Sunday, 22 February 2015

Eat well, sleep well, pace well - be well! Absence note...

( I don’t normally put anything personal on my blog, but I’d thought I’d explain my absence.)

When you blog about things you make and you can’t make what happens? Well there’s a big gap where nothing gets blogged about as not much has been made!

Last summer I experienced problems with my elbows, wrists and fingers which wouldn’t go away and on investigation turned out to be rheumatoid arthritisNot being able to wash my hair properly wasn’t so tough but I couldn’t get my hearing aid in, get dressed by myself, open jars, carry pots, write (I teach English) and I was in pain and exhausted all the time. My main target was getting to see a specialist pronto, manage work and home life balance and get used to RA in all it’s weird ways.

I was lucky – I got to see a kind and supportive specialist quite quickly, got put on a drug regime, had good advice from a specialist nurse, support from family, friends and work and have had to become the expert in managing this condition.

Creating came low on the list of priorities but I was anxious and it made me pretty miserable that I could not make and the uncertainty of whether I’d be feeling well enough to pick up a needle again was grim. What ever your things is: running, walking, ice-skating, roller-skating, reading, if you struggled to do it and experience all those positive endorphins that your body gains from doing that activity, it can be a blow.

Cutting a long 6 months short, ignoring the ups and downs, the drugs have started to work, I’m heading for remission (all things crossed) and now manage most things by having a ‘run up’ to them, it’s called pace eg. naps before I go out, turning down social events (chronically impossible for this social butterfly, but a necessity), planning a rest up day, looking at the week ahead and planning.

Lots of good things have come out of this:

  • -       Waiting and waiting for drugs to work has made me patient
  • -       My kids (12 and 17) cook a family meal once a week now. This is good, as otherwise they’d leave home and only know how to bake cup-cakes and warm through beans in the microwave!
  • -       I’ve learner to be patient
  • -       Photography could turn into my new hobby, creation niche – less fine motor skills required
  • -       People are really supportive and kind and if they don’t know much about RA they want to listen and find out
  • -       I am more patient
  • -       I know a lot more about a range of auto-immune diseases and have greater for empathy for those who are at the other extreme of RA or have other auto-immune diseases
  • -       I now own a very warm pair of fluffy, booty slippers (I have always hated slippers, but staying warm is key for me)
  • -       I am more patient
  • -       I can still sew!

So I thank those who have listened to me moan, caught my tears, encouraged me, shown kindness and helped out. What stars you all are!



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