Welcome to my online diary about the struggles of dealing with rheumatoid arthritis. I write about about the highs and lows of day to day life in an honest way as possible. I hope to share my experiences with those in a similar position and help them to realise they are not alone. It is a unique postion to be in, to have a condition which most people associate with older people when you are just starting out in life. But together, as we discuss our experiences, we can feel less isolated and alone.

About Me

My photo
Leamington Spa, Uk, United Kingdom
I am 32 years old woman with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The disease came on literally overnight five years ago when I was 27 years old. I was diagnosed with many different illnesses before it was labelled R.A. I am taking methotrexate, humira injections, steroids and painkillers. It's been the hardest 4 years of my life though things seem to have turned a corner and I have met a wonderfully supportive partner. For a long time I have tried to fight it and had many different therapies to treat it. I lost faith in the medical world after several misdiagnoses and inadequate treatment. I then chose to follow an alternative route and have tried reiki, spiritual healing, alexander technique, kinesiology and EFT as I believe there is an emotional and psychological element that plays a part in disease. All treatments have helped the RA though not cured it. I am currently on the Margaret Hills Clinic programme for treating arthritis and this has proved successful so far. I am trying to come to terms with the illness and deal with it rather than fight it. Follow my day to day trials and tribulations coping with the disease and how it affects my life.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Coping with Rheumatoid Arthritis

It's raining today, oh no, the pain is worse.  I just lay in bed this morning 20 mins after I woke to mentally prepare myself for dragging my body out of bed.  When I finally did I knew it was going to be a bad RA day.  Why do I live in a house I ask myself? They are nightmare for me.  Before I became ill nearly 5 years ago I used to like the stairs as they kept me fit and trim but now I loathe them.  I usually have my clothes downstairs and attempt the get dressed after the morning pain has gone.  Today all my clothes have been washed and ironed and put up stairs so I have no choice.  But I have bought some really comfy new jogging bottoms, they are velvety to the touch so at least one thing about getting dressed is good.

My head has been hurting too, like a fogginess.  Went for a walk yesterday but couldn't clear it, wonder what it is, could it be the heating now have moved into the winter months? Have tried drinking more water in case it's dehydration.
I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it looks bad.  My tummy is huge now much bigger than it ever was and I have given up trying to lose weight for the moment so the inevitable has happened, more weight has piled on.  I am really frustrated about my weight.  I have gone from 30 mgs steroids to 3mgs but yet the extra weight hasn't shifted.  I heard someone mention that it takes a long time for prednisilone to leave the body but I am 3 stones heavier than my natural weight.  I know I am less active but I get upset because my diet really isn't that bad or excessive.  Still thats the least of my worries but it's the one aspect of my life that I always seem to focus on and also the one that I use to measure my self worth - my weight. 

It's funny because when I recently looked at the pictures of me before I got ill, I cried and cried and cried.  Oh my God, I was so beautiful, so gorgeous and lovely, so young and innocent and yet that seems like such a different person to me now.  But even then I thought I was too fat and too this and too that and not good enough and couldn't see what everyone else saw so it is a self esteem issue but it has definitely got worse the more weight I have put on.  It's the way I perceive myself and it's not good at the moment.  When you have to go for joggin bottoms because they are comfy but also because you can't face going into a shop and buying your new correct weight.  To make matters worse, I went into a trendy fashionable shop the other day, it was like recapturing the old me that loved to shop and look at nice clothes.  Guess what, they didn't have my size, NOR the size below so I walked out sheepishily as though I had committed a crime of daring to think that a cool and trendy shop like this would consider making sizes for slightly larger figure.  I left my diginity there and that marked the end of my shopping trip.

Back to today.  My partner is talking about swimming.  Part of me thinks it's a great idea for me to do some light exercise but the other part is dreading going to a public swimming pool, having to walk around on my swimsuit while other people gawp at me.  I know this is mainly in my head, the idea that other people would even care what I look like but still, my mind is thinking away.  It's ok for him, he is as slim and agile as they come, he seems to have a natural confidence in himself and his body and really couldn't care less what others think, so I could perhaps steal some of his confidence for the afternoon.
I have taken my meds now, the steroids, the painkillers, the folic acid, then the methatrexate on a wednesday and adalimumab on a thursday, good grief I am medicated, placated and intoxicated up to the eye balls.  I loathe taking the meds, I can't bare the think what they are doing to my insides but at least they help with the RA.
I saw the nurse this week and have been signed off as 'in remission' for the year by my new rheumatologist,  huh what a joke.  I though transferring to a female rheumy would mean more care and concern rather than less.  My medical care has been less than adequate to say the least.  But what can they do, the RA is as under control as can be I guess and I am at the point now where I can predict exactly what they will say anyway.  So I feel like I am dealing with this alone really, except my partner who is wonderfully caring, supportive and understanding, the opens jars for me, helps me get dressed and is generally very helpful.  Well that's it for now, will write again tomorrow.

My Rheumatoid Arthritis Diary