17 years, 6 months and a few days. Daily. Chronic. Never-ending. Infinite. Constant. Permanent. Yuck.
Here's the thing that has been on my mind recently - there is no end. There is no cure. I haven't seen a remission in a good long while. My meds are decreasing on some ways - reducing my prednisone - but I've also brought in some heavy hitters - Enbrel - to fight the battle. Overall, I'd say I'm up on the medication front. And this is to keep me comfortable. No pain-free. Not in remission. Just functioning at an "arthritic normal" level.
I used to believe that I was working towards some mystical place called remission - that one magical day my meds would decrease. I'm not naive enough to believe I could some day live drug-free, however fewer meds would be nice. I think I've given up on that dream and am working towards not taking more meds. I am aiming high on that one.
I know that since biologics have entered my life - and many others in the RA blog community - there has been a significant impact on overall disease activity. Problem is for me - I have 17 years of RA damage to contend with - resulting in 1 teflon shoulder and 1 on the way in 2010. But in the end, there is no end in sight. Some days I have tonnes of energy - others, not so much. And while there is no end in sight, at least some days I have the energy to enjoy the scenery along the way.