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and the beat goes on....

Monday, February 10, 2020

I have had my world rocked with an initial diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. It is not like "regular" arthritis. It is usually progressive. It can affect other organs like the heart and lungs. It is scary if I let it be.

Because my husband is petrified, he has not been helpful to me on my journey to accept. But that's okay because honestly, though he loves me and I love him, how I process this life event is between me and God. I spent a few days so angry. Okay..more than a few. But yesterday I got past the anger. God is like that perfect parent, in the sense that even if you're mad at Him, you can say, "I am mad at you!" and He won't love you less. He will hear your pain. He won't take it personally. He will just be glad you confided in Him.

When I lost weight, I had imagined it was due to the power of forgiveness; toward others, and toward myself. I still think that. But I also think that God already knew of my diagnosis and He helped me in a grand way. The biggest factor that influences why a woman would not go into remission if she has rheumatoid arthritis, is her weight. For a man, it's if he is a smoker. I love seeing God in action. How much He loves me.

My hands get super swollen, as do my feet. I go for my first visit to the rheumatologist next Thursday and I'm sure she will get me started on medication. The medications, even, are scary in their potential side effects. But all I can do is trust, and move forward. Do what I can, when I can.

I have hand splints for carpal tunnel that are working well for my aches and pains. I bought myself heated gloves you put in the microwave. I bought an ankle strap for my fitbit because when I use the splints the fitbit on my wrist gets squooshed and hurts, lol.

I am focusing on eating arthritis-friendly foods like berries, spinach, walnuts, broccoli, grapes, garlic and ginger. I am exercising when I feel good. I am told I shouldn't run anymore but walking and biking and the elliptical are all great. I will eventually do weight training, but not with hand weights. I am told that I must do stretching and also focus on relaxation techniques.

It's like preparing for a whole new way of living. I guess along the way there will be some mourning, you know? But my greatest intention is to continue to shine. It's a vital part of me that cannot be dimmed. I am grateful for it.

I have joined an RA team and they are wonderful and supportive and mostly, upbeat. Mostly. lol . This is just a new part of my story. A new way I can come beside someone and encourage.

For that, I am grateful.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh Sue, you are so fantastic. What a gift the RA community is about to have! emoticon
    37 days ago
    Found your blog by chance.... went to leave a comment in another Sparkers page and saw your thank you for reading comment! Late to the Party.... but here for support and encouragement friend! 🤗
    39 days ago
    While I'm sorry to hear your diagnosis, I love how strong your faith is. "In all things give thanks." I'm slowly but surely learning to do that.
    39 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Sue. thank you for having and displaying the courage to write this honest and inspiring blog. I'm very sorry about your RA diagnosis, and I will keep you in my prayers. You are so right in your explanation how God helps us - in ways we never could even imagine and how His love for us is totally unconditional, and pure.

    You are definitely showing your "spirit warrior" in being so proactive, and positive, and I admire you for it. I am confident that you will come through this stronger than you are right now. I also know that God will give you HIs peace, His comfort, and all the strength that you need to face whatever as you move forward. I see you as the dragonfly, struggling mightily through all the murkiness of it all, only to break through to the light that you always knew was there - waiting to shine its sunshine and warmth upon you. emoticon
    39 days ago
    Your post prompted me to explore more about RA. I'm so sorry you've received the diagnosis - it begins a new adventure in self care, doesn't it? Sending you my warm wishes and gentle prayers. And yes. You do have a divine hand supporting you.

    I wish you all the best - and stay away from the sugar!

    Thank you for the bloglove yesterday.
    43 days ago
  • no profile photo SOCCERMOM99
    One step a a time. You are our warrior role model. emoticon emoticon
    44 days ago
    So sorry you are dealing with this. Next is learning how to manage the condition and continue moving forward. You can do this. Just as you focused your strength on weight loss and the emotional baggage many of us have along with it, you will summon your strength for this challenge. All of your friends here are with you!
    44 days ago
    You have the right attitude. I am sorry about the diagnosis, but I am so impressed with how you are coping!
    45 days ago
  • SHELLS514
    You know I am here for you every, single day! emoticon
    47 days ago
  • BEDA65
    Amazing the support you have here, my friend.
    Recalculate, process and trust.
    Whatever is going to be will be...accept.
    Live and let God take care of the rest.
    47 days ago
    Amazing attitude prayers of strength be with you emoticon
    47 days ago
    Sending you strength!
    48 days ago
    Your attitude is spot on, such wisdom in your words. Arthritis is a beast in any shape or form. Osteoarthritis took out both of my knees at 47. Since becoming bionic, I have learned the relevance of an anti inflammatory diet, the role and need for exercise. As one PT told me, motion is the lotion. You will find what works for you. Praise for your awareness, for such an amazing relationship with God. He can handle our anger, our sadness, our disbelief and confusion. Prayers for you as you begin this season in your life. Attitude drives sooooo much, yours is incredible!!! Amen, chica!
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    48 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/11/2020 7:53:56 AM
    Your attitude is inspiring. Thanks for sharing your feelings as well as hope. God has this in his hands and will let you know what they are when it is the right time. I am so glad he does not judge us when we are honest with him,
    48 days ago
  • LINDA!
    Wishing you all the best with this painful condition. Praying for you. emoticon
    48 days ago
    48 days ago
    Oh, Sue, I am so sorry to hear of your RA diagnosis. Your symptoms sound quite painful, but it sounds like you are doing your very best to combat them and live a good life under the new circumstances you've been given. I completely agree with you that God has a plan and pays attention to every detail. How fortunate that God led you to lose the weight last year so that you can face this new challenge in a much stronger position than you would have otherwise. I hope your husband will come to share the tranquility you seem to be gaining as you mourn the loss of what was and move on to what will be. And I know you'll keep on shining your light no matter what!
    49 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    emoticon Sending prayers
    49 days ago
  • 1BLAZER282005
    My prayers are with you 🙏 as you fight this disease. God bless you as you prepare for this new way of living.
    49 days ago
    I have had R.A. since I was 38 and I have done well with it. My mom had severe R,A. My dad had severe osteoarthritis. I don't take any meds as both of my parents had renal failure, mom from R.A. meds and most meds are nephrotoxic or hepatotoxic. I control mine through diet, exercise, rest, heat, and muscle rubs. Giving up gluten helps me the most. Hugs.
    49 days ago
    It's definitely ok to be angry....,,,
    I was so angry at God when I found out I had seizures, I cried for days, & finally wrote God a letter telling Him HOW ANGRY I was (and I still have that letter..it sure helped tho') you have such a positive attitude about the changes you are facing, except no one says they'll be easy..darn ,,we wish they could. I think it's true...God had this planned as He does for everything, but He's also given you the strength to go through this , & giving you this positive attitude is part of that strength.
    Sending you many loving thoughts, & many prayers to keep strong dear friend....I'm always here to lend an ear, or in any way I can!
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    49 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon Aging offers up all kinds of opportunities for learning about new things, even when they are not of our own choice. Knowledge is power and it sounds like you will seek out information and make the best of it.
    49 days ago
    emoticon emoticon I am sorry to read this, but if anyone can lick a change, it's you. emoticon emoticon
    49 days ago
    Well, Sue I am sorry you have this. I hope you can learn how to best live with it too. I love the heated glove idea. You will have to let me know where you got them. My hands hurt and are stiff ALL the time. Anyways, sending many blessings your way. emoticon emoticon
    49 days ago
    Sue, emoticon & emoticon

    Sounds like some of our food choices are similar minus the grapes which are eaten on rare occasion since they tend to ramp inflammation up in my body.

    Although my recent diagnoses are different, I have to agree with SHMOOKITTY ... sums up the whole journey ... "It is scary if I let it be"

    The other thing I relate to is the inability of my husband to be of much support. He freaked out so badly with my diagnosis that he was ready to begin preparing the house for sale so we could move into an assisted living facility and was repeatedly saying, "I cannot do this. I cannot do this." He was entirely unable to be present for what I was experiencing because he was too freaked out himself.

    He remains pretty much in denial. It is what it is. I am not surprised. Don't love the man any less. Simply keenly aware that I am pretty much on my own in this. Despite all of this my spirits continue to run high.

    We have RA in the family and I was tested for it prior to the other diagnoses coming down. I've not shared my diagnoses publicly. I'd never heard of them before. Never heard them mentioned by anyone else other than the docs that have diagnosed me. They're both rare with unknown causes and no known treatments. So, it's essentially the blind leading the blind.

    I was offered one drug treatment and opted not to take it. The known side effects far outweighed the risks for the extremely limited number of individuals that achieved limited relief. Yeah. I know my body and it's relationship with medication. Not going there. I'll die first.

    49 days ago
    You are so right about God looking out for us even before we know what we need. Being lighter will be much better on your joints. Sending prayers and good wishes to you on your new journey. It sounds like you are doing all of the things you can to help yourself. emoticon
    49 days ago
    Thank you for this honest and inspiring blog. I'm very sorry about your RA diagnosis - my heart goes out to you. My cousin, Martha, has had it for years and I'm sure it's challenging, but she has continued to go on with life, as you are. I love the way you explain how God feels towards us when we bring Him our deepest honest feelings and pain - He can handle it and love us through it all. It sounds like you are doing all you can to help your condition and I admire your positive actions and determination. It's good you're getting in touch with others who are dealing with RA, too. I wish you peace, comfort, and strength. I believe that you will continue to thrive in spite of this.
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    49 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/10/2020 1:34:50 PM
  • LORI-K
    Sending prayers your way! For you, your husband and your medical team!
    Thank you for sharing. We are here for you on Spark!
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    49 days ago
  • _BABE_
    I definitely think like most diseases there is a mind/body connection. You are already ahead of the game with this winning I will get through it attitude.
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    49 days ago
    HUGS and prayers. Your attitude will make the challenge much easier (and I know . . . it really ISN'T easy). My prayers that the rheumatologist can help you. One step @ a time. You are STRONG. You have your priorities right.

    And knowledge is power. I am sure you'll learn a lot @ your visit w/the specialist. That knowledge is exactly what's needed to remove at least some of the fear for this new change in your life.

    For sure, mourning is a naturally expected thing to go thru with such a huge change in your life! Allow yourself to go thru the emotions. I know you will. That's healing.

    I have osteoarthritis (definitely not the same as rheumatoid arthritis) and like your challenge, it, too, requires lifestyle changes to cope. But it's do-able!

    49 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/10/2020 11:39:21 AM
    One step, one day at a time. Hugs and prayers.
    49 days ago
    Attitude is everything, and yours is the best! You are also so very right... it is scary if you let it be... adjustment and learning to live well with a chronic condition is a process. Pain, challenge, conflict, grief and change are inevitable; misery, defeat, combat, sorrow and growth are all optional. I will be holding you up in prayer in all ways, always!
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    49 days ago
    You have a great attitude and I know that you will fit this and win as only a great warrior, such as you, can do. emoticon
    49 days ago
    I love your attitude! Reading the Psalms, many of them start with Why God or Where are you, or something like that and end with Your lovingkindness or Great are you LORD or like that.
    49 days ago
    I stopped and prayed for you after reading your blog. Hugs to you Sue. Hugs.
    49 days ago
  • RAMONA1954
    Thanks for sharing your story. Praying for you. My cousin has RA. I've had a couple Aunts with it too. Take care of yourself. Hugs
    49 days ago
    ☆Stay Strong & ☆SPARKLE! ☆
    49 days ago
    emoticon Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with others!
    49 days ago
    49 days ago
    I loved this, sums up the whole journey - "It is scary if I let it be"

    49 days ago
    Prayers and thanks for sharing
    49 days ago
    Thanks for sharing and yes it is a struggle but your attitude will be a big help in how well you handle of all this. And knowing God has you in the palm of hand is also a such a comfort
    49 days ago
    49 days ago
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