newly diagnosed

by jojo
(tennessee)


I have been very sick for over a year now and have had many many cortisone injections, and topical pain releiver and pain pills. and prednisone, and finally my doctor tested me for r.a. and big suprise...I have it...my sed rate is 77 and I'm 22 on the r.a. scale....I am in extreme pain every minute of everyday and I cant even sleep at night and am exhausted....I type this right now in pain and knowing if I do too much I will have an attack...I'm trying to learn the balancing act of energy conservation and need to move....and dealing with the pain of not moving and the pain of moving as well...constant pain..I am depressed and tired, and feel so sick....no one in my family understands and I feel so alone...my husband is trying to be supportive but he doesn't understand either..I,as of right now am just trying to cope, but I don't feel like this is real..like my diagnosis was given to someone else..not me...but the pain won't let me forget it is me....sincerly painful tennessee

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Jan 06, 2012
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Complete Cure
by: Jack

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Jan 05, 2012
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I'm so sorry to hear of your suffering
by: Susan

I understand how you feel, with no one "getting" how bad you hurt.

It took me many years to learn that no one can understand RA unless they live with it themselves.

There is a very good reason for this. A person generally uses their own experiences as a reference to how something feels. An example, you break a bone and other people often have experienced this pain and inconvenience so they can relate to your sufferings.

With RA, the majority of people don't have a reference because they have never suffered with it.

As well, they think of RA as just arthritis, they don't understand that it's an auto immune disease and is therefore challenging much more than just your joints. So, how do you explain, painful joints, exhaustion, not able to sleep, fear and all the side effects from the meds. It's impossible.

What I found most useful is to just forget about trying to get people to understand, it's hopeless and you end up feeling resentful. Instead just do your best to accept that, until you get this disease under control you want to minimize damage. Don't say you can't do things, you just can't do them today.

I think the part that is most difficult to explain is the exhaustion. And probably hearing, oh yes, I know someone who has arthritis but they don't...

You need to understand that you can't even compare how you feel with others with RA because we are unique in how our bodies react to things.

I remember, when I was early on with this disease I said to my doctor that I must just be a wimp because I met others who have RA and they are able to function, yet I can't do anything. He was wonderful and took the time to explain how although we have the same disease it does not strike any 2 people in the exact same way.

As for the depression. Again, there is good reason you are depressed. First, studies show that inflammation in the body causes depression, so, you are not alone. Again, because of problems with sleep you won't be as emotionally strong as you would be when well rested, and lets not forget that you are learning to live with limitations, perhaps had to give up many things in life that you enjoy. These are all very challenging.

Just know that this disease can be overcome, and there is hope that you will return to your old self.

Keep your chin up and keep on trying!

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