Here I am in 2014 right before I was diagnosed. I had been struggling with fatigue, brain fog, and joint pain for over a year. I kept telling myself, you are just a tired mother of two toddlers. It’s not a big deal, you can power through this. It will get better, this only temporary, well it wasn’t. I was struggling with my work because I could not focus, I was having trouble holding my boys, I would run a mile and then not be able to get out of bed. I was not myself, at all.
I finally went to see my Primary Care Physician who prescribed me an antidepressant (because of course I’m a woman and it’s all in my head, right) and they begrudgingly ran some blood work. Well, it wasn’t all in my head. My RA factor was positive, my white blood cell count was super high, and everything pointed to the fact that I was not ok, this was not just going to pass, and I wasn’t just hysterical. From there I have had two different Rheumatologist, who added the Lupus diagnosis to the RA, I have been on a ridiculous amount of medications, tried dietary changes, acupuncture, physical therapy, and host of other things to work and manage my diseases.
After 4 years of trial and error with my doctors, I’m much better than when I started but not where I want to be. I’m frustrated with the cost, the uncertainty, the never-ending appointments, blood work, endless battles with the insurance company, and lack of cooperation between my healthcare providers. So I’m throwing it all out and trying to start fresh, I can always go back to the doctors, I hope to take a step back and try to live my life on my terms. I need to find a better balance and stop feeling like my diseases first and a person second.