RA Blog Week #2: Because…

I’m proud to be participating in RA Blog week for the 4th year!  It’s always an honor to be included.

RAblog_week_RABADGE2018(2)Today’s blog prompt is:  TipsHow do you stay fit, cope with stress, relax, or capitalize on a great day. Tell us your secrets for the best life possible……But I’m opting out and doing a Wild card instead.  Why?  Because I feel like I am failing at dealing with anything positive today and don’t want to be a fraud.  I wrote a blog similar to this a few years ago and I’m doing this again just BECAUSE…..

 

Morning:  It took me almost an hour to get out of bed this morning BECAUSE I was so stiff.  I threw my hair up in a ponytail  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 sore hands.  I wanted to stay home and sleep, but I dragged myself out the door and went to work BECAUSE  I am stubborn.

Day: I had a busy work day.  I love my job and enjoy my students and coworkers immensely.  It helps me survive the day  BECAUSE each step I take down the long hallways is excruciating.  I feel like people judge me BECAUSE I limp even though I look like there is nothing wrong with me.  By lunch, I was struggling to focus on the work and not on the pain.  I make it through the day BECAUSE I am more stubborn than the pain…but only slightly.

Evening/Night: After work, I needed to coach my cheer squad BECAUSE we had a football game AND I love being with the squad. I demonstrated 3 cheers and felt like crying BECAUSE the pain was so intense.  I drove home 20 miles trying desperately to focus on the road and not the pain. 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, I do, too.  I have to crawl up the stairs to use the bathroom BECAUSE walking upright is just too hard.  I ordered out for food BECAUSE I the thought of standing at the stove was too overwhelming.  I’m now lying on the couch watching TV, and praying the dog won’t have to go out until I’m ready to go to bed BECAUSE the thought of getting up one more time to take her out is too much for me.

Tomorrow:  I’ll get up and do it all over again BECAUSE this is my life with autoimmune arthritis.  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.

6 thoughts on “RA Blog Week #2: Because…

  1. Kelly, your post broke my heart this morning. You are such a fighter and Georgia is such a fighter and BECAUSE of your honesty you are such an inspiration to those of us who want to give up on so many days. Continue the fight, BECAUSE we love you!

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    1. Thank you. I was feeling really sorry for myself last night. Today was a better day and after talking to my rheumatologist, we’re thinking it might be a reaction to the new biologic. I have a plan for the net injection.

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  2. Your life sounds like my life for many years. Teaching is hard on the body and mind even when you’re well, but anything that requires so much passion makes the struggle feel worthwhile.

    Like

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