A little bit more…

I may have become cocky and over confident in my ability to tolerate pain.  On an average day, my fingers, elbows, shoulders, hips, lower back, knees, ankles and feet hurt.

A lot.  

Each day starts out with almost all my joints revolting when I try to stand up in the morning. It eases up around mid morning.  Then it comes back full force by the end of the work day.  I live in pain. It has, sadly, become second nature to me.  I feel it, but with meditation, I’ve learned to park it to the side and function as best as I can throughout the day.  It’s far from easy.  Every day is difficult, with some days worse than others….but for the most part, I’m used to it.

It’s my “normal” life.

Then I fell and hurt myself. It started with my broken foot and I couldn’t bear weight on it for 3 months.  That caused other joints to ache and flare.  I fell again when my cat ran between my legs and the crutches and caught my 3 toes under a piece of furniture.  I knew I did something bad, but figured “It’s just toes!” I was already wearing a boot and not walking, so I figured they would heal.

That didn’t happen.

I’m not 100% certain what I did in total to the toes.  An X-ray did show a small fracture in one, but the x-ray was aimed on my broken foot and not my floppy toes.  All I know for sure is that the toe pain is far worse than my broken foot pain. My guess is that I pulled some tendons/muscles/ligaments because once the boot came off, I couldn’t move my toes.  They were frozen in place.  It took a long time in PT to be able to move them again. Still all I kept thinking was,  “It’s just my toes, I could do this!!  Not a big deal.” Then I jumped out of bed in a daze one night suddenly remembering that I forgot to do something before bed. I took a step on those toes and…

Boom

….I dropped to the floor like a sack of potatoes.  I didn’t trip this time. The pain of stepping on the ball of my foot took me to my knees. It was so bad that I ended up having to take a pain medicine to sleep, and that is something that I typically do not need to do.  The toes ache, I’m still unable to walk well and need a cane. These toes are on my last nerves….literally.  The pain is so bad that it reminds me of when I was in a car accident and had serious whiplash.  I was out of sick time and had to go to work. I literally broke down because I could not function with the pain.  It’s almost as if my brain couldn’t process anything else and I shut down.

It scared me then and it’s scaring me now.

I felt myself heading in that direction again with my toes.  Scared, frazzled and depressed.  The pain was starting to overwhelm me. I am in physical therapy and working hard to get these toes to heal….but all that work also hurts.  My body is drained and my brain is fried.  Trying to find the balance of how to heal while continuing to work, care for Georgia, and manage day-to-day life is far from easy.  It’s easy to complain and not focus on moving forward. It is easy to feel sorry for myself. It’s hard to heal and stay positive while living with chronic illness. I hope I can continue to dig in deeper until I heal . I need to keep going just a little bit more…

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Ice is my friend.

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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.

3 thoughts on “A little bit more…

  1. Well your pants are stylish. Sort of Wizard of Oz in wonderful color? I am teasing. Do take care of your toes. I am hobbling around in a cast with 9 weeks to go. Which as great as that sounds, I have to rely on Sheryl to drive. Oh yeah now we are having some fun around these parts. 🙂

    Take care and follow the PT, because a cast is pure evil.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh. I hope the time goes by fast. I was in a boot but non-weight bearing for almost over 11 weeks. I could only take it off to shower. It is horrible. Today, I found out I have metatarsophalangeal joint sprain in 3 toes. The fracture has healed but the sprain is hard to treat and my arthritis and swelling is making it hard for the toes to heal. Going to use a graphite plate to keep my toes from bending. It’s just not fun. I do listen to my PT. I’m a speech therapist, so I work with them. Therapy only works if you put in the time and effort. Thank you and be well my friend!

      Like

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