Believe It or Not. . .
Believe it or not, I am thriving and grateful for this time of “safer at home” isolation! Prior to self-isolation being strongly encouraged, I was wondering if I would have to take time off from work due to my disease status. I work as a parish nurse in a church and had already been curtailing my visits.
Deciding to work from home due to coronavirus
Then came the day where I was no longer comfortable going to my church office because of the COVID-19 virus. I basically told my Pastor that I was going to work from home. Period! No discussion. I would make calls from home, continue daily research on the virus, coordinate needs and be the point of contact for the members over 55.
Setting up a home office
Easier said than done. I came home and began setting up a home office. First, I had to clean off the kitchen table—YIKES! That took 4 hours. I have never been a stellar housekeeper. I’ve only gotten worse with rheumatoid disease and fibromyalgia.
Then I set up my laptop, only to find that my office program was not working. The program told me to update it. Every time I attempted to update it, it told me I couldn’t! I am tech-savvy and am great with software. You can imagine my irritation when I couldn’t figure out the problem. Finally, after eight hours of haggling with my computer, I turned it off and called it a day.
More work from home problem solving
It’s amazing what a night of sleep will do. The next morning, I decided to start over and download (and pay for) a new office subscription. When it finished downloading, it wouldn’t work! That’s when I realized that Microsoft no longer automatically removes your old programs when it installs a new one. I searched again and found out I had 3 office programs on my laptop!! I finally got rid of those, shut down for 10 minutes and restarted.
All is well, right? Wrong. Now the computer updates so everything will work correctly. I had not done updates in 15 months. Three hours later, my computer finally works! Now for the wireless printer I had never hooked up. Fortunately, this went well, except when I realized I cannot fax because I do not have a phone line. Some day in the future, I will check out e-faxing. If anyone has information on e-faxing, I would be grateful.
Brain fog kept me from finding solutions quickly
As I pondered the brain fog that kept me from finding solutions more quickly, I realized my RA was not under control at all. I had been on a new medication for seven months and it was obviously not working. It wasn’t just work that was draining me.
Switching medications to help with symptoms
As I waited for my medication change appointment with my rheumatologist, I was relieved to be making phone calls from my couch. My feet were up, my fluffy shawl and blankets were on, and my dogs were cuddling. I spend about three hours a day on the computer, the rest on phone calls. Relief! Just the fact that I could go to work in my pajamas with my feet up made a huge difference. Even though I am an extrovert, I am an introvert when I don’t feel well.
When I went for my medication change, I had a long list of symptoms. My rheumatologist and I discussed several options and came to an agreement. Thirteen days on the new medication, and I am already seeing improvement. Swelling is down, pain is manageable, sleep is improved, and mood is better. I am carefully optimistic.
What has “safer at home” meant to you?
Right now, what RA tips would most be helpful for you?