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,