I usually choose to walk on the “sunny side of the road”. You know, look for the good in a situation and work from there. When I received my definitive RA (rheumatoid arthritis) diagnosis, my reaction was to treat it aggressively and move on. I established perspective as I remembered all I had to be thankful for. Lots of people deal with lots of things, this is just my thing to deal with.
I took a sober look at what needed to be done, then did it. I have a needle phobia, so I faced that fear right out of the gate. I’m a pharmacist, so I knew about the medications and the potential side effects. I knew there was no cure. I was committed to learning all I could about RA, then making the necessary lifestyle changes to best manage this autoimmune disease. Oh, and it was creepy to think about my body fighting itself.
About three months after my diagnosis, it hit me like a load of bricks that my life had changed forever. You see, up until then, I was working toward getting back to normal. My life turned black at that moment. I literally saw black. I froze in that thought. Instinctively, I had to move beyond that black place. I reasoned I had a choice. Stay in the black place, or accept reality and move forward to the best of my ability. I chose the later.
The process is not linear. It’s a lot of trial and error. I had to try different medications until we were satisfied with my response to them. I had to make professional changes. So many alterations to my day-to-day lifestyle. Relationships would be counted as my biggest loss. Many relationships don’t survive living side by side with RA.
The victorious autoimmune lifestyle is a process. It involves getting to know ourselves and making changes to best manage how the disease expresses itself uniquely in each of us. I continue to discover what works for me, and what doesn’t. I also listen, very carefully, to what others have discovered in their own autoimmune journey. I would absolutely LOVE to hear from you. What are your thoughts? Thanks for stopping by, come back soon! **Cathy**
Photo: Mary Kennedy for Arthritis Wisdom