True Grit


GRIT: noun – firmness of character, determination or strength of character

I think some people are born with a natural abundance of grit. I think my grit, the will to persevere and the optimism to keep going is learned, practiced and fickle.

I’m still trying to figure out why sometimes I’m so strong and determined, and why other times I want to pull covers over my head and never leave my bed.

I think something about the beginning of October triggered the ostrich response in me. Suddenly I bounced from I can do anything to I don’t want to do anything anymore.

When I was diagnosed with my RAD new disease back in March, my doctor marked autumn as the time when I could possibly be in remission and we’d be looking at getting off the methotrexate, and later the Enbrel. My September doctor’s appointment was instead met with an increased dosage of methotrexate and the news that the MTX may not even be working yet. Doc’s new goal for remission: spring 2013.

That’s actually kind of good news because it means when it starts working, I’ll feel a lot better. But also, really?!?!

I left the doctor’s appointment feeling fine about it, but then October came and all optimism drained out of me. I was suddenly so, so, so done with MTX day and freaking injections. All things gluten appeared appetizing, dairy seemed impossible to avoid, my vitamins made me nauseous, and I felt like if I even had to look at fish oil again, I’d vomit.

What’s the point? What if it doesn’t go into remission? Am I really going to do all of this forever? I don’t want to have this life. I didn’t ask for this. F#@! RAD and all the stupid S**! that goes with it.

I stopped taking the vitamins and I laxed up on the fish oil. I cheated on my diet. But I kept going on the drugs.

My negativity quickly started to annoy the hell out of me. So there I was, standing over my morning folic acid and fish oil supplements, a wave of nausea overwhelming me, and I snapped. Out of it that is.

My grit was back.

What’s the point? The point couldn’t be more obvious or important – it’s my health. Is it worth trading because I’m a wuss about injections, I hate swallowing pills, and the smell of fish oil is gross? Obviously not.

So I’m staying the course. I’m back on track. (Although I am being a bit more relaxed about supplements for my sanity’s sake.)

I’m thinking March is gonna be a great month for me. I’ll be running my first marathon and hopefully I’ll officially be declared in remission and will be breaking up with methotrexate. Maybe Enbrel and I will even get to say goodbye. Here’s hoping.

In the meantime, I’m happy to report that I think the higher dose of methotrexate is starting to work. My compromised immune system and the changing season has led to a cold, but otherwise I feel great. No joint pain, no feet pain, less fatigue, less trouble sleeping. I even went on a 12 mile run a couple weekends ago.

Now I just have to figure out how to keep my grit from disappearing on me again.

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  1. #1 by Jim Brennan on October 9, 2012 - 4:58 am

    YOu are a brave and gritty young woman. I’ll be cheering for you in your March 2013 marathon. Blog about it, and let me know which marathon and the date. I’ll be pulling for you.

    • #2 by musefulness on October 9, 2012 - 7:08 pm

      THANK YOU!! It’s in Barcelona on St. Patty’s Day. I thought, if I’m gonna do a marathon, I want it to be somewhere really cool. 🙂

      • #3 by Jim Brennan on October 9, 2012 - 10:14 pm

        Well you certainly picked a cool place to do it, and the perfect occasion. I’ll put it in my calendar and you will be my thoughts and prayers. I was planning to travel to Spain to do the Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) next summer, but my daughter just got engaged so I may have to postpone it a year. So you enjoy Spain for me!

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