I have this moment after every infusion where I cry. I’m alone. It’s just a few tears, but it’s tears of remorse and a reminder of my reality.
Even after four years of coping with RA and figuring out the best treatment, I still haven’t grasped the concept of this 1000 mg bag of medicine. The last year has been bittersweet. The infusions are working. I am now in control of the pain. The pain is manageable and rarely debilitating, BUT I can’t get over this bag of medicine. I get so emotional. It’s as though this bag of medicine reminds me of what I try to hide from the world every day. It feels like this medicine holds the key to all my health successes. It resembles the past and the failures of past treatments. It also represents my future and my life expectancy.
As I sit here writing I think to myself when I actually pull emotions apart from logical thinking, I can recognize that for me dealing with the pain daily is more bearable than coping with “the bag” of medicine. I can deal with the madness of the pain. I can deal with the lack of empathy and the lack of understanding from others. I can swallow the prejudice and judgments that come from those who don’t really understand survivors of chronic illness… but this bag of medicine causes me emotional and psychological grief. It causes me to pause in my willingness to fight. It makes me weak.
And so I cry not because RA has beaten me down on this day, but because I’ve become reliant on the biologic medicine. I lean on it to make me feel better. I cannot fight this battle independently which is indicative of my strong personality. It reminds me that RA cannot be cured. It reminds me that I am mortal and there could be a sooner end to me because of it. The medicine reminds me that RA will continuously complicate my life and my quality of it.
I’ve been crying a lot lately. Crying to me means many things. It is a release and a sense of power. It is fear and its happiness. Crying is a sense of loneliness and togetherness.
I cry after yoga which I just returned to after four years of a hiatus…(yay me!!!) because it’s a release. A release of stress, anger, and fear.
I cry because I got through an hour of yoga with success. I pushed through the discomfort and pain. I cry because once again I backed RA up into a corner and kicked its ass.
I cry because I know how much willpower I will have to gather to come to another yoga class.
I cry because I know the pain that is coming after this bout of yoga. The pain that will make me second guess my successes and make me want to give up. I cry because I know I’m going go through this cycle repeatedly.
I cry because I feel lucky enough to have a small support system to get me through the bad times when I know many chronic sufferers do not.
I cry because I feel alone…almost always. Even with my small supportive group of loved ones, I truly have no one that fully understands my battle. I cry because to truly understand chronic illness and RA you have to live it and I do not wish this on anyone.
I cry because every day there is someone else being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and they will feel like me.
I cry because it doesn’t matter how many punches RA or the people who doubt me throw, I will continue to fight back.
I cry because I know another invisible fighter will come across this, read it, understand it and know I am writing for them…