That’s it. I’m happy, but pain sucks.
I saw a post on my Facebook feed.
I was serious. I spent much of the latter part of 2017 renewed and in love with exercise–not because I was actually losing any damn weight, but the sanity and joy it brought me during my husband’s deployment. I was “finally” back in Minot, about to start work as a fitness instructor. I was pretty damn happy with my wannabe thicc self. 2018 was gonna be the year.
And it was…sort of. I enjoyed teaching, and finally started feeling like Minot was home. A shitty, 8 months of “it’s what you make of it” miserable winter home, but…settled. I’d heard it time and time again–once it starts feeling like this, you should expect to move.
The entire time I’m teaching Zumba, I keep noticing this pain in my knees. I bring it up to doctors, and I’m kind of dismissed as fat so things are just supposed to hurt. I guess…meanwhile, the AFPC Gods answer a prayer, and we find out we are heading to Rapid City. So…back to that New Year’s Resolution.
I wake up one morning in July, right before a trip to Pennsylvania, and right before Eden’s birthday. My wrist hurts. Weird. I guess I just slept wrong. It hurts. All. Friggin. Day.
The next day, my other wrist hurts. Weird. So I guess I didn’t sleep wrong. Or maybe I did again. So, naturally, I ignore it as I’m overly concerned with closing on a house in South Dakota, while being in North Dakota and traveling to Pennsylvania.
The entire three weeks in Pennsylvania are great-ish. I am happy to see everyone and celebrate Eden’s birthday. But quietly, every damn bone in my body hurts. Nothing works. Tynenol, Aspirin, muscle creams bought at flea markets…nothing. And I try not to complain, because I am supposed to just be happy and enjoy this time on vacation. By week three, I’m exhausted from lack of quality sleep, pain, and faking it.
After finally getting back to Minot, I manage to go to Urgent Care after this BS keeps happening: Giant, warm, painful knots on my elbows. Again, no medicine in the cabinet helps, and I think I’m going crazy.
The Doctor in the Urgent Care center feels my totally swollen wrists, and tries to quickly conclude that “I’m just retaining fluid” for some unknown reason. She said she would “hate” to run a bunch of expensive tests “only for it to be nothing serious” but that she would if it made me feel better.
Wow, and what a surprise–I’m called, two days later to let me know that I need to immediately seek out a Rheumatologist as I tested positive for RH Factor. Almost as if those silly tests weren’t a waste of money or time.
The next month was miserable–between having to literally MOVE, start a new semester, find a specialist in a city I know eff-all about, and close on a house–yeah, August was a mess. I finally found solace in a PCM who managed to get my October (!!!) appointment moved up to a few days later, and it was after three months of just non-stop pain that I finally was heard.
Let me just tell you if you haven’t figured it out. Rheumatoid Arthritis sucks. Most people just don’t get how much it sucks. They tell you about that time their joints started hurting during a rainstorm. They’ll tell you what works for them. They tell you to be positive and exercise and fart rainbows and that it will help. They’ll tell you that Prednisone (one of the few medications that controls flares) is the devil and will kill you or rot your hip out and you need to stop taking it. To change your entire diet, your perspective, your soul and spirit. That something…surely will help.
Yes, lots of things help, even my medication and taking walks. Nothing will cure it. This part of me can’t be fixed, and I am working on my own peace with that. That kind of sucks. It sucks that the medicines cause other problems, even when slowing the progression. It sucks that I can’t stay off Prednisone. It sucks that on random days, I’m just sore and don’t want to exercise, even though it’s good for me. Most days, I can’t hold Eden for too long…despite carrying her on my body for over two years. Cooking is a chore, working is a chore, smiling and acting not perpetually exhausted is a chore…and sitting is the only thing I am exceptionally good at. I can be happy, but damn if I’m not exhausted.
And worse of all, it sucks that most people just don’t get it.
Ugh, by the time 2018 ended…My New Year’s Resolution was to not have another New Year’s Resolution ever again.