Archive for February, 2010

Backstory – why not me?

February 28, 2010

To know more about who I am and what qualifies me to write this blog, I thought a bit of backstory might answer a few questions.  I mentioned I have had  Rheumatoid Arthritis for 39 years – in November 2009  it was 39 years that I was diagnosed.  Whether this is a reason to celebrate is still open to question.  I was fortunate that I was diagnosed right away, in 1970 it was not always easy for women to be able to be diagnosed that soon.  I met many women who had not been taken seriously, they were told they were just depressed or   to find an interest or that they were imagining it.  Yet a man could go in to see the doc and be taken seriously right away.

Also, the usual treatment was to start with aspirin and slowly work up the pyramid to gold injections.  From what I can see, many rheumatologists now start right in with Methorexate, and more heavy duty drugs to turn off the inflammation.  I find myself looking at other ways that are non-pharmaceutical since my body has had so many drugs over the years.  So far I haven’t found anything that really makes a difference, though I have many more possibilities to explore.  When I find what works, I will be happy to share it – though with body chemistry and course of disease different for everyone, there is no one answer for everyone.

I have also learned that much of RA comes from within, that means attitude, outlook and perception.  The one thing I have learned is that it is not necessarily “Why me?”, or even “Why not me?” that is important. It is the “How do I deal with it” that is important.  Even though I tend to feel I whinge about it all the time, people often tell me how amazed they are that I have such a positive attitude.  Obviously the inside feelings don’t show on the outside.   I have come to understand that the Universe is not out to get me, instead the Universe supports me and takes care of me.  There is a gift in RA, I am l working out what it is.  If anything I have had to deal with can benefit someone else, then that is something very positive coming out of something that sometimes feels very negative.

I consider myself an expert on my own RA, not for anyone else.


Hello world!

February 25, 2010

I have been thinking about writing this blog for several weeks, several times almost sitting down and actually writing it.  Then I think it is more important to check email and take care of clients and orders before I write.  I keep thinking I need to have a big block of time so I can fully concentrate on the blog.  Well, here I am several weeks later finally putting finger to key.

You are wondering who I am, what is going on and why would you be interested in what I have to say.  All good questions – when I have a good answer I will be glad to let you know.  The short version is that I am a 63 year woman who has had Rheumatoid Arthritis for 39 years and I am looking for the root cause of it, why I have it and what can I do about it.  But recently I read somewhere that it is important to find the gift in a situation – “Yeah, right – some gift!”  But the more I thought about it, the more it began to make sense.  A friend was telling me she had broken her leg and it was the best thing that could have happened because it took her out of an abusive marriage – she knew her husband would finally kill her.  Wow!  A bit dramatic one might think, but not necessarily.  How often have you heard people say the divorce was the best thing to happen, or in my Dad’s case, being make redundant at 56.  At the time it doesn’t feel it is such a gift or  positive thing, so often it takes time and objectivity to look back and trace how that upsetting situation became really positive.

So now I am wondering, wouldn’t it be fairly obvious after 39 years that I could see the positive in RA?  Or is it that I have decided somewhere deep inside not to look, the prospect too scary for some reason?  Or is it that to gain perspective, one has to be away from the situation for a while?  Good luck with that since the RA comes with me everywhere I go, in everything I do.  So now the question is – how do I create that perspective?  Another good question without even a lousy answer.  I seem to have nothing but questions about this.

The good news is all the interesting books, people and ideas I have discovered on my quest to find the gift in RA.  This blog is about that, what I learned, am learning and also some things that never occurred to me before because there is so much I still don’t know.  I have learned it is no biggie to say I don’t know.   I now know I don’t have to have all the answers, that it is not a reflection of how smart, savvy, distinguished or with it I am.  It only means I don’t have to pretend I know it all, I am open to learning and exploring whatever comes my way.  I think of this blog as a journey of discovery and learning what works for me.  If along the way it is helpful to someone else, then it is a success.  It is not a whingeing session for me, there has been too much of that in my life and it is not particularly productive for this purpose.  Not to say I don’t have my own periods of whingeing and a bad case of oh-poor-me-osis times when I am the worst off person in the world and no one has it as badly as I do.  And please don’t tell me about someone who is worse off, that devalues and dismisses me as well as making me cranky.  I know it is meant to help, but it doesn’t.  I have many times when I read about or meet someone who is dealing with such stuff that I realize I don’t really have anything to complain about – I need to come to that conclusion myself.

I am working on gratitude – another one of those “Yeah, right!” feelings because I couldn’t think of anything about RA to be grateful about at all.  But I have finally figured out it is not so much the RA to  think about in terms of gratitude; instead I am grateful for the systems that are working well – digestive tract, bowel tract, respiratory, brain functions, circulatory – you get the picture.  True the joints, muscles and tendons have their problems, thank goodness everything else in working well.

See you next time.


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