I’ll Rise up in spite of the ache….

Arthritis / Disney / General

Some days, just some days, I think Enough.

There are only so many times, when you can smile, and walk away. There are only so many times I can hear the words, ‘we can’t treat it’.

I know I could have much worse news. I know in the big picture I have been very lucky. The reality however is that some days I hate arthritis. Last year I sat in a radiographers room while they told me I have a problem with my leg but the most realistic solution on how to deal with the pain is to learn to live with it. 6 months prior to this I sat with a surgeon who told me my arthritis was damaging my neck but it wasn’t bad enough to be preventing me from moving, so they currently wont treat it, so I had to just live with it, until it gets worse.

This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal but when your in real. life limiting pain, its hard to hear. Every new joint effected I just ‘suck it up’ and learn to cope. My first memory of Arthritic pain was when I was 11. I  was diagnosed ten years later, just after having Megan.

This condition steals from me every day, my job, career, mobility, freedom, activities. It places limitations and I have to work so hard just to do stuff that an average person can do easily. It destroys friendships, relationships, the shape of what a social life can look like.

Its hard to be the one always complaining. When I was first diagnosed, I would tell anyone within earshot about my diagnosis. I would tell Facebook daily how I was feeling, every ache, every appointment, every new experience. I watched the friends decline, you realise pretty fast that everyone has their own stuff going on, very few want to listen to RA battles.

Rheumatoid arthritis is so misunderstood, people don’t understand that it is life altering and life limiting. This is not a journey that should be walked alone. If a friend tells you they are struggling, do not dismiss them because you cant see the problem, their life has been irreversibly altered and they need you more than ever. This struggling, tearful, tired, even complaining version of the person you once knew to be full of life wont last forever. That friend needs you in this stage if they stand any chance of holding on to the person they are underneath the ache.

Some days, like today I feel so drained by it. When someone tells me to learn to live with it, my very first thought is that I don’t want to live with it. I don’t want to keep adding pain, and conditions and obstacles to my life. I don’t want to be the complaining friend, I do everything in my control not to be that person any more. Days like today, choosing to rise just feels overwhelming. Sure I remind myself of the people battling far worse but sometimes in the midst of your own stuff that just doesn’t help. Everyones pain, be it physical, mental, emotional, is valid. Days that are hard to me would be a breeze to others and vice versa.

In the days I do choose to rise, I hope to be the friend who others can come to. I try to see the real pain under smiling eyes. Often I will come across as the bossy friend. In my desire to fight for those coming behind me, sometimes I can be overwhelming.

RA isn’t the only invisible illness. I love people with all sorts of battles going on. I hope that my own battle has made me more companionate, to genuine battles anyway. My poor husband never gets any sympathy for man flu.

What I know is that this has made me better, stronger and a more well rounded person. I wouldn’t be me without RA. Its quite literally a pain in the neck but its shaped me and moulded me and made me a far better person than I would have been without this journey. I wouldn’t have appreciated life, love and friendships in the way I do now without it. I wouldn’t have appreciated pain free days or days where I can move freely or being carefree or all the little things I still can do, without understanding what can be taken away.

The way to keep moving forward is definitely acceptance. To believe that we have within us the strength we need to survive all that is thrown at us. To continue to rise no matter hard things seem. To believe that rising is always the best option but to never beat ourselves up when sometimes its just too hard. Never allow the days that pull us down to outweigh the days we rise and when they do to never be too proud to ask for help. This life is hard for everyone. We live on this planet with millions of other people for a reason. There is always someone who can and will help. There is always someone with the extra strength to help when our own strength is low.

I have to teach myself that I don’t have to walk this alone. This hasn’t and will not ever beat me. I am a warrior just like all the other RA warriors who are out there, battling onwards.



Comments are closed.


There are no comments yet.