I don’t often speak about my health on this blog, but today I shall. Be enlightened, and take note.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is what I have, and it’s an autoimmune disease. It attacks my tissues based on a currently unknown (medically, not just me) trigger. This causes my body to react to the attack, inducing swelling and pain. For me, this is low level on a daily basis but can accumulate to a large attack which can last weeks, it seems. For others, they can have the ongoing “flare up” pain on a daily basis.
The general age range for someone to be diagnosed with RA is 40-70. I was 23 when I was diagnosed, so you can imagine why I’m so pissed off with it constantly. I’m now 30 and I’m no better than when I was initially diagnosed. The fact is that there is no cure, but preventive biological measures in place to slow the onset of deformation. It doesn’t stop the flare ups from occurring. The only thing I can take to help me with both the pain and inflammation are large doses of Ibuprofen.
As I also have Epilepsy, I am very limited on what I am able to take as medicine, herbal remedies etc. The only thing I want sometimes is something to knock me out for a few hours to get a decent night of sleep. I’m limited to taking sleeping pills, so I only get them when I am particularly desperate.
So that leaves me perpetually tired, regardless of how much sleep I have had that night, what time I went to bed, which routine I tried etc.
The harsh truth is, at any given moment there is generally something wrong with me. Fortunately, the epilepsy hasn’t been a problem for a good 10-12 years. I forget how long it has been since I last had a seizure, which is awesome.
Sometimes when I have RA pain, it means that my social anxiety is heightened because I feel more vulnerable. Now, those who have ever met me would suggest I don’t have social anxiety but I have realised that alcohol works quite well for me, and a wide array of facts that I store helps manage my conversation. Also, humour. I will make a joke of anything, so if I am feeling particularly brave I will throw something into the mix. I’m also a listener, happily listening in to everything you say.
Otherwise, I’ll stay at home or even worse, sit in the corner not talking to anyone. Always a corner, near booze.
And that’s about it. Note, the weather doesn’t dictate how my immune system is reacting. My Nan used to be able to predict the weather with her RA, but sadly, I do not have that ability, therefore I am not largely affected by the temperature. Although, the sun does make me much happier.