Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Needing Your Support

Hello lovely readers. Today I'm taking a diversion from Mommyland (sort of)...

As many of my readers are my family and friends, this news will not be new to you. To those of you who aren't up to speed - settle in.

One morning this past August I woke up and felt like I had literally been hit by a semi truck while I was sleeping. I ached all over. It hurt to move. And I thought to myself - What the hell did I do yesterday? I couldn't remember doing anything particularly out of the ordinary. So I thought maybe I had some sort of a virus.

Two weeks passed. I never felt any better.

Another week passed. I couldn't pick up the baby anymore. Trying to hold her made my wrists give out. And playing on the floor with the kids felt like someone was torturing me. I called the doctor.

(Imagine calendar pages flying by now.) There were tests. Lots of tests. And there is not much that I hate more than needles. There was a lot of pain. There were medications tried. Side effects. I felt like every bone in my body was broken. More tests. Did I mention the pain? And then finally six months later... a diagnosis. I have rheumatoid arthritis.

My doctor had speculated that it might be that from the beginning. I didn't think that was a big deal. Unusual perhaps... that's what old people get right? But I thought that was nothing. I'd be fine. I'm young and healthy. I'll kick this in no time. I knew nothing.

So rheumatoid arthritis... or RA... essentially it means that I have a super human immune system - one that is attacking my own joints. And if I get it under control, hopefully everything will be fine. If I can't get it under control... well, we're not going to think about that.

I've been working with a great team of doctors. And I now have a pill sorter that is chock full of tiny little pills that I take every day with a bonus bunch of pills that I only take on Wednesday (gives a whole new meaning to hump day around here). I've gone from someone who refused to take Tylenol for a headache to someone who takes 7-12 pills a day. Blah. But I am feeling better. I still have pain, but not as much as I was having. And I can hold my children again - although not for terribly long periods of time (no more carrying them through the zoo). And taking care of myself has become a huge priority which means I have to slack on things I wouldn't normally slack on. And that's been hard for me. But I'm figuring it out and doing the best that I can.

So why am I blogging about this? Well, because there isn't a cure for this. I can take meds to help try to manage my symptoms, but I can't make it all go away. And I want there to be a cure. So much so that I have signed up to walk in the Arthritis Foundation's walk to raise money for research on RA. So I'm asking you all to please take a few moments, head over to my donation page, and add a little something to my efforts. My family and I would really appreciate it. You have no idea how much.



tracy said...

Wasn't much, wish I could donate more, but at least it's something. Love you.

Ashley said...

Every little bit helps! It means the world to me to have your support - financial or otherwise. :)

Caitlin Nicole said...

I'm afraid I don't have any money to donate, but I hope that the walk goes well and that you get lots of donations. I, too, have an incurable condition that can be extremely painful. Unfortunately, I cannot afford my medication, so I am very thankful that you're able to at least suppress some of your symptoms.

Wishing you the best and much love.

Ashley said...

Caitlin - Thanks so much for the support. I know times are tough for many, but just your emotional support helps too. Best of luck to you and I hope you'll find help soon.
In this together- A.

Loressa Curiouswisdom said...

It is very frustrating to get a diagnosis such as this! I suffer from Interstitial Cystitis which also has no cure...just frustration! Thank you for raising awareness and good luck to you! New follwer.

Ashley said...

Frustration is right Loressa! Best of luck to you and thanks for following!

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