Hope, Acceptance and a New Normal

Oh man, I’ve been neglecting this blog! Sorry guys. There’s nothing like that three month rheumatologist appointment to remind me to get writing!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the journey I’ve been on with my RA. I went from the fear that came with diagnosis, to dogmatic hope and determination that I could get rid of said pesky diagnosis, to bleak acceptance, to a sort of new normal.

That new normal is what I want to talk about. I think it probably looks different for everybody.

But, at any rate, here’s what my new normal means for me:

  • it means I normally operate with an acceptance of my disease – it’s chronic, it’s painful, it ebbs and flows
  • it means I still hold onto the hope that better scientific research may lead to better treatments and possibly a cure
  • it means that I constantly remind myself that “chronic” is just a word. Diseases change and even chronic ones may go away
  • it means that I am almost ALWAYS uncomfortably aware of my body. At moments when I want to focus, my feet are screaming (like recently standing during the funeral of a friend…I wanted to be focused and be there for all the people who loved him, but there were my inflamed feet, in pain and begging for my attention). At moments when I want to be serene and zen (like in yoga classes when my wrists are acting up).
  • it means that some mornings my feet and hands don’t work the way they should. They’re frozen, sore, and just not ready to start the day
  • it means feeling that I’m constantly balancing the desire for understanding with the desire to not burden others by complaining. Usually I stay quiet.
  • it means I have a new relationship with some powerful drugs. Drugs with life-changing results and uncomfortable side effects
  • it means I am a whole lot more patient with myself and others
  • it means that not a day goes by when I’m not grateful for my body, my mind, my life and my loved ones

What does your new normal mean for you?

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