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Losing hope

  • By LeeSylvester

    Two years ago to this day, I was a 37 year old, 190lb man. I was fit and healthy with no known health issues of any kind. One month later, my knee swelled up. It was 6 months before I got the diagnosis of RA. Now, I’m mostly bed ridden and weigh around 140lbs. My left knee is so bad, I can only make it to the bathroom once every few days, having to shuffle on my right foot. My arms, elbows, wrists and fingers ache. I can’t make a fist. I take ibuprofen and paracetamol for the pain. I tried tramadol, but it does nothing for me. I am on methotrexate, but it doesn’t seem to work, either.

    My life has taken a huge turn in a short time. My life feels like its on hold. I’m living separate from my wife, at the moment. I guess she has enough to tend to with her life. She does try to help, with moral support and advice, but I don’t think she really understands my situation. I have no physical help from anyone. I make do with deliveries of fruit and “just add water” rice noodles so I can keep it all around my bed and don’t need to walk anywhere to eat.

    Normally, I’m Mr. Super-Positive. People say how brave and mentally strong I am, for dealing with such a severe disability and staying happy. I always refuse help, though thats mostly because I need non-moving objects to get around. People aren’t immobile enough for me to feel safe. However, I think this just adds to the strong illusion. But, alas, it’s all a fallacy. I am weak, tired and depressed. I have such little strength left. I’m so tired with it all and want some kind of respite.

    I know this seems so stupid. There are people out there fighting worse things than this. I don’t have cancer or MS, for instance. I guess I’m just not really that strong.

    Tonight, things got a lot worse after I finally admitted to myself that the pain and swelling in my right knee is also RA and not strain as I’ve been telling myself it is. I’m on a fast track downhill. My weight, physical strength, pain, mental health and will are all spiralling downwards, and I don’t know what to do about it.

    Needing love and support,
    Lee

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  • By Erin Rush Moderator

    Lee, I am so sorry you are going through this. Although you feel alone, know there are many people here that can empathize with what you are going through. You can check out our facebook page and share over there, if that appeals to you — https://www.facebook.com/RheumatoidArthritisDotNet/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf. And, don’t underestimate how serious RA is. In light of your comments, I thought this article from one of our contributors might resonate with you — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living/at-least-its-not-cancer/. As hard as it may be, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Many loved ones and friends just don’t know what to do and would probably be glad to help. It’s hard to admit that we can’t do it all ourselves. What you have been doing up to this point is no longer working for you. So, only you can decide what the next step is. I would urge you to talk with your physician and let him know about your pain and increased symptoms; including the decreased morale. Chronic conditions don’t only affect the physical parts of your body; but your mind and emotions as well. And those need to be addressed. Here is an article about managing the emotional stress that comes with RA — https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/living-with-ra/managing-emotional-problems-and-stress/. Many community members have found local support groups to be of great benefit to their well being. You can find local RA groups and services through the Arthritis Foundation — 800-283-7800. Don’t let RA take more away from you than it already has. Many people with RA have to find a new normal. It may not be the normal you want, but it is a normal worth striving for. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to those around you or to connect with this online community. While I am sorry for your diagnosis, I am glad you found this community. Thank you for posting. Wishing you a good night, Erin (RheumatoidArthritis.net Team Member).

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  • By Saylav44

    Lee I think you need to see a rheumatoid doctor as soon as possible.If your symptoms are that bad you need to find medication that works.Chronic pain can cause depression to and that can make pain worse,dealing with issues is difficult but you are not alone.I have had Ra for nine years and now oa in my back and hip.I make a choice daily to get out of bed and accomplish one thing,sometimes it’s only getting out of bed and dressed,but I do it and some days that’s a victory in itself.I hope you feel better soon!

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    • By Jillian S Moderator

      Saylav44,
      Thank you for your feedback and words of encouragement! It is people like you who make our community a supportive and welcoming place to be.
      I thought both you and Lee might enjoy this article choc full of community ideas for managing pain:

      Community Ideas: Managing RA Pain

      Best,
      Jillian (Rheumatoidarthritis.net Team)

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