In recent posts, I’ve talked about how difficult it is to remember a time before RA. As a four-year-old, I was super active. I loved to run around and dance. I was certain that I would grow up and be a dancer and/or actress. A few months later, I would get sick. I’d spend hours scratching rashes, leaving my skin raw. I’d even sleep for more than 24 hours a few times. Worst of all – my energy level declined and I was constantly fatigued.
For a while, I didn’t really have any fight in me. I just didn’t have the energy. I slept a lot, stayed inside, and became an expert at Yoshi’s World.
When I was in-between my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I started running a lot and ended up with an eating disorder. I’m still coping with it. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between that and the lack of appetite that comes with RA. Running also, unfortunately, screwed up my knees even more.
It’s hard to adapt to RA. Just when I think I’m doing better, it flares up again. The disease keeps me on my toes. Sometimes it is hard to even get in the shower, let alone walk to class or do yoga. You never really know when the disease is going to get worse.
I try to not limit myself because of my RA. I am not my RA and I won’t let it control what I do. I can’t do anything to control the effects, but if I can do something, I’m not going to pass on it because I might end up maybe getting hurt. As a side effect, there are times when I don’t listen to my body. I push through the pain, which usually makes things worse. Still, I’d rather live and be in pain than stay in bed all day.