Morning:  It took me almost 2 hours to get out of bed this morning BECAUSE I was so stiff.  I threw my hair up BECAUSE trying to do it would have been too painful on my wrists, elbows, and shoulders.  My clothes were laid out, but as usual, I struggled to get the bra hooked with my swollen fingers.  I still put rings on BECAUSE I’m stubborn (but made sure they were the adjustable kind).  I drove to work one handed BECAUSE I couldn’t grip the steering wheel.

Day: I had a good day at work.  I love my job.  Enjoy my students and coworkers.  I move slowly and take the elevator instead of the stairs.  I feel like people judge me as being lazy BECAUSE I look like there is nothing wrong with me.  By lunch, I was struggling to type, write, and when I tried to staple….I burst into tears BECAUSE the pain overwhelmed me (I freaked my coworker out with that one).  I make it through the day BECAUSE I love my career.  If I hated my job, I’d probably be struggling a lot more to make it through each day.

Evening/Night: After work, I needed to get groceries, but my swollen hands and sore legs made me rethink my plans.  I drove home 20 miles with alternating hands BECAUSE both hands hurt equally now.  I stopped at a convenience store to grab dinner BECAUSE the thought carrying a dish, washing a dish or cutting food made me cringe in pain.  I ate mashed potatoes.  I took the dog for a very short walk BECAUSE my whole body hurt and the fatigue was overwhelming. I feel guilty BECAUSE the dog deserves better.  I feel sad, BECAUSE, so do I.   Then I took one bag of trash out, but have no energy to get another bag together.  I have more chores but after showering, I’m pretty much out of spoons.  My hair is air drying BECAUSE I can’t hold the blow dryer.  I’m sitting on the couch watching TV, snuggling with my cat & dog BECAUSE they make me happy on a damp and cold night.

Tomorrow:  I’ll get up and do it all over again BECAUSE this is my life with RA.  Why keep fighting?  BECAUSE I have no choice…this is my life…

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Kelly holds masters degrees in both Special Education and Speech-Language Pathology. She works full-time as a speech-language pathologist in both a public school setting and as an adjunct faculty member at a university, in Philadelphia, PA. She specializes in both autism and augmentative/alternative communication and took her skills to Uganda, Africa to start a special needs program for disabled children living in an orphanage in 2011. Kelly began experiencing symptoms of autoimmune arthritis in 1984 (while in her teens) but wasn’t officially diagnosed with autoimmune arthritis until 2001. Her first diagnosis was Sjogren’s syndrome. Eventually her diagnosis was changed to sero-negative RA and now Polyarticular Spondlyoarthropathy. She also manages thyroid disease (resulting from Graves Disease), fibromyalgia, renin-deficient hypertension, and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) on a daily basis. Kelly connected with other autoimmune arthritis patients via social media in 2008. She began volunteering with the “Buckle Me UP! Movement”, which evolved into the International Autoimmune Arthritis Movement (IAAM) beginning in 2009. Then became a cofounder of IFAA in 2013. She has represented the ACR on Capitol Hill as an Advocate for Arthritis, was a finalist in Wego Health’s Health Activist Hero awards in 2014, and speaks at various healthcare conferences as a patient advocate in the Philadelphia area.

2 thoughts on “BECAUSE….

  1. You keep fighting Because you are brave and really what choices do we have? Not many.

    I love your blog as always, but this one really struck home. Because,, I feel most of the same things.


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