"Honey, wake up. I'm having trouble opening up my hands. My fingers are stiff." I tapped my husband but he wouldn’t budge. It's the strangest thing...do you think it was the golf?
"Babe, wake up….that thing with my hands is happening again....it's like my fingers are hard; they are stiff. I was thinking, it's probably that time I fell off the bike. You know, I've never been right since then.”
“Get up, hon..." ya know, I know you think I am crazy, but I'm going to go to that sports medicine guy to look at my fingers....it could be that TRX class I took. It's really beginning to bug me...my fingers have trouble opening up each morning. Maybe I'm sleeping on them...ya know how I sleep like a little baby with my hands curled up....honey..wake up.”
As the morning conversations came and went, my hands became slightly stiffer….I had to know what was causing it…was it the TRX, was it the golf, or was it that bike incident? Why did I have to fall off that damn bike?
The sports medicine doctor took X-rays, gave me blood tests, and assured me that it was probably nothing. I liked him…He calmed me down. I considered stopping those golf lessons for awhile, at least.
Then I got the phone call. The doctor called me at 8pm on a Friday night to tell me that none of my daily sports activities was causing my fingers to swell. I was testing positive for an autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid arthritis. It might have nothing to do with it and it might be anything but I should see a Rheumatologist. I didn’t even know what that was. I got frightened. What can I say? I cried. I cried a lot.
Here, begins my ongoing story within my blog of how I lost control of my health and my life before I took control back.
I won’t write about how I let it take hold of me and wouldn’t let me go. I won’t tell you about the millions of googles I googled of sad stories, the doctors I saw, the meds I consumed, the nights I spent crying, how sorry I felt for myself, how I pictured myself old and crippled at least a few times a day, the days I spent in bed feeling depressed, the charts and medical records that have filled a room, the nights that I spent wondering what I would feel like when I woke up, and worrying about when the next flare would come back to haunt me. I won’t tell you any of that.
But, I will recount to you over the next ten days, how I almost let it take my sense of self away before I learned to protect it. I can't say it’s a happy ending or a sad one because I'm still living it....I always will be.....but I will say that it's a journey. It's a process of self nourishment and I have completed the first ten steps. Step 11 hasn't been written yet.
Tomorrow: My RA Blog: Step One: Playing The Victim is for Sissys
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