by Julie Fontaine
(Whidbey Island WA)
I was diagnosed about 8 years. It all happened so fast. I was struck by extreme wrist pain and ankle pain along with fatigue I couldn't describe--I remember going from an physically active healthy state to someone who had to nap and when I woke up after a full night sleep I would feel as if I hadn't slept at all. I still feel this way, but the difference is that I've learned to cope. I get flare ups and I do take care of myself and let myself rest more but I NEVER GIVE IN to it. Meaning i still work out but when I have a flare up I might cut down the time a bit and try and sneak a nap when possible.
When I first had issues, I coudn't just push myself. I didn't know how to push myself. It took years to find the right combination of rest and exercise. And don't get me wrong... I tried everything from protein shakes and health food mushrooms and colidal siver to oxycontin and vicodin. But the first was just really expensive and the latter caused addiction.
For me the best remedy is to keep the stress low, exercise regularly, and rest when needed. I also take antidepressants and antiinflammatories. Of course I know as well as anyone that this is all easier said than done.
I work full time as a case manager for the state and it's sad to see so many young adults with autoimmune disorders who give into the pain and fatigue and this becomes a continuous disability in their lives.
Today is a bad day for me. My wrists feel like their burning and being cut by a knife at the same time. I was so fatigued today I fell asleep in my cubicle at work. I still worked out, but only 35 min instead of 45. I ALWAYS TRY.
I wish all of you good luck if your new to this pain and I wish I could say it will get better for you. If your like me, this will be on going. You'll have anemia and vomit at least once a week. But I promise you that if you push yourself and get up in the morning with purpose everyday, you feel better. The days I've given in and slept in or did nothing have been the worst for me.
I would be happy to try and inspire someone out there if needed. Please let me know if this is possible.