I Hate RA

I hate RA. Whether you call it Rheumatoid arthritis or Rheumatoid disease, I hate everything about it. I hate waking up and trying three times to get out of bed. I hate the morning stiffness that causes me to grunt and groan for an hour after I get up. I hate the fact that walking across a bare floor barefoot makes me hobble around and feel like I am walking on gravel. I hate the pain in my hands when I pick up a glass of water to swallow the handful of meds that keep this crazy disease hopefully in check. I hate the meds with the very real side effects and “potential” side effects that can be “serious.” I hate the MTX shot that I administer to myself every Saturday. I hate that sometimes it zonks me out all the way through Monday. I hate the Dr. visits (although I am blessed to have a caring, understanding rheumatologist who, along with his staff, go out of their way to make my visits pleasant with short wait times.) I hate the fact that RA is “incurable.” The reality of having to put up with this monster for the rest of my life is not a pleasant thought.

It may sound like I am crying the blues or that I am bitter about this whole thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t have to look very far to see someone who has it lots worse than me. My sister has been confined to a wheelchair for probably 20 years with osteoarthritis. She has congestive heart disease and is severely diabetic. She also has a “no-quit” attitude that I feed off of. Then I think of the 16 year old girl in our county who has “Diamond Blackfan Anemia.” A heavy burden for anyone to carry, much less a 16 year old. No, no pity-party here.

I hate RA enough that I will not give an inch in my day to day battle with it. I will not let it stop me. Granted there are concessions that must be made and I am still learning on that one! Having been an athlete for most of my adult life (mainly road cycling) I probably am guilty of pushing way too hard at times. That, coupled with a pain tolerance level that my Rheumatologist told me was way too high for my own good (after he put a steroid shot into my wrist and didn’t get a reaction out of me.)and tends to get me into trouble. Maybe someday I will learn a balance. I hate RA enough that I will engage it with the necessary meds to keep it under as much control as is possible. I hate it enough that I will not let it rob me of the joys of life and living. If I have learned anything in my 64 years of living it is that life is precious and we have no promise of tomorrow, so one had better seize the moment and share it with those that one loves, care about others and in spite of the bumps in the road (like RA) give back something to make life a little better for those around us and leave this world a little better than we found it!

Yes I hate RA, but I love life and living and RA will never change that!!!

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