
Hang in there with us, we’re doing the best we can.
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