Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good things about having Rheumatoid Arthritis?

My RA has been more in focus this week because of a comparativly minor flare that I have been dealing with since last Thursday. I have been letting the whole situation get to me on an emotional level and that rather irritates me. So- in an effort to take back my power over this disease- today I am celebrating the positive side of having RA.

1- Pajamas. Noone can complain about us getting back in our pajamas at 4 in the afternoon (or staying in them all day for that matter) and what is better than comfy pajamas?

2- Sleepy side effects. Sundays I always get to nap courtesy of my MTX injections and Wednesdays I go to bed at 6:30 pm thanks to my Enbrel injections.

3- Finding courage you never thought you had. Though I was never afraid of needles (as is evidenced by my tattoos) I never,ever thought I would be able to give myself an injection. Now- I do it twice a week with very little thought.

4- True Colors. When it comes to living with chronic pain and a chronic illness, you find out who your true friends/family are. The way they treat you and your illness lets you figure out very quickly who is supportive and who can't handle it, who will be there with you for the long haul and who backs off. It can be enlightening- but also freeing.

5- The chance to come to terms with who you are. It is ironic how dealing with chronic pain can shake up your self image at it's very foundation. No matter how physically, mentally or emotionally strong you thought you were- it WILL be tested.
Not being able to do something as mundane as tying your own shoes can rock your whole world. It is how you handle it that will show you your true self. It will show your strength and weaknesses. It can make you redefine yourself from the ground up- but that is not always a bad thing. Breaking down your own stereotypes can lead you to someone you like even better.

6- Blessings- when things you are spiraling downward, counting them can not only turn your attitude around, but it can make your blessings more important than the things that are weighing on you.

I am sure there are many more but I am running short on time. Through the day I will try and think of more and it will make my day go the right way rather than allowing my day to be ruled by the pain. For that I can be grateful.


RA Guy said...

Thanks for keeping it positive, and thanks for keeping it reals!uniest

RA Guy said...

Note to self: don't type word verification into comment box. :-)

jodi said...

wonderful post! really great things to remember.

and nice job RA Guy. ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this , i really needed it this week

Jules said...

Thank you all for your lovely comments this morning. Though I hate that you are going through this journey with me- it is another good thing to have each one of you by my side. Together we can move mountains. <3

Cathy said...

My daughter claims any day that we have stayed in our pj's all day as a successful day!!!

RA can bring great things to our lives! Thanks for sharing and reminding us of ten of those things.

MissDazey said...

I am amazed that anyone can give themselves shots. I could never ever do that.

I appreciate your positive attitude, keep it up. I have started only reading positive blogs, so I'll be here often.

Diane said...

Your blog hit home today! I pride myself in being positive about my life with RA. I over extended myself on a family get-away and brought on a painful flare in my neck/shoulder which caused a funky strange numbing down my arm. My doc ordered x-rays and they found significant arthritis (duh!) in my neck and shoulders along with a bone spur that was causing muscle spasms and pinched nerves. I am TRYING to be strong and positive but it's difficult when the pain & sleep deprivation brings you down. Your blog brought tears to my eyes. Our disease IS a roller coaster...physically and emotionally. I have found myself very negative and irritable this week at people...even my wonderful family who I adore! SO - - - thank you for your blog and the positive reminders. I'll add one - I LOVE a hot shower that relaxes, calms and soothes my painful joints & spirit. I am happily addicted to my hotpad. It is like my security blankie on painful nights. I am grateful for these things. A positive, happy day to you all! Thanks for letting me vent!

tharr said...

I was terrified of needles, so having to overcome that fear has been a major hurdle for me. I don't think twice about it any more, I also take 2 Enbrel injections a week.

Great list.

Jules said...

Cathy- your daughter and I agree on that one! I love jammie days.

Miss Dazey- so glad to have you! I love your tweets and look forward to them all day.

Diane- Vent any time you would like. We are all in the same boat so we understand.

Tharr- congrats on overcoming that fear. That is HUGE!

Abi said...

Thank you for this.

Sara Reid said...

Such a nice article!!!About 1% of the world's population is afflicted by rheumatoid arthritis, women three times more often than men. Onset is most frequent between the ages of 40 and 50, but people of any age can be affected. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility. Really great post