Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm a bit of a liar :-)

Often when people find out I have arthritis, they say something along the lines of "Is that very painful?" or "That must be really difficult." My response is usually along the lines of "Oh, no, it's fine." or "Oh, you know. It's not too bad."

That is a lie!

Living with arthritis is incredibly hard. It's not one big difficult thing, it's 1 million small difficult things. Arthritis makes everything hard. Even something as simple as brushing my hair, can be a huge struggle.

I've heard many times from other people with autoimmune arthritis how frustrating they find the misconceptions people have about arthritis. I realised, I'm probably contributing to those misconceptions by downplaying how bad it is.

Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going to go out and complain for half an hour every time someone asks me if it's painful, but I could say something like: "It's very painful, but I cope with it." or "Yeah, it is difficult, but it's part of my life and I deal with it as best I can."

Buckle Me Up http://www.iaamovement.org/ have suggested that instead of saying we have 'arthritis', we say we have 'autoimmune arthritis.' Hopefully, that way, instead of getting the standard response of "but you're too young to have arthritis" or "my mum has that - she takes ibuprofen" people will ask "what's autoimmune arthritis?" If enough people start saying this and follow it up with a quick explanation about the difference between autoimmune forms of arthritis and degenerative forms, it won't be long until we don't need that explanation any more.

Little Miss Autoimmune

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I get a stomach ulcer and positivity goes out the window...

Well, it's all pretty much there in the title. I found out yesterday I have a stomach ulcer.

I've had symptoms for a few months, but didn't really take much notice. I had a persistent stomach ache, but I put that down to being anxious, or having indigestion, or being hungry (despite the fact that eating made the pain worse.) It wasn't really a problem until about a week ago when the pain became unbearable and I had times where I couldn't stop dry wretching.

It was probably unfortunate that I had blogged about positivity a few days before, because I did not feel very positive at that point. Fortunately for everyone else, I lost my voice on the same day, so I was not terribly vocal about my lack of positivity. A wee bit of it did come out via the internet though.

Oh, that reminds me... I've found this great fibro group on facebook. http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Fibromyalgia-Fun-House/153222891381838
I don't know how to do that thing where you put the name of something, and that's the link itself, but this should hopefully work. They've been really lovely to talk to, and gave me some great advice, so thank you to them.
Oh, and while we're on the facebook thing, I now have a Little Miss Autoimmune facebook page. There's a link to it above... or maybe to the left... I'm not sure where exactly it's going to be in relation to this post, but I've sure you'll be able to find it if you'd like to.

So, anyway, back to my point. I have a stomach ulcer. It's not as serious as it could be because there's no signs of it bleeding, so that's really good. Unfortunately, it's most likely caused by my arthritis medication, which may mean I will have to come off it. I'm hoping not, as I can't really move without it. The doctor said the medication he's given me to repair the damage can also protect from further damage, so I may just have to stay on it long term. From what I've read, autoimmune arthritis itself can be a contributing factor, but I read that on the internet so I don't know if it's accurate.

It's weird, because I when the pain got bad last week I jokingly said I thought I was developing an ulcer. Then I googled the symptoms and causes and went, hey, maybe I am actually developing an ulcer.

As you might have guessed, this isn't really a proper post. It's kind of just an update to explain why I'm not doing a proper post this week.

Back to regular programming next week.

:-) Little Miss Autoimmune