Friday, November 1, 2013

adjusting to a new 'normal'

i don't know that it will ever happen.

i've had a rough week.  i took my third dose of methotrexate last sunday.  i didn't experience much nausea at all this week - which is nice - but pain.... oh my.  i have numerous joints involved today:

  • toes
  • ankles
  • hips
  • shoulders
  • wrists
  • all knuckles
and some kind of pain on my right side.  like my rib cage.  i'm not sure if that is RA related or medication related or whatever.

it's a special kind of pain.  not that i've experienced every kind of pain there is.  but i smashed the bones in one of my toes, ripped a tendon off the top of one foot, had my gallbladder try to kill me, herniated a total of 5 different disks in my back and neck...  and some of those hurt a lot.  the smashed toe after a car accident was pretty bad, but it also included three herniated disks, whiplash, bruised my entire foot and ankle, my face was attacked by an airbag, and i developed PTSD.  so there was a lot going on there.

this pain, the joint pain from RA, it's different.  like, if i lie down on a comfy bed, properly supported and with a pillow under my head - everything hurts.  just sitting hurts.  standing hurts,  the act of typing doesn't seem to make anything hurt more.  i can clean the house and although the act of cleaning may cause some pain in joints (i.e.: hips while vacuuming), i don't feel any worse after doing it.  

the other 'fun' thing is the sudden OW that occurs.  my ankles weren't bothering me that much yesterday.  i stopped at a couple of stores, spent maybe a total of 25 minutes on my feet or walking. i get to the grocery store, do some food shopping, and BAM.  halfway through my shopping trip, my left ankle was like HOLY FUCKING GOD STOP WALKING OR I WILL EXPLODE.  

so i came home, unpacked shit, and took a nap.  which is about the story of my life.  i do something, something hurts me, i find a way to take a nap.

i'm supposed to clean the house today and go to school tomorrow.  i don't know if either of those things is going to occur.

apparently, this is 'normal'.  this will be my new normal.  i will be achy.  i will be tired.  i will get pain out of nowhere.  and i'm 33 years old.

and i'm fucking angry.  why is this happening to me?  why do i have to put up with this?  it is not fair.

i sound like a kid.  'it's not fair!' 'i don't wanna!'

i believe in karma.  and i know i wasn't always a good person.  but i don't necessarily believe that being a bitch gains one RA.  my maternal uncle and cousin (who is younger than me) have RA.  so much of it is genetic.  one of the most annoying things (to me at least) is how healthy awesome husband @_antgas and i had been living.  we eat meat maybe twice a week (unless it's bbq time - yummy) and once is usually fish (sushi).  we cut out SO MANY processed foods.  i still like morningstar veggie burgers because they taste good and are an easy dinner option.  but i didn't buy the damn cheeze its after reading the ingredients.  we started juicing and incorporating more fresh fruit and veg into our diets.  aside from white sugar (which i'm almost out of and am planning on replacing with a better option) we barely have any white food in the house - we very rarely buy anything with white flour (read: bleached and enriched, a process that steals all the nutritional value from the grain and then chemically adds the nutrients back).  we work very hard to ensure we don't eat anything with high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils (both are heavily processed ingredients).  fucking hell, i STOPPED DRINKING DIET COKE.  

giving up diet coke was the ONE thing i always said i'd never do.  i stopped smoking.  i stopped doing drugs.  i stopped cutting/self injuring.  i stopped drinking alcohol.  

and then i gave up diet coke.  i have drank a couple of cans of diet dr. pepper in the past couple of months because it's what dad had at the office.  but i used to drink like 2 liters of diet coke a day.

i try not to buy things with fake sugar because it's processed.  but that's very hard - so i try.  and then i'm eating extra calories because replacing fake calorie free sugars with real sugars means more calories.  it's a game of balancing - would i rather have more natural calories, or fewer chemical-laden calories?  i choose more natural calories.  and i haven't gained any weight - but i have not lost a pound.  so everyone who says 'drinking diet soda makes you fat' can kiss my fat, no-diet-soda-drinking ass.

i had already adjusted to that 'new normal'.  working on eating healthier, more whole foods.  and now this.

what the fuck am i supposed to do with this?  

i guess the positive is that my pristiq is still working.  as upset and negative as i get, i'm not as crazy as i used to be.  some of the obsessive thoughts have come back - something i haven't told anyone yet.  i have thought about killing myself, but that's part of obsessive thoughts - not something i would act on.  which is the most annoying part about my obsessive thoughts.  it's stuff i know i wouldn't act on with my rational mind.  i know it.  but my crazy, irrational mind gives me these great reasons to kill myself, or hurt myself, or whatever.  the pristiq has really, really, really helped that.  that used to be my 'normal': listening to part of my brain try to convince me to kill myself.  and i would just try to ignore it or block it out with recreational drug use.  a bit over a year ago the obsessive thoughts started again and we increased my pristiq.  i don't think i want to do that again because i'm pretty sure that the reason the obsessive thoughts are back is the stress with my recent diagnosis.  so i'm waiting it out and trying to stay positive. 

it's not easy.

but i'm working on it.

today's issue: cleaning the house.  i'll attack that posi posi posi and maybe treat myself after with something yummy.  maybe like zucchini chips.... hmm, maybe i'll make them and share the recipe!

in the meantime, check out my instagram @stephgas to see photos of the cats in their halloween garb.  follow me on pinterest @stephgas.  and follow me on tumblr (guess what my handle is there?)

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