Tag Archives: pain

Facing The Truth

It has been over a month since I have sat down to write and still I am not sure what I can write about. The last few months have become so dreamlike as I work to keep myself in reality. The time has flown by so quickly. I almost feel like I have taken a holiday from the real world.

Even sitting here now I do not feel totally here. This disease and the financial and medical issues that go along with it have taken its toll. I go through days of wishing to have my old life back, which is not an option nor is it one that truthfully I want, to trying to figure out what I want to do for the rest of my life.

The old life was a job I grew to dislike intensely and so this disease whilst painful and limiting also served to push me from the comfort of that unwanted life. Although we say we want change, we want the new, it is still a very hard job trying to get yourself to take that step. The fear that goes along with the new can sometimes keep us trapped in situations we no longer want but leave us frozen in a space that feels comfortable.

While I did desire a new beginning and a new life I could not take that step out of fear of failure, fear of not having enough money, even fear of what a new life would bring me. In the end because I could not take that step myself, the choice was taken away from me. I was forced into a new way of being, which was painful on so many levels.

Now I face a future where nothing is guaranteed. I feel like a teenager about to leave school and wondering what do I want to be, what do I want to achieve in this lifetime. I have pondered these thoughts constantly over the past few weeks and although ideas pop into my head, none of them seem to be achievable at the moment.

I struggle daily with the lack of independence, with the lack of choice and with the problems of a body that is not able to be and do what my mind knows is possible. The intention of doing some housework or something creative or even go for a walk is destroyed by the fact that my body is not capable of it. To go from being independent and able and in control to fatigue, constant pain and the anger that comes with it, is stressful and soul destroying.

I know there is something out there for me to do, I just need to find it. When I do I know that the sense of purpose will return and my life will once again have meaning. Until then I try to defeat the negative thoughts and try to stay as positive as possible.

My withdrawal from the world and the reality around me is serving to at least allow me to think a little more clearly than I have over the last year. As things fall into place around me and I understand what my life now is, I begin to come to terms with it. Once I have control of my thoughts and feelings then my life’s purpose will appear and I will embrace the meaning and lesson of this disease and its role in bringing the changes that were so desperately needed.

I will eventually give thanks for this time in my life as the catalyst to a new and beautiful time. Remember to always be careful with your thoughts and words. If you cannot take the steps to go after what you want, that choice will be taken out of your hands. You will get what you want but it may be in a completely different way to what you envision.

Margaret ❤

 

 

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Starting Point

Well I now have a diagnosis and a new beginning point from which to launch into a new life. I have Rheumatoid arthritis. There is no cure only containment. It means a completely different lifestyle to the one I have lived for the last 56 years. It means tablets, drugs, constant blood tests, xrays, ultrasounds, bone scans. Time spent at the doctors and the specialist. Everything I dislike about health.

I actually felt a little special. When I was being examined by the Rheumatologist she called in a new registrar just to look at my hands. Apparently my inflammation was something of a wonder to both of them. Where there should be knuckles there is a lot of fluid and tiny little bumps that indicate where my knuckles actually are. My feet and ankles are swollen, my knees are worse. The pain in my body after sleeping is so bad that it takes me a few hours to be able to move around in a normal way. Too much rest it seems stiffens up my body to the point that it gets stuck, so bedtime has become somewhat of a nightmare.

I get very tired very easily but the thought of what I wake up to each morning makes me delay sleep for as long as I am able. The specialist assures me that we can control this and eventually if things work out I can go into remission. So many others do, it is just a matter of finding the right treatment. The word she used to describe my arthritis was seropositive. I had to look it up when I got home. It means more severe with more joint damage, disability and inflammation outside of the joints.

It seems when I do something I always take it to the next level. I was expecting the diagnosis, although not quite as severe as that, and while I was prepared I was not prepared for the emotions that have overtaken me since yesterday afternoon.

I cried in the room with the specialist, and I cried when I went to Centrelink today to organize a different payment to the job seeking one I am now on. My age before was a barrier to finding work, as I have been looking since September but have not got even close to an interview. 40 years experience it seems does not count when you are female and over 50. Now until I am well into treatment and the severity of it all settles down, I cannot work. I always thought that there was something I could do but it seems everything at this stage will just cause damage. Having to put my illness on a job application will also get it thrown out before it is even looked at.

So government assistance is what I need at the moment. The job seeking payment I am on does not cover the cost of my monthly rent so I have been selling all my personal possessions to pay bills and utilities. Now the new payment will be more money but I was told today that it takes from 3 to 6 months to be approved. I will run out of things to sell before I even get the new payment. Which by my calculations still will not be enough to pay for everything.

So my breakdowns of the last two days have come from the fact that I have gone from relatively healthy with a job, independent and able to live on a tight budget but still able to manage, to being dependent on a government payment that does not cover basic living expenses and with no way of finding a job to supplement or replace that payment. I am relying on the support of everyone around me, a hard lesson for me to learn.

What I need to do for the moment is to find some focus and make the decisions that need to be made. I will eventually have to move out of my home. I cannot afford it at the moment and most definitely will not be able to afford it for the next 3 to 6 months. There will also be medication, constant trips to the hospital and doctors for which I will need petrol. There is no money for food, or any basic living expenses. So getting my head around all this, while trying to stay at least a little positive and hopeful is going to be difficult but not impossible.

The decisions I make over the next few months will be so very important for the direction that my life will now take. Once the treatment starts to take affect and the pain settles down a bit, I will be able to make better and more long lasting plans.

For now with the support of friends and family around me as well as the doctors and the hospital, I will take each day as it comes. There is a reason for everything and it is now my job to work out what I am to learn from this and how I can help others through my experiences. Not the path I expected my life to take and certainly not the way I had intended to live but I have what I am given and will do with it what I can.

This will teach me to take better care of myself, it will teach me to go within for personal healing and it will take me on a journey to find my inner strength and resilience. At times I feel like just sitting in a corner and fading away, but I will not allow myself to give in that easily. This is a mountain just waiting for me to climb it, and climb it I will.

I am not ready to give up on life yet, and although I may slip back down into depression as I go along this path, I will fight to reach the top of this mountain. I will succeed in living the life that I know I deserve and that I know I can attain.

Margaret ❤

 

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