I haven’t written here in a while, and not because I haven’t been having trouble with my arthritis, but because so many other health problems have been so much worse. Infact, I seem to have drawn the short straw with health, and have no less than half a dozen long term health issues, and it seems like I always have several short term health issues I am dealing with as well. I kept waiting though, until I was over them. I have been waiting for years until I was healthy again. Maybe many of you are on the same boat, waiting for the magic medicine, or health regime to work, so that you can be healthy and finally do all the things you have wanted to do, and be yourself again, like a normal person.
The last two years have been rough. On top of the arthritis, I have had severe asthma and acid reflux that have really made it hard to breathe and effected my lifestyle. One thing I have learned is that psoriatic arthritis, can make any health issue, however seeming unrelated worse, because if our body is a mess somewhere, the inflamation will get worse in that area.
I had surgery a couple months ago, to help with the reflux, which made the asthma worse, and caused a horrible, embarrassing cough. After the surgery I suffered from several miserable side effects, some still going on months later, that I have learned I may be dealing with long term. On top of that I am still coughing, a lot. In fact I am coughing nearly as much as I was, about 70% as much as I was. I was disappointed, cressfallen.
I went to my doctor, who has been helping me all along with the breathing issues. I told him I felt the surgery was a failure. I told him I was still coughing, a lot. He reminded me that although I was still coughing I was off three medications, all of which I was taking a dangerous amount of, any of which could have been life threatening alone. He reminded me the goal was to stay alive and to keep breathing. He said he felt the surgery was a great success. I was coughing, it was annoying, maybe a little embrasssing. So what? I was breathing.
I was told before the surgery that with my health conditions they wouldn’t even do this surgery on me, except that they felt they needed to in order to save my life. Now I am breathing, every day, and very rarely having to take emergency asthma medications. The surgery was a success. The point wasn’t to turn me into a perfectly healthy person, it was to make sure I kept living.
I think that every day I was feeling like a failure because I was tired by 4 pm, or I would be fine one day and exhausted for two after, or I would just hurt all day long and feel like not doing anything at all and getting a little done was all I did. I was a failure because I wasn’t healthy. I wasn’t like everyone else. I wasn’t my ideal self. I wasn’t this being who could hike, and travel whenever I wanted, or go dancing like my heart yearns to, or even who can make dinner every night. But I am alive, I am breathing, I have good days, and not great days, and even the bad days I manage to make it through. I am not failing, I am surviving.