Thursday, January 9, 2014

Better Living Through Chronic Illness


As I drove down the highway it dawned on me: this is the best I've ever felt the day before my Remicade infusion. I had a rough week fighting off illness and dealing with migraines, but my joints are doing OK all things considered and my inflammation seems minimal. Could it be that I have found treatment levels that actually work?

My excitement grew as I thought about the ramifications of being functional the majority of the time. It was as if a while new world was opening up to me. My spirit soared as my mind raced with possibilities. 

And then I got out of the car, into the arctic world, and onto my painful feet. Joy shattered like an icicle hitting the pavement. Despite how good I feel, I continue living in a body rife with limitations. Moton's neuroma in my left foot makes walking painful on a good day, tortuous on a bad. Arthritic and/or spondylotic damage to my knees, back, and other joints will mean a lifetime of pain no matter how well my psoriatic arthritis is being managed. As it did immediately after diagnosis, it again dawns on me that never again will life be as I had envisioned before this disease took its toll. 

But something is different now than it was when I first got diagnosed - I see this as a reminder, not a tragedy; as an opportunity, not an ending. 

This is how I know the disease has changed my life forever for the better.

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