Twenty three years of RA, thousands of pills, hundreds of needles, dozens of x-rays, four surgeries including two joint replacements. At 38, I'm a veteran.
Arthritis is cruel. It takes away things you didn't even know you were missing - until one day, you realize that you've been dealt a pretty shitty hand, and you are just so irreconcilably angry you can't even type straight. Like today. It's been a tough year. I am carrying a sizeable chip on my shoulder about my most recent shoulder surgery, and I can't seem to shake it.
I feel, in some ways, I'm back to square one - asking "why me" and knowing that it is just so unfair. The stages of grief apply to chronic disease, but the cycle doesn't end. There is no closure - there is no end. The stages wax and wane, moving from denial to anger, flirting with depression and coming to some semblance of acceptance. And then the balance is disturbed by a flare, a bad day, a change in meds or perhaps another shoulder surgery. And right now I'm stuck at angry. So very pissed off at my disease there is little room for other emotions.
I can't seem to write my blog without coming back to this theme - I am a broken record.
The ironic part is that I'm feeling relatively good - RA wise. Shoulder rehab is going well. No more morning stiffness - my flare seems to have passed. But I haven't recovered from last year.
As the years go by, and the RA burns brightly in the background, it's harder and harder to bounce back as quickly to my "usual" self. I'm also noticing that my usual self isn't the same. Life changes you, RA changes you. I'm not as happy-go-lucky as I used to be.
I've brushed off and shrugged off so much pain and so much concern over the years - but the reality is, I just want someone to make it go away. And that is not going to happen. And I can't imagine the strength it will take to fight this battle for another 23 years. I don't know if I have it in me.
A colleague sent me a re-mix of this song - but the original speaks to me more, and matches my
mood. I feel sometimes like drifting away - seems easier than fighting.