A New Year, New Problems

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Today I finally mustered up the strength to sit down at my computer and write a blog post. It has been 5 months since I last wrote, and this is feeling like so many other years in the past where I say, “I have been so busy, I haven’t had time to blog, but I will get back into it now.” Unfortunately, I now realize I won’t be able to blog (or stitch) the way I used to. The last few years have been a struggle for me dealing with raising kids, household chores, work, volunteering, and so many other things – all on top of not being very healthy. My joint issues have been a problem for a long time, and the pain that comes with it is something I just learned to deal with. But, the overwhelming fatigue is what really started to do me in. Add to that a lot of tasks that I took on which I really shouldn’t have, and I unraveled pretty quickly. I have had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome since I was born, and had issues with it as a child, but I didn’t actually find out that I had it until after my second child was born. For the last 10 years my joint pain and dislocations has been pretty bad. But I was dealing with it, and able to live a pretty full (although tired) life. Last fall, right before I stopped blogging, I was really not feeling well at all. I was nauseous a lot, losing weight, and my hands were constantly in pain – right across the knuckles. I knew I had my yearly physical the end of November, so I just dealt with it until then. At my appointment, I told my doctor what was going on and that I was not sleeping more than 3 hours a night, every night. He ordered more than the usual blood work, referred me to a rheumatologist, and gave me something to help me sleep. When my blood work came back I found out that I was iron deficient and vitamin D deficient. I was put on supplements and had to check back in 6 weeks later. When I went back, both numbers had gone up. Yay! I still had to be on the pills, but at least I wasn’t really low like I had been. My husband noticed that I wasn’t in as much of a “brain fog” as I was before. I was also sleeping better. In February came my appointment with the rheumatologist. She examined me and found I had more tender joints than a person with uncontrolled Rheumatoid Arthritis would have. She decided to do blood work for RA, and I got the call a few days later. I had Rheumatoid Arthritis. This was a huge shock to me, because I figured my problems were all related to EDS. I started on medication which will take about 4 months to start working, but the side effects were immediate. Unbearable fatigue, nausea, weight loss, and joint pain have been my constant companion for a couple of months now. I think what is making it worse is that I have so many irons in the fire. I did become a Girl Scout leader (I know, I said I wouldn’t!) and we just finished up with Cookie Season a couple of days ago (it started in January). That has been a huge time consumer for me. I still have 11 classes at school that come into the library, and I am still my local DAR chapter librarian. This has meant that my “real” job, which I do from home, has suffered. If there is a plus side to all of this, it is that I now have an “excuse” to focus on ME. Since school will be over in a little more than 2 months, I have decided that I am going to have to take it easy next year. Working is the most important thing, and volunteering is just going to have to be put on the back burner. I still want to be a Girl Scout leader, so I am pretty sure I will be giving up my school library duties. Hopefully this summer I will be able to catch up with work, housework, and of course spend more time with my kids. I do feel like I have been a pretty lousy mom lately, having to go to bed by 8:30 and not really wanting to do anything on the weekends.

I also want to get back into stitching and blogging. I have actually worked on my gingerbread houses a little bit since October, I just haven’t found time to take photos of my progress. Spring Break starts in a few days, and although my house is currently a disaster and desperately needs to be cleaned, and my taxes are sprawled all over the kitchen table waiting to be worked on, I am determined to get in some stitching time for the 11 days that my kids have off from school. It might not be much, since I don’t know what my hands will be able to handle. But it is my “me” time, and I am desperately in need of that. I think I deserve it!