The Reality Is: I’m sure before we were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis we all had our dreams. Some of becoming a basketball player, doctor, college student, business owner, musician, nurse or to be a stay at home mom or dad or it could have been any number of things. Maybe some of us were lucky enough to have already fulfilled our dreams. That is the beauty of life.
Then comes the dreaded diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. I’m sure at first we had no idea what the implications of that meant. Maybe we thought things wouldn’t be so bad, we really, really didn’t know. Of course we read up on it and thought we had an idea but not really. Though many of us was probably in a lot of pain already and had an inkling that something was wrong but we never thought it would be this. The reality, there it is Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Fast forward past the diagnosis to the medications that we have to take and the role they would play in our lives. Not only do we have to deal with the disease, we now have to deal with the medications and the side effects that it may cause. Oh boy, did you read those side effects? Well most people don’t generally get those terrible ones but a few unlucky ones do. All the same, there is a change in your life because not only does the disease take a toll on you but so does your medicine. Now you find yourself sometimes sleeping your day away, sick in the bathroom, too fatigued to eat let alone get up to cook for the family. A lot of the time you don’t want anyone or anything bothering you. You wonder how can anything that makes you feel this bad be good for you. You’re thinking to yourself should you even take this medicine but you know you have to so you go through this vicious cycle day after day, week after week or month after month whatever it takes to make the pain go away in hopes of getting a better chance at a quality life. But that’s only the first medication, there maybe more. How many? That is a number that only time will count.
So what happened to those dreams we had? Gosh we thought things would be fine but we find ourselves struggling to just make it through the day. We’re wondering how can I fulfill my dreams let alone stick with my dreams feeling this way. Then we find ourselves feeling emotionally down and out. What happened to the fight we had for our dreams. That fight is now with this disease we know as Rheumatoid Arthritis and it is for the strength to win against it in hopes of being able to achieve some of what we dreamt about.
No, not all of us have days that are a total struggle but all of us have days where we do struggle. So to lose our dreams is nothing we should be ashamed of, instead we should be proud to know that we are now fighting a new war against this thing that has slowed us down but won’t defeat us. Our new dream should be to look forward to a new and better way to battle this disease and destroy it.
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