|Me v. The Door Knob|
Today was "jeans" day at work. No jeans for me. It was skirt day. You see, I couldn't button the jeans...not because they didn't fit because they did but because my hands aren't working.
I started this blog posting several weeks ago but have been able to complete it and I am not sure entirely sure why. The reason may be that it is difficult to re-live my RA journey and I don't want it to be part of the present.
Three or four years prior to diagnosis in 2006, I controlled the symptoms with diet and exercise and I thought I was invincible but I wasn't. Those symptoms came back with a vengeance. And that door knob in the picture above, I couldn't open it for a very long time. I couldn't open bottles or cans or my car door. I couldn't carry laundry up and down the stairs. It took me a very long time to just walk up the stairs to the second floor of my house. If I tell you 15 minutes I would not be exaggerating. I used a cane at times. Dressing myself was a difficult and exhausting experience. Getting out of bed in the morning was an ordeal. The worst part of an auto immune disease is the exhaustion. You could get a good night's sleep, 7-8 hours, and wake up exhausted.
After about 6 years of taking Methotrexate I decided to just stop and it was all good....for a very long time. I do believe that healthy living can solve many of our ailments. I went another 3 years without medication. Now the symptoms have returned and the timing could not have been worse. Last Saturday was the first session of certification training at Iron Body Studios. I don't think I can begin to tell you how defeated I felt. It took me at least 2 years to work up to committing to this certification. Unfortunately, I made the decision to restart the medication. That is how important this certification is to me. I don't have the time to work through healthy solutions.
The medication had not entirely clicked in by last Saturday. So I did what I could and it felt great. I hadn't done much heavy lifting since the last signs of symptoms. This week I started following the program. That bell is swinging and the get up is getting up...
Now, you ask, why did I say last signs of symptoms? Because I had the early signs for a while but I was oblivious to them. It was not until I could not use my hands that I realized what was happening with me.
That is how it goes...But in the end it will all work out.
Some facts about RA
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects about one-tenth as many people as osteoarthritis. The main difference between osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is the cause behind the joint symptoms. Osteoarthritis is caused by mechanical wear and tear on joints. RA is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune system attacks the body's joints and its internal organs.
Osteoarthritis is the most common arthritis. On the other hand, rheumatoid arthitis is recognized as the most crippling or disabling.
And a great article on RA and fatigue. Note: Although this talk was presented in a workshop on rheumatoid arthritis, its message applies to people with many types of systemic rheumatic disease, including lupus(SLE), fibromyalgia, scleroderma, and others.