I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis around the end of April. I've kept mostly to myself and shut out the world for a while with the exception of my family and one very good friend (I can't thank them enough for all they do for me). I read a lot of blogs from other people, and that was a mistake. Let me tell ya, it's dang depressing to hear how horribly tired they are all the time and how much pain they are in. I'm tired, I have the pain. I already know about all that.
In the midst of this little party I had for myself, my son graduated from high school - yes, I know I'm way to young to have a son graduating high school :-) My children aren't biologically mine, but I've had the pleasure of raising them for the past 14 years. We threw a huge party for him and a lot of family members came. It was great, and I'm so proud of him. He's going off to college in August to become a police officer. His ultimate goal is to join SWAT, which scares me to death, but I'm really proud at the same time.
Guilt got the better of me last week, and I decided to reach out to my crit partners and tell them why I haven't been critiquing their work...and to apologize. It's funny, I call them my crit partners, but they have come to mean so much more than that. It reminds me of when I was in band in high school...it's a family of sorts. An odd kind of family, but still a family. I've never met any of them in person, and yet they have become great friends. I love them all and I am so grateful for their support!
I also have a wonderful family. They've stepped up to the plate, doing more around the house because they know I can't right now. My parents listen to me cry or whatever I need to do, sitting on the phone with me and helping calm me. I have a lot to be thankful for, and the pity party won't work indefinitely.
I'm usually a glass-half-full kind of person, and hearing everyone's support and ideas helped me realize I need to get a move on it. I have a book to edit, I have a life to live. My doctor said with the medication, I will likely have twenty to thirty years before I am unable to type so I need to work on the books I want to write in the meantime.
I will do a blog post soon on my adventures with editing. My copy editor did a wonderful job, and I'm surprised by the amount of information I have learned from her!
For anyone suffering with a chronic disease, I have a little advice--look for actual support groups on your disease, get information that will help you cope and improve your life. I spent weeks reading personal blogs and just depressing myself. All hope isn't lost as long as you have the desire to try. Of course, we are all entitled to the occasional pity party!
For more information on diet and lifestyle changes, gentle exercises that can help, and a place to start looking for a support system if you have been diagnosed with RA, I recommend www.risesupport.com I've heard water aerobic classes made for arthritis can help out, and I am starting on Tuesday (I think I've adequately explained how much I love the water, so I'm really excited about this).
They always say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Well...I love lemonade! Time to get to work and squeeze those lemons!
Have a terrific week, everyone! I'm off to edit my book!