Ok, here comes the bitching about rheumatoid arthritis. Don't say you weren't warned. (This doesn't require advice or sympathy, and heaven help you if you try to offer it. Just understand. I just need to get this off my chest because everyone else is tired my moping and groaning.)
This whole diagnosis is really craptacular. I'm not sure what I expected, but it wasn't this. I knew a little bit about RA prior to getting that life sentence, but nothing like I know now. I thought it would get better once it was diagnosed and treated. Silly me! I genuinely like the rheumatologist I've got. He's sharp, he's kind, and he's not the least bit condescending. He's also not FIXING it, and I really wanted him to. I don't think he's failing me. I just don't think my expectations were realistic. My personal medical experience prior to all the crap that led up to this diagnosis consisted of giving birth twice without drugs and the usual flu/cold type stuff. I was totally unprepared for constant pain that only appears to be getting worse rather than better with treatment. He said it would take a while for the methotrexate to kick in, and that I needed to be patient. OK, I've done that for several months. I also started taking prescription NSAIDS. When it gets really bad, I go on a burst of prednisone that slows down the needle-like stabs in my joints, but doesn't stop them altogether. My hands are getting MORE stiff rather than less. The pain that started out in the knuckles of my feet has spread upward into the small bones and ankles. Do you know how many bones we have in our feet? I'm pretty sure each and every one of those tiny joints is now flaring. My feet are incredibly ugly, not that they were ever attractive. They're feet, after all. But is this really necessary?
I blame myself. Yes, I know they don't know what causes RA or how to cure it, but I must have done something to deserve this, right? I didn't eat the right things, and I overeat. I don't exercise enough. I did too many stupid drugs in college that had probably been sprayed with atrazine. I didn't say my prayers every night. I was often a smartass as a kid, and I was rude to my parents. I didn't appreciate better health when I had it. I did something six or seven lifetimes back that has me getting keel-hauled on the wheel of Samsara. I wrote a bad check once, but it was an accident, and I paid the bank fees. Or maybe I'm just possessed by demons. Whatever the fuck it is, I'm truly sorry now. Could the universe just accept my apology so that we can move on? I am not the sort of person who is made stronger by terrible trials. (Is anyone really, or do we just say that in a lame attempt to comfort ourselves and one another?) I know I'm not made stronger by adversity. I'm made a bit more cynical perhaps. Sometimes I can even find some really dark humor in it all, but I don't need further character building. I don't freaking have the strength or character required to deal with rheumatoid arthritis. UNCLE! I give! I've had enough NOW LET ME UP!
Still not working, is it? Sigh.