I am a wife of 25 years.
I am new to blogging.
I was recently diagnosed with RA (rheumatoid arthritis).
Let's start from the beginning. Or as far back as I think is relevant. First, I am an overachiever. I like to think of myself as organized and able to do anything I set my mind to. On the outside. On the inside, I'm super lazy and completely a mess!
I think I got early symptoms of RA about 4 to 5 years ago, but because I was so busy showing the world around me all the things that I could do, I was ignoring my body. The aches, the pains, the numbness...it was all gradual. A twinge here or a shooting sensation there, could all be chalked up to being tired, pushing to meet the latest deadline, or just plain trying to live up to the ridiculous standards I thought I SHOULD achieve.
I think the earliest symptom was exhaustion. I was over scheduled, over volunteered, over worked, and still found time to stay up late and get up early. My functioning on too little sleep seemed a small price to pay when I had so much life all around me. I was president of my daughter's high school band booster (parent) group, worked a full time job, was trying to raise two teenagers, my marriage was falling apart, my finances were a mess, I was volunteering for several community groups, and trying to be a triathlete in my spare time. I had monthly late night coffee dates with the girls, weekly late (Wednesday) night movie dates with my movie buddy, a different lunch date for each day of the week, three evenings a week that I was in some sort of meeting, attended every school function for both kids, every band event, every soccer game, every soccer tournament, made sure I made regular visits to mom, dad, and brother who live in Texas, Tennessee, and Florida, respectively. I shopped for groceries early on Sunday mornings while everyone else slept, planned the meals, paid the bills, kept a ship shape super tight chore schedule of duties for each member of the family, and made sure to keep my husband happy 4 to 6 times a week. So you get the point, I was tired.
I think my next real symptom was depression. Or maybe it was aches and pains? Or maybe my aches and pains made me depressed? Regardless of the order, I had them all. But not all at once, so it wasn't obvious. I had annual doctor visits for female things and general health things, and never was there ever a test that came back with warnings or an indicator that I wasn't in perfect health. I was not diagnosed as depressed until recently, but looking back, I'm positive that I was depressed and probably suffered from chronic depression since childhood...but that's a different blog.
Somewhere along the way, I gained weight. A lot of weight. I've never been one to really watch my weight, but suddenly, I was no longer considered a healthy weight for my petite (that means short) frame. After children and through college (in that order) I pretty much was a consistent weight. Even through my first few years of working a 'real' job, I maintained that consistent weight, the middle or slightly less than middle point of my healthy weight range. Short people don't have as wide a range as tall people...but that's a different blog too.
So maybe my aches and pains came with the weight gain?
Stress. Yep! I had stress! So maybe my exhaustion, depression, weight gain, and aches and pains were just physical manifestations of my ultra high stress levels?
Ultimately, it all came to a head, Christmas of 2011.
I drove myself to my doctor's office the morning after I wanted to kill my husband. And I don't mean figuratively, I had real thoughts of killing my husband. I feared that I may hurt him. What I didn't want to admit was that I couldn't do all the things I thought I could. I couldn't live up to my own expectations. The lazy, messed up person I was on the inside was showing and others would soon be able to see her too.
I'll go into details in later blogs about my journey to a diagnosis, but for now, let's fast forward.
Today, I am trying to figure out the new me. I'm attempting to be content with what I can do, and accept that there are things that I can't do. Maybe, just for now, maybe forever. It all depends on my treatment and the lifestyle changes I commit to and succeed in. My plan is to be brutally honest with myself and let that person be the one I show the world. My plan is to have more good days than bad days. My plan is to have a long, happy life with my husband and children as they form and nurture their own future families. My plan is to surround myself with positive people and positive energy, and positive thoughts. My plan is to include you in my transformation.
Thank you for listening to
[Originally published April 2013.]