Hello! Remember me? I used to blog weekly about my life with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, Graves Disease, and more recently depression. I took an unexpected break. I decided for the first time in 30 years the I would not work this summer. It’s going to hurt me financially, but my mind and body needed a break. I didn’t realize the the break would also include a break from writing. I genuinely had nothing to say. I worked on planning my dad’s funeral (my family had two funerals this summer due to COVID deaths in the fall). I can honestly say processing through that grief left me feeling empty and drained. My RA is a bit more controlled due to a return to my old medication, but depression is a nasty beast.
How have I coped? I started a low dose of medication and have maintained my therapy sessions. I tried to focus on me while caring for my mom. It’s not easy. I coped by reading escapist novels, making TikToks featuring my dog (please follow us! @finnirouxcavalier), and learning how to let my hair dry curly naturally (hey, I call that a win!). Not very ambitious, but it is all I could manage. I couldn’t write, no matter how I tried. Today was the first time I felt like I had something to say…..so here it goes.
I love the Olympics. I love watching sports competitions no matter how obscure. Water polo, rugby, swimming, gymnastics. I’m utterly amazed by the talent and dedication that goes into being an Olympic athlete. Am I jealous? Probably a bit. I haven’t been able to walk more than a block in the past 3 months due to an horrible RA flare. I switched back to my old medication and slowly feel more in control of this disease. My swelling has decreased tremendously…..so much so, I was able to get my sneakers on my feet again without excruciating pain. Steroids combined with depression and pain has led to a big weight gain and a serious negative body image. I decided to take advantage of the results of my new/old medication and try to get back on track.
I’ve been staying with my mom so I decided to begin walking along the river levee near her home. It’s beautiful and pretty peaceful. It’s also flat and smooth, so no extra stress on my ankles with hills.
I haven’t been able to walk consistently since last November when my disease began to spiral. I have days where each step is painful and days where I’m not feeing pain until I’m almost back to my car. Life is like a box of chocolates, so I never know what I am going to get. All I know is that I am going to try to walk each day during the month of August. My app also measures my walking symmetry. On a day when I was limping more, it was high. Today it was down to 4%. I take that as a win.
In addition to walking, I’m going to blog more regularly again. I needed a 2 month brain break, but now it’s time to get back to writing and better physical and mental health.