Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dealing with an "Invisible" Illness.

I have to say that the days have been hard these last few weeks. As much as I'd like to deny it, my body is struggling to keep up with life. Rheumatoid arthritis has a way of ruining my plans (and many times my attitude) for an entire day.

For example, yesterday was a beautiful 80 degree day in the middle of October. I managed to get out early in the morning (wearing my snazzy back brace around my middle of course) and walk around the backyard a dozen or so times. I even got in a jog for a few laps. The reality is though, not many people know it- but my body tells me....the weather is just about to change.

By lunchtime, I was just barely hanging on to stand and fix lunch for the kids and myself. Fast forward an hour or so and I had to sit down then lay down for what turned into the rest of the day/night. My attitude becomes extremely bitter and my patience so short with the kids. It's such a shame because we had such a wonderful productive morning.

Did I mention we are homeschooling? Actually it is virtual public school. So they have a few classes online everyday, but much of the work is still directed by me. There are many benefits to this lifestyle, because it is so flexible. The kids have more freedom to play and get out and do field trips often. The down side is that it puts a lot of extra work on me. I really enjoy most of the work, but I am facing a new reality. Maybe I am not fit to do this work right now.

Maybe I am truly sick. I feel it every day. I am in constant numbing pain in certain areas of my body. Then I will have days like yesterday that just put me out of commission for the whole day.

I am writing down these thoughts so that maybe there is someone else out there that struggles with a similar illness. Most people cannot see it, per say. But it is very much affecting my every hour of every day.

Along with this comes a whole range of emotions. Lately I have just been feeling completely overwhelmed with life. (That's another part of the story, maybe for later...) It is hard to be a good Mom to my three precious children when I am hurting so much. Then I feel guilt for getting short with them. I also feel a sense of denial that this is actually happening. On top of all of it is a blinding subtle rage. Why is this happening God? Why does this have to happen to me? I am only in my thirties...

I never dreamed this would be my life path. And yet, here I am faced with some big decisions. What sort of treatments do I take? I guess we are done having kids because of the dangers of the meds and being pregnant (a 2 year time-frame to get the meds out of your system before you can get pregnant again)

I came across this verse and it really spoke to me:

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
-Psalms 73:26

For now, I need divine strength to get through each day. To control my attitude even when I am not feeling well. I pray for the strength to make some of these big life decisions and make the right decision. And most of all for peace and patience with myself and my own changing body.