Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Year. New Treatment!

A happy new year to you all. I wrote a few weeks ago I intend to post regularly on my blog. I tell you
now, yes, it is my intent. I also wrote I am not one to make resolutions, however, for 2011, I have. First, to
post more often on my blog. Secondly, and most importantly, I'm taking my life back. I have come to terms
with and have accepted the fact I am living with a chronic illness. My RA is not going away. Although this monster may have me, it will not control me. I read the most truthful quote not long ago. I wish I could remember where I saw it. Nonetheless, these words spoke volumes to me. It read; " RA is what I have, not who I am."
Enough said! Beginning the week of Christmas, I spent three weeks fighting shingles. I pushed through Christmas weekend for my wife and kids' sake, however, I was absolutely miserable. I went to an Urgent Care Center the next day after Christmas, received my diagnosis of shingles and was told to follow-up with my primary doc two days later. Wow! What a next two days that was. Constant pain and severe nausea. I did follow up, received some VERY STRONG pain meds and told to rest. I spent the new year celebrating
with my pain meds as I watched the ball drop in NYC. I have been better for the past two weeks.
Next, my wife gets strep which progresses to mono. Geez! What the heck else! She is better now as well.
To say the least, I haven't felt like posting until recently.
I am to meet with my Rheumatologist this week to discuss beginning my treatment with Remicade. I am hopeful this medication will help me regain some of my life back. As I write this, today has been a bad RA flare day. I know this sounds cliche' because so many people often say, " I'm just having a bad day." Really?
You are? I begin a new conversation at this point. However, this does bring up a good question. I'm certain those of you whom are RA veterans have raised this question many times over. What constitutes having a bad day? What does having a " bad day " mean for you? I do have to laugh in spite of myself now because prior to RA (which this was not long ago), I know I said that same question and did not give it a second thought.
I used to spend so much time planning for the future and to be honest, chasing after a "dream" not of my own. I have come to realize over the past 2 years, how much I took for granted. I had a busy career, I was healthy (haha), but I did not feel I was happy. Thank God, I have a loving wife. Since mid 2008, I have been taking a look back. I cannot change those things, however, I have had the opportunity to make changes during this struggle with my health. For that, I am thankful. I live in the moment now. I live in the present. We all need to stop and listen to the birds sing, the wind rustle in the trees, or, perhaps just listen to the sound...of silence. For, it is in that moment, we know we are truly alive.
I am hopeful and optimistic this Remicade treatment can bring the new ME, to life.


  1. Wow! You have been through a lot lately! I've never had shingles but I've heard that they can be very painful. Having to deal with that on top of RA pain, I feel for you!

    I've also looked back on my life when I was "healthy" and I took it for granted. I wasn't truly happy. I have a learned a lot from my life with RA. Some of it is worse of course, but much of it is better. I feel I care more for people and I don't take life for granted any longer.

    Be thankful for having a good wife! My boyfriend recently kicked me out. He could not handle my having RA. I kind of pushed him away also, so it is partly my own fault. I'm not sure I'll ever find another person to share my life with, but I'll be okay with that! I am focusing on myself and doing things that are important to me and make me happy!

    Best of luck to you and I hope the Remicade works, and you start feeling much better!


  2. For me, "bad day" is one in which my pain so narrows my focus that all I can think about is pain and doom, which keeps me from being mindful of the kindnesses of others and the everyday beauty of the world (which is always there, a gift, no matter how bad I feel).

    T, you nailed it when you wrote: "We all need to stop and listen to the birds sing, the wind rustle in the trees, or, perhaps just listen to the sound...of silence. For, it is in that moment, we know we are truly alive."

    You're learning some precious life lessons. " RA is what I have, not who I am" is one of the most profound.

    I'm glad you're feeling better after your long battle with shingles (oh, man, OUCH!) and the bad RA flare. And I hope with you that Remicade will bring you some very considerable relief.

    Take care of yourself. Keep your eyes open for the "gifts."

  3. To Wren and Michelle,
    Thank you both for such kind words. I am seeing the blessing of having this illness through the many new friends I have met through RA.
    Today, by the way, has been a bit better.
    Peace to you both!