The Diagnosis and Emotions
Approximately one year ago I was noticing pain in my hands, wrist, shoulders, and toes. They kept going numb even when I was doing something. It hurt to hold my baby after 5 minutes, I was extremely tired all the time. But what Mom does not feel tired? I just tried to ignore it.
Eventually the pain got the better of me, it became distracting and my exhaustion was limiting everything I did. I went to the doctor. I explained my symptoms, they ran some tests and a few days later...
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am only 34 years old. I had no idea what RA was, that it could effect all ages. On one side, I was glad I knew what was wrong with me...I spent the last few years in pain and just kept ignoring it. On the other side I was scared, angry, confused and embarrassed.
I keep things to myself. I always have. Most people do not even know I was having pain, exhaustion and that day by day activities were a real struggle for me. I pushed through, I might of mentioned it every now and then but did not want friends or family think I was whining. Even now, I do not know if I will mention this blog. I am hoping it will help my confusion, anger, and give me a place to say it how it is.
My hands have hurt for quite some time. Thinking back I even went to a neurologist to see about nerve damage, I was tested for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. It has been going on for years only to flare up after birth of my 2nd child. It became unbearable.
My hands and wrists have stabbing pain. It makes them ache all day long. I can no longer hold my son for more than a few minutes without being in pain. It has kept me from doing a lot of things I used to do and a lot of things I want to do.
My shoulder pain comes and goes. If I raise my arm above my head or extend my reach, it pops out of place. That pain is excruciating. Thankfully, it only lasts for a few minutes before it works it way back in and is just a consistent ache. Over the last year I have spent hours in doctors appointments, spent hours researching the disease and have spent hours trying to figure myself out and find the old "me".
I have trouble sleeping. The stress, pain and confusion of RA has led me to utter exhaustion. I have been grouchy, sad, mad, angry, and even depressed. I have tried to maintain a good attitude. I generally have been a happy upbeat person my whole life. It is a struggle. Day by Day is all I can do. I miss being able to crawl around on the floor with my kids, I miss racing them to the park, I miss dancing, twirling, holding hands, holding my kids, going on walks, and I miss me. I hate being this person.