A month ago it was confirmed I have arthritis. Not one to do things by halves it turns out I have both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
Having a diagnosis after 5/6 years of undiagnosed issues with my knees was a bitter sweet experience because there was always a part of me that though I could fully recover yet on the other hand it was a relief to know it wasn't all in my head.
I spent a couple if days in tears, gratitude it wasn't something terminal (which I knew wasn't) yet frustrated that at just 44 this was my fate. I wanted and needed to adapt to this gracefully.
It's a process.
About two weeks before the diagnosis I was overcome with a tiredness I couldn't explain, it halted my life and impacted my kids. I felt guilty, isolated and frustrated.
Since the diagnosis I have have no less than six doctors appointments, one dietician and one occupational therapist. It really hit home when I was offered a chair lift to be installed. At that point I about lost the will to fight.
But giving up isn't an option. Not even for a second.
So I spoke to someone at arthritis care who answered my questions, let me share my feelings and as good as validated them. I feel guilty complaining about my pain when so many are worse off than me but the care people reminded me this is MY deal and its ok to not be ok with it.
But I am ok with it. Even when I feel frustrated and I have a flare up day, even when I wake from sleep almost in tears with searing pain, when I can't crochet or write because my fingers won't bend. I'm ok with it when it takes me longer to walk across the room and when I have to ask Kirsten to help me up a step or stairs.
I'm grateful for being alive.
I'm yet to see the rheumatologist (14 May) to find out how long I've had it, short term and long term are different treatments. I'm still having energy issues and I still can't have medication other than painkillers till a final diagnosis.
Whilst in a local shop this week I had a fellow customer snap at me because I was walking slow up the aisle. It hit home to me what so many others go through: just because you can't see the pain obviously means its not there. Wrong!
My days are very different now, I have to go with it, slowing down at 44 was never in my mind but one day I'm sure I will fully adjust......
- Posted from my iPhone