When people are first diagnosed with a chronic illness like Rheumatoid Arthritis they fear for the worst. I was one of those people. I had went from a normal young adult to having my world turned upside down in less then a week. I started fighting myself, becoming depressed and longing for my life before RA. After 2 1/2 years of being like this something inside me changed. I was fed up feeling sorry for myself and letting this disease control my life. So I took control of it. And not just by changing my diet and going to physical therapy but by changing the way I thought. I started turning my "used to's" into "doing again's".
I was fed up with letting the pain from RA control me. I was DONE letting it take away my enjoyment in life. Something inside me just clicked. I realized that if i kept thinking of the worst and kept thinking of bad things that will happen, well...they eventually happened. So I no longer thought that way. I told myself "today is going to be a good day wither or not I have pain" and it turned out to be a good day. If you expect to wake up in pain you're going to wake up in pain. You have to push through that pain. Its your body telling you something is wrong, are you going to listen to it or ignore it? I was done ignoring it.
I ignored my body for 2 1/2 long painful enduring years. And then I just listened. I listened to what it was telling me. Yeah, it was telling me "HEEEYY, I HURT REALLY BAD!! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!" Clearly something was missing. Because even all of the thousands of dollars worth of meds I was putting and pumping into it wasn't doing anything. My body was agitated and fighting against me, not with me. So I started moving and eating better. Most people with RA say that moving is the worst thing to do, well I bag to differ. I was in A LOT of pain. I mean so much pain even not moving hurt. Just laying on my bed hurt. It even hurt to breath. But what my spirit and body was missing the most, was moving. So I started moving with Physical Therapy. It took a long time for my joints to get used to it. Because they have not done that type of work in so long, they were weak, stiff, swollen and bitter [yes, joints can be bitter]. But I told myself no matter how bad I hurt, I was going to push through that pain because I wanted to show myself that I was not a lost cause in the book of RA patients. I was not going to be another case of "she will be in a wheel chair by the age of 30" ME? HELL NO!! Not happening!! I am fighting for my freedom. I am fighting for my life!! I will never again settle for a life over taken by RA!!
What does complaining do? Nothing. But what does doing something about it do? A lot. Do something about your pain. Dont just sit there and take it every day. You have to really do something about it! Do you really expect to get better by taking thousands of dollars of medications and just sitting on your butt all day? Your body becomes weaker when you don't do anything, therefore you are going to hurt more! Like I said before in my previous blogs, weak muscles mean weak joints and weak joints mean a lot of pain. I know that moving is going to hurt like a son of a beesting. You are going to be stiff, sore and full of tears. I was. But I kept moving. And you know what...the pain got better.
I had a rough day yesterday. Drastic weather changes here in Ohio are common and as we all know the weather affects our joints. But I'm not going to let that one day of major pain ruin my chances for me. I have turned my pain into power! Every step yesterday hurt like a bitch but I didn't get discouraged by it. I didn't let it take control of me again.
Take your pain and turn it into your power. I no longer look at my RA as my weakness, I look at it as my strength. I have taken what I first thought was the the end of the road for me and made my own path. I am pushing through the thorns and moving over the mountains to create my own journey. I have been given a chance to help and inspire people. And i'm never going to take that chance for granted. RA has shown me that I can be greater then I ever thought possible. I can be more stronger both physically and mentally then I ever was before. I am not stopping because of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have a right to my own freedom and the pain is not going to stop me. Yes, it will slow me down...but no way in hell is it going to stop me!!