Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Changing My Life Because of Life's Changes

By now you must be thinking "wow" this blog is a real downer. When I go back and look at some of my posts I wonder about that myself. Then again, when I started this I promised myself I was going to write my reality. I read many other great blogs filled with people facing the same conundrum I do. Do we put out a positive message about what we face? Or do we put out a message of what we really go through. I choose to do both. I will never have the attitude of woe is me, or please feel sorry for me.

I have multiple Autoimmune diseases that are not well understood. I have chosen to fight for myself, better educate myself and I hope to help someone along the way. NO I am not looking for a pat on the back. I am betting no one else is.

Why am I writing this? I would like to link you to an article on Health Central written by Lene Anderson. Here is a link to her other blog,  The Seated View  Check it out, it's great reading.

Assuming you have read the article. Under new guidelines written in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) there is a new disorder called Somatic Symptom Disorder. If we spend too much time thinking about our health problems; if we worry too much or worry about the seriousness of our health. Under this new proposed category we could be diagnosed with a mental illness. With that said, so COULD anyone else that worries too much about us. 

What I find funny about this is that some of the same people, proponents for "talking" and "letting your feelings out", are the same people who say "don't hold your feelings inside, it is detrimental to your health". In my opinion this says the exact opposite. Is writing on my blog about my health going to be considered "obsessive and a "mental illness now? Seriously, I don't think we are the ones that need help.

I am not depressed. Although, some days when my pain is off the scale I tend to get more anxious. I suffer from incredible anxiety at times. I have had bouts of it off and on through the years. The fact that going anywhere even for a few hours requires a months worth of planning, likely is a huge contributor.  I have to know how far away the place is; how many people will be there; what to wear. What kind of seats they have, bench seats are better for me. My knees get sore in regular chairs. I need to know where the seats are located. I prefer an aisle seat, so if I have to slip out I don't have to climb over people. I have to know where the bathrooms are. You never know with all the medications we take what is going to happen. Also, what kind of food is available, the nearest water supply. The list goes on.

There are times I am a little bit irritable, if you ask my husband he would probably say a lot. So let's not ask him. Days I might cry (if my Sjogren's doesn't prevent my tears from flowing :) Those are usually the days when my pain is at its absolute worst. Most times I hide my pain.

My doctor doesn't even use the pain scale on me anymore. She has learned that my pain levels have adjusted to a different tolerance level through the years.
Even when I am exhausted, in pain and living with multiple Autoimmune diseases, I make sure that every day I get out of bed, (Eventually). Get dressed. Clean the house. I don't do the major cleaning anymore. My hands and back are too sore to do some of those things. Then, I try to get something, anything accomplished everyday. Whether it be on the computer, or going out somewhere. 

I don't know what tomorrow will bring, or even the next hour for that matter. I have changed the way I live my life since my diagnosis. I still live my life the best way I can. I don't obsess over my diseases. I look for ways to improve my way of life. I work with my doctors to make a plan. Searching the Internet for new tools to make everyday life easier, and reaching out to others. That's what makes me happy.  I think that's healthier for me than crawling under the covers and hiding from the world for the rest of my life. 


  1. One thing RA teaches us is the wisdom of knowing - when we need to adjust our sails, and when we need to head for a safe harbour.

    Also, doing what makes you happy, what brings you joy, will help curb some of that fire in the joints, since emotions affect the chemical cascade, which contributes to the inflammatory response.


  2. Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree with everything you said. Only you put it so much more eloquently :-) Your kind words are meaningful to me and again thank you for taking the time out of your day.


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