RA and Me

I wrote a post a while back about having chronic illnesses and being a mom. Chronic Conditions and Momming was written before my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.

1. My older sister has lupus and we had the same rheumatologist at one point. Once we discovered this, we thought it was hilarious. There’s a lot of rheumatologists in Louisville, and we ended up with the same one?

2. My grandfather had severe RA. He died in 2016 at the age of 83. His hands were curled up from the severe joint deformities. He took medications for it, but still had issues that weren’t able to be reversed.

3. I am currently taking a mild medication daily. I had to wait for my thyroid meds to be regulated before I could start RA meds. That sucked but things are good in this area. (Short version: I’m on Levothyroxine due to a partial thyroidectomy in 2017.) Joint pain is REAL.

4. My biggest issues? Joint pain in my hands, knees, and hips. Like many others, I’m super stiff in the mornings and it takes at least an hour to loosen up. Hot showers help. Moving around does help but also hurts. Eventually, the stiffness goes away. Usually. If it doesn’t, then it’s a bad pain day, which leads me to #5.

5. I don’t like taking pain meds. They make me tired and nobody has time for that mess. I usually won’t take them unless I can barely move. I’ll use a heating pad, massage, stretch, etc. The pain meds I do have, however, are non-narcotic.

My doctor is pretty smart- probably not a good idea to prescribe a recovering alcoholic hardcore narcotics. She probably enjoys having a license to practice.
Rheumatoid arthritis sucks. I hate missing out on things because I’m tired, hurting, or both.

Pic with Cameron

It’s possible to live life with chronic conditions. I have two. Some days are just worse than others. I can get through them with humor and my support system.

If you have a chronic condition, how do you get through it?

Post-Holiday Check In

I’m back with a post-holiday check in. Things went pretty well, for the most part.

Physically:

Not bad. Now that I have decent insurance, I will be able to get into my PCP for thyroid related bloodwork to make sure my meds are still at a good dosage. I can also go back to the rheumatologist. Yay.

The kids and I had a busy winter break- after Christmas shopping, skating, and a few smaller fun things. Tails and Miss Purr had a nice Christmas. All the activity wore me out a bit, but I made sure I got the rest I needed.

My 36th Birthday

My birthday was on 12/29. I got my hair cut, shopped and got lunch.

Sobriety

I celebrated 2 years yesterday, January 1, 2019. I will get a chip at the yoga for Recovery class that I attend this Sunday. I’ve never gotten a chip so this means a lot to me.

I know I’m far from alone in this struggle and I will continue to take things one day at a time. I think I need to work a tiny bit…okay, a lot more, on telling someone when I get into that space where I really want to drink. It’s a dangerous place.

Emotionally:

I’m slightly anxious because I start a new job on 1/7, which is also Cameron’s 14th birthday. I’m not sure where 14 years have gone. We decided to get him a cell phone, and of course there will be limits.

Lily bought her first purse and wallet, plus she now wears junior size clothes. She’s not a “little” girl anymore and now I want to cry.

I’m very glad the holidays are over because they’re always a bit stressful. I’m ready to start a new year, job and see what else happens.

Are you ready for 2019? What are your goals and hopes?

Pre-Holiday Check In

I think it’s a good idea to check in with yourself daily. I don’t do that on the blog but do so internally. However, I’m doing a pre-holiday check-in hoping to encourage others to do so with themselves.

Physically:

As I am writing this, not great. We lost power for almost two days due to a small ice storm within Winter Storm Avery. I didn’t sleep well those nights plus the first night we got home so my joints got achy and stiff, plus I was exhausted. Besides this issue, I usually feel okay. My main problem is fatigue. My joints don’t hurt as much as they used to but the fatigue is pretty bad.

I’m resting more as needed and listening to my body. This remains a challenge because life happens especially with kids. I was diagnosed with RA last year. It’s taken a while to truly adjust my mind to what I need. I’m still learning to be easier on myself and not push myself so far.

The migraines are a lot better. I’m not questioning it. I take my preventative meds and try to avoid triggers when possible.

Sobriety:

As we all know, I have to take this one day at a time. It’s a challenge. I will have two years on January 1, and I am confident in my ability to stay sober. There are days in which I really want a drink but I’m still able to stop my thought processes. I’m usually stressed, sad or maybe a bit of both.

I either write, text someone or color. Sometimes I’ll listen to a podcast to get my mind off things. Sobriety was a good decision and even though I have plenty of friends that drink, none of them bother me to do so. This is a huge weight off my shoulders.

Emotionally:

Slightly jumbled. I stay slightly jumbled. Some days I’m okay, some days I’m a mess. Anxiety and depression are their own beasts. I don’t like either one. I process my thoughts the best I can but sometimes I still shut down. I won’t talk to anyone, including Matthew. It is frustrating because I know I need to and sometimes really want to talk but I just can’t.

My former therapist once told me that if something is important enough to bother me, I probably need to talk about it. I try to remember this. I have people to talk to. The holidays aren’t super stressful for me, except for the financial part. Holiday break gets interesting because the kids are home for two weeks, but even that is manageable.

We do what we can financially and keep going. That’s it. Plus, my birthday is 12/29, Matthew’s is 1/3 and Cameron will be 14 on 1/7. We’re broke by then!

What’s Next?

I’m looking forward to 2019- new things are coming for the blog, and I might even go back to work part-time. Cameron will be going to high school and we’ll have an idea, hopefully, on where to go next with Lily. There’s usually something interesting going on around here.

Pics courtesy of Pinterest