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A Covid-RA Cocktail Please!

As it happened, having Covid wasn’t as bad as I feared. I suppose I got so worked up and panicked because of being ‘vulnerable’ and everything I'd heard about it. After testing positive I called my consultant to find out how it would affect my medications. Because they are immunosuppressants I was advised to stop taking them. I had to top up on paracetamol and ibuprofen instead, keep checking my temperature and call if I needed help! 10,000 Steps Forward... The first few days I had the worst headache and what felt like a burning nose and a slight cough. No persistent temperature though I did keep going hot and cold, and no dry cough either. So I thought, ok this isn't so bad, let's hope it stays this way. I carried on with my 10,000 steps a day, doing the housework, YouTube workouts, walking on the spot, up and down the stairs and dancing with the boys. You name it, I did it, Ha! Until about the fourth day, when I felt like a bus hit me. Everything ached, and I had zero ene
Recent posts

This Testing Time

First off, I want to apologise for not having written anything on this blog for what feels like forever. Every week I've tried to build up up to it and failed. I'm only writing this now because it's the first day for a long time I've felt a bit more human. But I haven't been lazy, or feeling sorry for myself. In fact, you won't believe what's happened to me in the past month or two! In my last post I spoke about the new medication I'm starting on. This will HOPEFULLY happen very soon – but I'm not looking forward to it. I should be thankful, I know, but I can't help but be nervous and scared when I start anything new. Even though it could be the best thing to happen for my RA, there are always doubts and "What if?"s. Anyway, since my last post, October happened! Wow, that was a HARD month. First of all, I took up a challenge from the Versus Arthritis charity to do 10,000 steps a day throughout October. The aim was to spread awareness of

A New Awareness of Anxiety

It’s been about three weeks since I last posted, although it feels much longer. After all those regular updates I needed a short break to process things. Obviously, I’ve also been carrying on with my therapy and I believe I’ve now got a better grasp of how my anxiety and panic arises, and what I can do to make it less debilitating. I still struggle with it and always will – it will never go away. Like everything else, I have to learn to deal with it the best I can. Anxiety in particular has been so intense for me, it sometimes feels like it’s the biggest part of my life, part of everything I do. With regard to that, somebody close to me recently took time to explain about anxiety and what its physical origins are. To be honest, I haven't looked at it the same since. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t gone away, but it has really helped me understand it a bit better. I believe I now know where it comes from and how it works, and I want to explain it to you as she did to me, so that if yo

Disorder of the Day

I don’t ask to be like this, trust me I would rather be living a normal, pain-free life. But the reality is I will never be that ‘normal’ person. I will always be a girl living with chronic and mental illnesses, and with that comes the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s hard enough to admit this to myself, but having people doubt it, as I mentioned last time, is not the greatest feeling. To add to my woes, and probably as a result of all that’s happened to me in the last two or three years, I’ve recently been diagnosed with Health Anxiety and Panic Disorder.   To break it down a bit, Health Anxiety is when you spend so much time worrying you’re ill or about to become ill , it starts taking over your life. Symptoms include: Always worrying about your health Constantly checking your body for changes Seeking reassurance from others that you’re not ill Worrying your doctors have missed something Obsessively looking at health information on the internet or in the media Avoiding anything t

If only it was just a physical problem

This week I want to talk a bit about how living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia affects me mentally. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve never really accepted having these conditions, although I am learning to deal with them. However, there are many days when I feel I can't even do that. I’ll sit and get upset, go over it all in my mind and ask myself, ‘Why this is happening?’ I often have panic attacks, overthink things, and then Mike will have to calm me down and reassure me I’m doing great. Yet I’ll still be convinced I’m not getting any better and, in fact, am getting worse. I start to think maybe things are never going to improve and that’s when panic kicks in. My heart starts to race, my chest gets tight, my palms get sweaty and suddenly I feel like the whole world is crashing down on me. A hammer to crack an egg The worst feeling is not being able to do normal day-to-day tasks. As an example, even on a good day it’s agony for me to just cut up bread. I have to use

As much in the mind as in the body

After the physical shut down I described last time , my younger sister Beth had to assume my role for the day, and mother my children because I wasn’t able to. Mike wasn’t staying with us at the time due to the coronavirus situation, as when I first received the inevitable vulnerability letter I went to isolate with Beth and my mum. Mike had to carry on working, so even if I wanted him to come and help, he couldn’t.  During a phone appointment with my medical team I mentioned the difficulty I was having taking my meds and they reminded me (again) how important it was to get it under control. With a condition like mine things can go from bad to worse pretty rapidly and, in my case, this was happening. My doctors also told me they’d identified my condition as Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis , which tends to result in more severe symptoms and greater deformities than the ‘normal’ version. Since I’d just been diagnosed with fibromyalgia as well, this was not great news. And it worried m

Further complications and a minor crisis

In the coming weeks I started to feel a little better, at least mentally. I got it all off my chest with the family letter, and felt I was coping. There was a nagging doubt, however, because the way I was feeling physically wasn’t right. I was in pain in places that didn’t seem to fit my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA); namely my upper arms and forearms, shins and thighs. I was also a bit confused and lacking concentration — often I would be mid-conversation with someone and suddenly forget what I was going to say. If my boys were playing and one of them accidentally banged into me, it hurt so much, and the pain took a long time to go away. Crazy right? Who knew babies could be so brutal! I stubbed my toe one time, which we all know can be painful, but this was something else. It was so bad I thought I’d broken my toe, and I couldn’t seem to get over the pain. Ha, ha, yes, I know I may be a drama queen but, joking aside, it started to worry me. And then there were two I mentione