Yes, I am chronically ill. No, you don’t see it
Yes, I am chronically ill. No, you can’t see anything about me. Mostly that I occasionally walk like a penguin or have a little trouble with my hands or arm. But everyone can have that sometimes.
I know how to hide it pretty well and can generally deal with it quite well. But sometimes I am done with it. Today is such a day.
I woke up early because of the pain and could hardly get out of bed. Why?? I have rheumatism.
I always think it sounds so heavy, being chronically ill. There are so many people who have it much harder than me, I think. But still I belong to that group of people who are chronically ill.
More than two years ago I got enormous pain in my elbow. At first I thought I had bumped it or perhaps had an innocent infection. Months later, in January 2014, the symptoms got worse and worse and I was finally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I got medication, regular X-rays’s and blood tests. Conclusion; you are not curable but we do try to combat the symptoms.
Well, there you are. For the hospital, a stamp richer, an illusion poorer. I had seriously thought that the rheumatologist would say I would just take some pills and hoppa, I would be better again.
Two years later, not a day has gone by in which I was not in pain.
Constantly new inflammations
Whereas the inflammation really only stayed in my elbow for the first six months, I kept getting new inflammations over the course of 2014. Sometimes I would walk around with huge sausage fingers, which would disappear a few days later. Meanwhile, my feet, my knee, my hands and still that sprained elbow are also bothering me.
Every time I think I’m doing better and then, boom, the pain comes back three times as hard. By now I am secretly used to being in pain all the time, but I still find it extremely tiring and irritating.
To relieve the pain and fight the inflammation I have been taking medication for two years now. During my last pregnancy I used a low dose of medication. This was absolutely not harmful for my baby, otherwise I would never have done it, but did little good for the rheumatism. The rheumatism became quite spicy in the last trimester of my pregnancy and it still is now. So now the medication needs to be adjusted again so I’m curious what my doctor has planned for me.
At the end of January I can visit the hospital again so until then I will wait and see. An extra glass of rosé now and then.
You can’t put me down!
Meanwhile I just have to put up with it. I now know what I can and cannot do. That sometimes I have to make choices. That I currently cannot run because of the pain in my feet.
That I can no longer wear all my beautiful pumps because of the pain. That I can ride a horse provided I don’t overexert myself. That I do get to carry my little girl when she is restless, as long as I tie a good tight knot in the sling. That I can take care of my children on my own as long as I go to bed on time and ’start quietly in the morning.
And above all that I can enjoy the things I can do and of course my lovely family.
Rheumatism, you can’t beat me!
Are there people among my readers who are chronically ill?? How do you cope?
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