Saturday, February 7, 2015

Arthritis by the Numbers

I'm flaring. Again. This is the fourth flare requiring prednisone (aka "Satan's Tic Tacs") in the past 12 months. Granted I've been off my fancy arthritis meds due to recent surgery for the past 4 months, but I'm a little fed up with how significantly my RA is inconveniencing the rest of my life. I'd like to work, I'd like to parent my children, I'd like to go on a date with my husband, I'd like to go out, I'd like to not be in pain, I'd like to not meter out my spoons like they were made of pure gold. I'd really like a ray of hope.

To put this in perspective, I have pulled some stats on my RA:

1 - The number of upcoming surgeries I have scheduled in the next 3 months
2 - The number of shoulder biopsies I've had to date
3- The number of shoulder surgeries on my right side alone alone,  in a 4 year period
4 - The number of shoulder surgeries I've had in 5 years
5 - I've had 5 surgeries in total related to my RA
24 - The number of years I’ve had RA.
30 - The number of times I’ve seen my orthopaedic surgeon in 5 ½ years.
Dozens - The number of x-rays I've had in my RA career.
100's - the number of needles I've had for various injections and withdrawals in and out of my body, including the ones I've given to myself.
1000's - the number of pills I've taken in the past 24 years.

My RA is a part of my life. It is happening, and – like many things in life – it’s how you manage through the obstacles that life throws at you that determine your character. Right now, don’t care about how character-building this might be. One could argue that I’ve built a lifetime of character throughout the past 24 years.

One of the best gems that I found was Tom Odell's "Another Love". All my tears have been used up, I don't know how to grieve for this disease any more.

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