As mentioned in my introductory post I try not to be a quitter—or a complainer, even after having to live with pain day in day out for years. Determined not to focus on my “limitations,” I pushed myself at eating healthy and forced myself to keep moving and stay positive and ensured that I take the medications and supplements as prescribed.
My experience with RA has been hugely challenging – especially since I was a formerly ‘super-fit’ individual prior to the development of the condition. But, I also look back on these experiences with a lot of gratitude as they have enabled me to experience RA across the spectrum – from the very worst case scenario – right through to full, and sometimes sustainable remission thanks to biological therapies along with healthy lifestyle approaches.
My efforts and optimism certainly paid off. “I definitely felt hopeful!”
I think that living with RA brings out the fighter in us. After living with RA for 15 years plus, I am more resilient than I ever knew. I have also learned to pick my battles, I know when I can try and get away with doing something or when I need to let RA win for a day or two by just resting it out.
Most of us experience RA as a constant background reality, often being aware of its presence & the limitations it brings. Our focus should be all about micromanaging & macro managing their symptoms & daily life so that it remains in the background & does not interfere much with our daily lives.
We should listen to our body and do not take it for granted and ignore the signs and symptoms. Put the brakes on time on our simple arthritic road journey, I see this as servicing the car and keeping it in the garage so that when you feel up to it you are back on the road! These breaks are most vital for a pain free and self fulfilment life.
Giving in for a day or two is not the same as giving up…this is what I have worked hard on. Living with RA is not the end of the world. Yes, your world changes, you are not able to do a lot of things but you have to be willing to adapt and keep on living. Though don’t forget to laugh every day. I often laugh at myself from being clumsy, forgetting things or dropping things and these are my small laughter sessions with my family!
As I’ve shared a part of my journey with you, I realize it is exactly that: my own journey. Yours for sure is different but let’s not forget the one thing we all have in common is that we’re much robust than we give ourselves credit for. Time has made us connoisseurs at dealing with the rough stuff, right?
I call upon all to join me in embracing who we are as we move ahead, learning to take care of ourselves while we relish the many things that still bring us joy and happiness.