My New Normal

I actually started a piece on “remission” because I felt like I was doing exceptionally well. I was still on all my meds I also felt like my RA was not very active. I started outlining the article when…

RA and sickness

…Back in September, due to some insurance issues (now resolved), I missed my Orencia infusion by three weeks. After that, I was sick for two months, but just barely. I was in that awkward pre-sick phase. I tried a new medication which tipped my immune system over the edge and the remaining weeks laid up with a persistent sinus infection.

Now, before I go all ‘woe is me’ (too late, Monica) I just want to say I still wasn’t poor off. My RD didn’t really flare up and I was still mobile. I was just beyond fatigued. I slept most of the day (as seen on my sleep tracker) and didn’t have any energy except to go to work and care for the pets. It felt like ever since I missed the infusion my body played catch up, and not very well.

I seem to have a new “normal” but what’s interesting is I don’t feel flared up. I still don’t feel like my RA is very active. Sure, I still have stiffness in the morning and pain in the evening but my condition is like a little gnat at the back of my head. I’m aware of its presence, it’s annoying but it doesn’t bother me enough to do anything about it.

Chronic fatigue

I just feel so ridiculously tired it’s comical. There is chronic fatigue with an autoimmune condition like Rheumatoid Arthritis/Rheumatoid Disease. It’s very tiring when the body constantly fights itself. TAKE A BREAK, WHY DON’T YOU AND LEAVE ME IN PEACE! But, what I’m feeling is different. It’s pure exhaustion and one that can’t be eradicated by naps or a good night’s sleep.

A new lifestyle with RA?

Is this my new lifestyle where I am so tired I can’t do anything more than work? The new routine that doesn’t include seeing my friends and completely isolating myself from the world? (Bonus that it’s happening during my favorite time of year…UGH) Probably not, hopefully not, but unfortunately this has been my every day since mid-September.

I’m sure (though not 100% positive) that outside factors triggered this exhaustion and not my RA alone. I got really, really sick. After some quick medication changes the cold cleared up rapidly. I have chronic sinusitis so any illness quickly turns into an infection. Unluckily, this sinus infection never really happened. It brewed under the surface for weeks but I couldn’t start antibiotics because there was nothing to fight. Finally, eventually, the sinus infection hit a head and I treated it.

I felt great and didn’t get sick after my infusion this past month but over the last couple of days, I have a nasty cough and runny nose! …I’m going to blame the weather on this one because I don’t feel sick. I just feel tired, again.

Body, I love you, but I would prefer this lethargy is not our constant companion through the season.

And now that I’ve vented for over 500 words, how about you? Does your body or condition go through phases like this? Is mine due to the RA or just a bad Fall hand?

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