What we do

My diagnosis, at first, was RA. Then it changed to ‘sero-variable polyarthritis’ and fibromyalgia. I’ve been on the drugs, the methotrexate shots, the hydroxychloroquine, the steroids, and countless others, until my body had just had enough (suddenly turning allergic to meds left me nearly hospitalized).

No longer taking methotrexate

Now, I am glad I am not on the methotrexate anymore, simply because I did come down with COVID, and my fight against that virus with a weaker immune system would not have left me in very good shape, I know. Thankfully, I am over it, with a bit of difficulty catching my breath at times, though even that is getting better.

Autoimmune diseases tend to run in my family

I have this diagnosis, my older brother has RA, my older sister has fibromylagia, my mother has vitiligo and fibro, my grandmother had RA, my grandmother’s sister had MS. With all this, how can they say it’s not hereditary?

How I get myself by

So how do I do it? How do I get through day after day without all these drugs that are meant to help but were causing me so much damage? I really don’t know how to answer that. I alternate Tylenol, ibuprofen and Aleve, simply because taking one constantly seems to do less and less good over time. I do little exercises in my bed before I actually climb out of it. (This is after being awake for a half-hour and already taking my morning dose of over-the-counter ‘take the edge off’ pills.) My best friend is in my chair and in my bed (my beloved heating pad, because cold makes the pain so much more intense). I turn my brain off and do things that don’t require me to think, simply because being aware makes me more aware of the pain I am in.

Crocheting has been a boon for me

I have purchased the hooks for arthritic hands, so I’m not trying to grasp a thin piece of metal. The constant movement, even though it can be slow at times, helps me to keep my hands moving, helps with the swelling and the pain. I walk around my yard, looking for sticks or garbage to pick up, keeping my knees, ankles, and the balls of my feet from seizing up (I love those grabby sticks so I don’t have to constantly bend over all the time). It’s the little things that keep me moving, and the knowledge that I have to take care of mom and dad that keeps me going.

The good and bad days

For me, there are 'good' days, and 'not-so-good' days. I try not to let myself have a 'bad' day, simply because they seem to pile up one after the other after another.

Here's hoping you have more 'good' days than 'not-so-good'.

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