The road to wellness…

I want to feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Right now, I feel like a dump truck of lousy. I’ve documented my family trauma due to COVID and cancer. I’ve worked on recovering from losing a dog that meant the world to me. Depression has been an issue ever since being diagnosed with my third autoimmune disease almost 20 years ago. It’s hard living in a body that seems to disrespect me so often. I also work in a school setting. I’ve worked in schools since 1991, but teaching during a pandemic has been the most stressful experience. It’s draining trying to be upbeat for my students, while grieving family members lost and worrying about family members remaining, worried about poor ventilation in my office and maintaining social distancing, and worrying about providing quality speech therapy while wearing a mask for kids attending in person and virtual therapy simultaneously. I’m exhausted. The tragedies and stress in my life recently have caused me to seek out pleasure food as a coping mechanism. I’ve gained weight. I feel awful and ugly. My body hurts so much and my energy is so low that the best self-care I can manage now is streaming TV shows and listening to audio books. Winter has prevented me from getting out and walking more. (I’ve had a broken leg AND a broken foot twice since 2013…can’t risk slipping). I walk my puppy, but it’s not enough. Often, back and hip pain make the walks short.

In addition to managing my “regular” health issues, I have a painful shoulder due to bursitis and tendonitis. It’s an injury that keeps being reinjured by simple every day tasks like washing my hair and carrying groceries. I also am dealing with Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). So every day tasks like washing may hair has me almost crashing to the ground. Sleeping has become a bit of a nightmare because anytime I move my head while I am lying down, the room begins to spin. Between the bed spins and vertigo AND shoulder pain, I’m averaging about 4 hours of sleep during the work week. It’s not healthy and I am exhausted.

I want to jump in to all things healthy, but I know I can’t do that until I tick off a list of issues that I need to “fix” prior to getting my life back on track. First up, I made an appointment for a guided corticosteroid shots to treat my bursitis and tendonitis. If there isn’t improvement in 2 weeks, I will have to consider regenerative medicine. It’s not covered by insurance and pricey, but I need to do what I need to do to get better. Next up, I have to deal with my aching hips (my hips &n lower back are so painful that I am barely walking). I am going for blood work and then meeting with my rheumatologist on Friday. I may need a dexa scan on my hips to see what is going on. My gut tells me it is arthritis, but I seem to be an overachiever with bursitis. Time will tell. Finally, I’m going to get an appointment at a balance center to figure out my vertigo issues. It’s not as severe as it has been in the past, but it’s still present and seemingly more chronic. I feel like I need to get my pain figured out first because right now, it is having a big negative impact.

I’m ticking off my list one ailment at a time. Sadly, my first treatment, guided steroid injections, caused an RA flare. A big one. Enough to knock me off my feet. One step forward, two steps back….but I’m still in motion. Wish me luck.

Posted by

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 “The road to wellness…

  1. Kelly, I have them stacking up as well. I have a second back surgery and a should er that needs cleaned up and that hurt constantly. With any luck I will get these fixed before I roll up another. I think we should have a surgery discount card?

    Like

  2. Boy howdy I know the feeling. One thing gets “fixed”, and something else breaks.

    I had injections in my cervical spine to help with my headaches, and my thoracic, which usually doesn’t bother me much, decided to start screaming.

    Sending you lots of spoons and grace as you deal with everything.

    @dSavannahCreate from dSavannahRambles

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s