Thursday, 18 August 2011

The thing is...

I realise that I have not been writing for quite some time (October last year) and that most likely no one is still checking for updates, but here I am.
So why have I not been updating my blog you ask (or don't)? Well a lot started happening last year and still is, which is why I dropped of the planet, sadly none of it is good.

After my once in a life time trip I came back to the UK and settled in to my normal day to day life. Everything was absolutely wonderful and I was planning my next trip which was to be climbing Kilimanjaro, and was supposed to have been this year.

But as I am sure many of you know life does have a tendency to throw you a curveball when you least expect it and I got sick. I started feeling achy last summer and it continued for months slowly getting worse until I got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 3 days before my birthday.

Now if you are anything like me you probably believe that Arthritis is something only old people get and that it just means that your joints get achy when it's cold outside, sadly it turns out I was wrong.

RA can happen to anyone at any age and it's far more then achy joints. Some people are lucky and get a mild case where it means exactly that, they are in pain for awhile and then it passes (in interwal's) but most people have it far worse. Untreated the pain gets worse and suddenly you find that you can't even walk down the road to get a litre of milk.

There is also a not so pleasant list of other things you find out. For example your life expectancy is shortened by 10 -15 years and you are suddenly in the risk zone of getting a heart attack or stroke.

On a more day to day basis you find out that most people have to give up work within 10 years of being diagnosed as their bodies can no longer handle working and you suddenly realise no company wants to hire you as they worry you might take a lot of sick leave (even if you never take any sick leave when you work for them as a temp).

On a more personal note you find out which of the people in your life are people who will actually be there for you when you need them, in my case the answer to that question was not what I expected it to be but not in anyway all bad.

I am better now then I was when I first got diagnosed. It's hard to explain to someone exactly how crap you feel as it's not always obvious and most people assume that you are exaggerating. All I can say is that on a bad day I was not physically able even to take the bus to work and had to have my colleague pick me up and hope that you believe me.
I had to give up making jewellery and dancing and could no longer go out with my friends at the weekends.

Your perspective on things change, like a good day for example, a good day stops being what it used to be and starts being a day when the pain is manageable and you can do some of your normal everyday shores like vacuum or do a food shop.
I am getting more good days lately and the quality of them have improved a lot. I can walk to work again and I even managed to go clothes shopping a couple of weeks ago (which I haven't done for months), I have even started dancing a bit again and am planning to start making jewellery again too.

I am still waiting for a good day to be a day without ay pain and I am still fighting for that to be a possibility (how I will tell some other time) and I am still determined to fulfil my dreams and do the things I love.

I don't like talking about being sick because I don't like being perceived as weak, but I realise that everything in my life has turned into this disease, and I don't want that to just be a bad thing so I want to fight and work to help people like me in anyway I can and I think a good start is to be open about it to make sure more people understand it.

So I am starting my blog again and am doing so by telling everyone I got RA.

I am going to kick this RA's butt and I just though it was about time I told everyone about it.

1 comment:

  1. Really sorry to hear you've got RA (how strange to use that acronym and NOT meaning Richard Armitage!), but on the other hand, I suppose it's good to finally know what it is. *hugs* I think my sister was in her teens when she was diagnosed with it. Not easy. She has to take medication to manage it but she seems to be doing okay. Hope you'll feel well enough to do the things you like to do. Thinking of you!