Thanks to Rick Phillips, it’s RDBlog Week. I’m choosing the wildcard topic for this first day.
I didn’t mean to abandon my blog. In fact, I meant to blog last year for RDBlog Week but life and rheumatoid arthritis got in the way. I had several eye problems that made using a computer or even my phone difficult and painful for many months and most of my work involves computers. Then life in general got in the way and I felt guilty and I felt like a failure. So this year I’m starting RDBlog Week with a discussion of how I came to terms with this. In the end, I had to sit down, give myself a good talk and set some ground rules for myself.
Set Limits. I still work full time. Some days have been very long with little time for lunch. I still have some long days but I’ve tried to minimize them and make sure I keep some time for lunch and a few minutes of relaxation. Most important, I won’t feel guilty about time out for doctor appointments.
Naps are okay. Before RA I never napped but with RA the fatigue can be mind numbing. Now I give myself permission to nap when needed. For me it’s usually a one or two hour nap. If it means I don’t get enough done at home, then so be it. By napping through the week, it means I feel better overall and don’t collapse on the weekend.
Do what you can today. The rest will still be there tomorrow. It is okay for things to take longer to do. My primary job is to take care of my health. Those times when my life feels in disarray, I can get it back together slowly with a few steps every day. I may not be able to clean the whole house in an afternoon but I can do the floors one day and the bathrooms the next day. If it takes me two or even three days to do all of the floors, that’s okay too.
Spend time with your friends and hobbies. It is important to get out of the house and spend time with friends, even on the days when I don’t feel my best. If I try to spend too much time inside, I tend to dwell on how bad I feel. Friends and laughter can do a world of good. I also abandoned my hobbies for a while but they are part of who I am, so I have started them back.
We all have to find our way to come to terms with this disease. I’m still a work in progress but I feel like I am on the right track. Now if I can only get back to exercising regularly. What changes have you made in your life since you were diagnosed?