This is the first day of RA Blog Week 2017. The world becomes a little smaller and more friendly as people come together to share their stories of living with Rheumatoid Arthritis. This is my first year of joining in and I am hoping I do not disappoint any readers who have decided to stop by and visit.
Today is about mental health and how we manage. For the most part I do okay.
I am not sure of where my journey began. I have had a lot of problems with my knees since I was a young child. When I was 18 I was told I would have to have my knees replaced before I was 30. I still have not had to go that route. Thank God. I would get sick often, lots of bronchitis from 6th grade on.
It was the constant battle with my lungs that made me seek medical help. Knee pain was always there. It was the lung doc that felt something else was wrong and referred me to a rheumatologist. Long story short.
The frustration of knowing something was not right and not being taken seriously or being brushed off was real. I would be told I was tired and sick and in pain because I homeschooled five boys. Overweight. Over worked. Hormones. Stress. So on and so forth. There was something wrong. RA, GERD, Hashimotos, bronchiectasis.
Driving in to the city to the big city wore me down. The trip could be from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours, one way, depending on weather and traffic. I finally learned to cancel appointments if their was snow. The first RA doc would get me so upset. After a bad two plus hour drive in a snow storm he did not even look at my file. He sat across the room from me and asked what I wanted him to do for me. He ordered blood work and walked out. I was so mad they could not even get blood from me. I think my blood had boiled away. The lab tech called in a patient advocate and I was given a much kinder doctor.
I went to the lung doc for a check up one time (same hospital) and said that I did not feel right. My oxygen sats were low. In the 70s and 80s. She said I was overweight and out of shape but that she would take an x-ray to appease me. I had pneumonia. New lung doc.
After years of stress from dealing with the drive and this hospital, I quit. My stress level was crazy. My blood pressure was always higher there than at my primary doctor closer to home. I would come home and my kids would check to see if I need anything and then disappear, I would be so mad.
I started with a new RA doc closer to home. I have only seen him once so time will tell. The drive is definitely easier.
I tried lyrica but the side effects of that medicine was not good for me. Dryness and weight gain. The main problem was my temper. I was on a very short fuse and could not stop the anger from building.
For the most part I would say that I am doing okay and keeping it together. On the flip side of that is my body stays so tense. There is a good chance that is what caused my recent trip to the ER and a migraine. I could not stop the pain.
I will take things out on my own body ( and probably my family). Eat too much. Drink too much. Or even work too much. Do so much physical work that I cannot move for the next two days.
My massage therapist told me shoulders were not meant to be worn as earrings. That I need to relax. The physical therapist always said I need to relax, put my shoulders down.
So yes, I am wound pretty tight at times. Lots of times.
Soon the yard work will be done as the snow moves in. I need to get back to water aerobics and try going to a yoga class. I enjoyed the water aerobics class. I am moving my body and listening to other women chatter, I think it does me good.
I also need to take my own advice to others. BREATHE!