It’s ok that you’re happy that you’re a little fucked up

I think the hardest part about life isn’t the curve balls, it’s the part of life that are straight. Where you can see exactly where you are going no matter if it is to a good or bad place.

I got back from my orthopedic appointment and I was so happy because they found traces of damage in my hip that they think are related to the RA. When I got in the car I immediately called my sister and told her the “good news”. She squealed with joy too knowing that the battle I was having with my mind was over, but then she said something that kind of hit home. “it’s ok that you’re happy that you’re a little fucked up”. I laughed and agreed, but when I got off the phone I sat there staring at the traffic and started to cry. I had been so happy that they found traced of damage…. DAMAGE! What I was happy about would send most into a state of shock. A state of realization.

I realized I wasn’t happy about the damage; I was happy because someone believed me enough to find proof. A doctor didn’t push me out the door or make me feel like I was going crazy. He didn’t think I was making up my symptoms or that I had been misdiagnosed. He just… believed me.

I felt for the first time in about a year that all this was going to get better. I cried because he had real solutions for my real problems, and didn’t just play me off as a 20 year old with no idea what was going on inside my own body.

We talked about the arthritis that he saw in my left hip and how he wanted an MRI to make sure no other damage was happening. He also gave me the option of a cortisone shot for some pain relief.

No longer will I feel worthless after explain what is happening because even though I am seronegative, I DO have damage and they CAN see it. My fingers DO swell and I AM in pain.

My rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t dictate who I am, but it can change the person I will become. I refuse to let my life be taken over by this stupid disease and make me feel more weak and worthless than it already has.

Because…. It’s ok that you’re happy that you’re a little fucked up…  




YES, this! The day of my diagnosis was a bit emotional, but I was NOT upset, I was relieved. My immediate thought was thank God, I'm not getting too old to do the job I love after all, there's just something wrong with me, and it's treatable. I had been feeling so lethargic and had wondered if at 57 I was just slowing down, if this is what getting old feels like. Would I have to sell the farm, would I have to give up performing in orchestras, would I be able, someday, to dance at my granddaughter's wedding? Would I become a burden for my kids?

Then I realized that I'd made it to 57 without too much fucked-upped-ness, and what I'm experiencing now is nothing compared to what some of my friends have and are dealing with. And I realized I have choices. Because of this diagnosis, I have started to work towards my goal weight, I've started to work out regularly, I've made my diet healthier, I've taken steps to eliminate some things in my life that caused stress, and I now get regular medical checkups. I discovered that my blood pressure was a bit high, and that's being treated. I had a long overdue eye exam (in case the Plaquenil was screwing things up there) and found out that I needed a new prescription. I asked for physical therapy to help my hands, and the PT helped me with some overuse injuries that had been messing up my hip while I was there.

Yes, by the time we get the exact right med combination for the RA I might have a harder time opening jars, and my handwriting's sure going down the toilet fast, but each med tweak has helped slow this shitstorm down, so I have faith that one or two more tweaks will get me into remission. And when that happens, I'm going to be a much healthier person with a much better long term outlook than I was before RA.

We don't, any of us, get out of this world alive, after all. Everyone has to deal with something. I've been riding the RA train now for nine months, and I'm actually happier, healthier, more compassionate, less likely to get upset by stupid things, stronger, and more fit than I was before. And I have worse handwriting. I can deal with that.

We're all fucked up. The difference is, you and I realize it, and we're dealing with it. Cheers to us!