I’m lucky…

Living with chronic illness means always living on the edge of depression.  It’s depressing being sick. It’s depressing when you are sick and bad things happen in and around your life.  The past two months, I have broken my foot, had to take time off of my part-time job to recover (thus decreasing my income) which has been extremely stressful. I was told pain medication slows down a broken bone’s ability to mend, so I’ve decreased my meds and am living in so much pain with the hope my foot heals.  My father (age 82) choked while out to dinner with his brothers  and ended up having a mild heart attack and aspiration pneumonia as a result of the episode.  My dog Georgia has had multiple illnesses including repeated ear infections and a urinary tract infection. Watching her pee blood almost made me faint from shock. Finally,  my car’s broke down twice in one day.  I had to take an unplanned day off because I had a feeling the battery was still under warranty, so I didn’t want to pay for a replacement.  I was right.  It was a free replacement, but I fell behind with work and have been drowning ever since.  On Monday night, I hit real low point.  Struggling with health, finances, injuries, family illness, and car issues in a short span of time was truly overwhelming.  I sat around for a bit feeling so very sorry for myself, feeling like a total failure, and freaking out over how to deal with everything.

Then I came home and read a post from my cousin who just lost her son in a tragic accident a few weeks ago.  Perspective was like a slap in the face.  I cried as I read her beautifully heart-breaking words.  My problems, although difficult, can be fixed.  My dear sweet cousin doesn’t have that option. I wish I had some magic to make it all better for her.

So my life has really sucked lately, but I have to focus on the fact that it could truly be worse.  I may be treading water, in pain, and exhausted, but I’m still moving. Wish me luck that my foot has healed and that PT gets me back on track.  I’m hoping for a better 2019 for myself, and my family.


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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.

One thought on “I’m lucky…

  1. Many blessings to you and your family. Thankfully I have never experienced the loss of a child, and I hope I never do. Like you I know I am fortunate. Far more fortunate than most people would ever think. I am a lucky man.


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