Today I had a shoulder biopsy. It was the third one of my RA/shoulder surgery career. It hurts. It is my most dreaded procedure. It is emotionally and physically draining. It involves sticking six needles in your shoulder joint to obtain cell samples to ensure there is no infection prior to surgery. A necessary evil. The reality looks more like me lying in a radiology suite sobbing for 45 minutes, using all my yoga training and deep breathing to keep as calm as possible and barely succeeding.
Biopsy day came hot on the heels of a rheumatology appointment yesterday where I was injected - for the first time - with cortisone via IM. That was new. Usually my cortisone comes in the form of joint injections or oral tablets. My joints overall are quite poor right now, and I needed a boost. I'm off my fancy arthritis drugs given the frequency at which I seem to be returning to the OR for shoulder surgery. The drugs interfere with my ability to heal, which is incompatible with surgery. Yesterday I got jacked up on 'roids. For real. I should be feeling physically better in the next day or so, but the emotional side is taking longer to work through the "why" of these procedures.
I'm having a hard time reconciling the events since March 29th, and I haven't really tried all that hard. Writing this blog entry is the first time I've tried to encapsulate what's happened. And I'm failing miserably. I don't know how to say in different words, the separateness that my RA creates in my life. I don't get to escape this. It's etched into my shoulder everytime I look in the mirror, it's etched into my hands in their deformity, and in my face as I cringe in pain. Every. Single. Day.
I'm tired. I'm just so utterly, gut wrenchingly exhausted of having RA. Especially these past months. So tired it hurts. So tired I just want to pretend it's not happening. I just don't have any more emotional or physical energy to spare to write, speak or think about it. I'd love to go a day where I'm not sick. Where I don't have to take any meds, where I don't have to worry about what I can or cannot do in case I run out of enegery. A day where I don't have any pain. At all. For just 1 day. That is so unimaginable, like winning the lottery. People have dreams of all kinds - money, fame, happiness. All I want is a pain and RA-free day.
In the midst of these medical appointments and RA-emotional meltdown, I watched the movie "Cake"- a gritty look about a women dealing with chronic pain. That hit pretty close to home. The trailer uses Hearts' song "Hemiplegia" which speaks to me of fighting a battle you might not win, and might never end. Very much mirroring my fight with RA.