Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Hurtling toward the end of the tunnel.

     The end is in sight for another Back To School cycle for me.  This one has been particularly rough.  There have been a lot of changes in my industry in the last few years and our big change this year means that I have been doing long-LONG-days (yesterday and Monday were 15 hours each at work for example) on my feet and I have been there 24 days in a row now without a break.  Needless to say I am exhausted, my everything hurts and I am ready for it to be over.  The big push will be tonight.  I am going in to work in about an hour(it's now 6:30am) and won't be done until after midnight.  Then all that's left is a 12 hour day and then I will be done and can relax for a nice long weekend with my puppies and my folks.  Mom and Dad know my schedule so they will be cool with it if all I feel like doing is resting.  I am so thankful for that since I know that many - far too many- with RA and Fibro have family members who just don't get it.

     I have to confess something.  I feel like I am getting too "old" for this and it is really weighing heavily on me.  I have been known to push through the pain and fatigue but this year it just seems to be getting harder and harder.   I love what I do (for the most part) and that usually keeps me going.  This year it is just not enough. As Wren would say (I am paraphrasing here)," the Rheuma Dragon is raising it's head and showing its teeth".  Unfortunately- Excalibur is stuck in the stone and I just can't get it out to fight this time.  That means the Dragon is munching on my feet, my ankles, knees, hips, back, hands and neck.  In some spots he's just nibbling, in others he's full on chomping down.  Even worse- the exhaustion is starting to affect everything.  Last night at work my words just wouldn't come.  I would start a sentence and not be able to get my words out.  That is a blatant sign that I am hitting a wall.

     It's such a vicious cycle, the more tired we are- the more we hurt.  The more we hurt, the more exhaustion creeps in.  Yes, if you don't deal with pain on a regular basis, pain saps everything out of you and leaves you exhausted.  Other than rest- I just don't know what I will do but I am going to have to re-evaluate after we get through the beginning of this term.

     On the bright side- I set a reminder in my iPhone with its own ringtone that jingles every time I leave campus and says "Something Positive".  It doesn't matter if I am just going down the street to grab a bite or going home, when I leave the campus proper the tone sounds.  When I hear it, I automatically start making a list of the good things that have happened on this day and I am able to relax a little on my way home.  It's a neat feature and has helped a LOT.

     It's time for me to get moving so I hope you all have a lovely day and a terrific Labor Day weekend!  


Dave Vockell said...

Great site. These personal experiences are some of the most important contributions the advancement of RA.

I'm working on a project to help people living with RA get better access to non-corporate sources of information. My hope is to help add a "research" layer on top of the great content out there and drive more people to great RA sites like yours.

I'd love to send you more info, but I don't see an email address on your site. I've signed up 13 of the 22 Healthline Best RA sites of 2012 so far and would love to have you as part of this project.

You can reach me at and I'll send you some more details.


Lana said...

I hope you get some rest and I definitely know where you are coming feel. I know what you mean about getting “too old for this.” If it helps, you are not alone – you are amongst a great group of people who are just doing the best they can with a really bad situation. I like the “something positive” idea. My phone ringtone is my three year old giggling so every time it rings, it makes my day. Get some rest during the extra day weekend.

Wren said...

Julie, you continue to awe me with your positive attitude and perseverence in the face of the Dragon. I know from experience that we who live with RA somehow manage to fight our way through incredibly long work days in spite of pain that would leave a "normal" person curled in the fetal position and pleading for mercy. But your particular brand of sunny courage and determination is encouraging and inspiring. Thank you for sharing your experience.

That said, YES, I'm glad you're seriously thinking of yourself and your well-being by taking a harder look at your killer work schedule. Even dragon-fighters need rest. I hope that once the chaos clears you'll be able to find a kinder way forward.

Be well, Julie. I'm thinking of you and sending care, comfort and courage your way.

Amy D said...

Julie, I can't even imagine your struggles, but your positive attitude is so inspiring. I love you and I am praying for you.

Julie Faulds said...

Thank you so much ladies. Your words have lifted me up so much! I am already enjoying my first day off and will be heading to my folks shortly to revel in their company for the weekend. Just hanging out with them is restorative.

I hope you each have a lovely and restful Labor Day weekend. <3