One year ago, February 1, 2017, was the day it was confirmed I have Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Although I wasn’t surprised, after four years of traveling joint pain all over my body, I was still disappointed. That is actually the understatement of the century. I was completely pissed off. I was in huge amounts of pain, my hands were unrecognizable and I thought to myself, this cannot be my life. Really? Why me? poor me, woe is me, blah, blah, blah… I went through the whole gamut of questioning the universe. Did I have cancer? No. Was this the worst thing that could have happened to me? Of course not. But still, I was allowed a little questioning especially since I make it my life’s mission to keep health, wellness and nutrition a top priority.
We rely on our hands and feet for so many things. These are just some of the day-to-day things I suddenly struggled with:
- tying my shoes, tying my kids shoes
- pull up my pants, helping my kids get dressed
- washing my hair, putting my hair in a pony tail
- opening the refrigerator
- holding the steering wheel
- holding a pen
The list goes on and on. I remember crying in the shower because my rings were stuck on my swollen fingers…
I was met with not a lot of hope or positivity from conventional medicine. I was told a multitude of not so positive things:
- Well it makes sense this is what you have. I can’t believe we didn’t test you sooner;
- It’s not the worst diagnosis to get;
- At least you don’t have cancer;
- You just take medication and you’ll be fine, you may lose your eyesight, but at least your joints will feel better;
- There’s no guarantee that it will ever get better even if you take medication;
- The inflammation in your body will never go away,
- You can do all those “other things” you’re doing but it won’t help much (eye rolls);
- It has nothing to do with food.
So what did I do? How did I move forward? Here’s a few strategies I worked on over the past year:
There we ups and downs over the past year. I didn’t do one thing that was “the” thing that changed my course of healing.
2. Positive Mindset
I kept repeating positive mantras to myself. I can do it. I am strong. I am worthy. Even when I was in pain and not feeling my best, I still tried my best to stay positive.
Today and every day I am so grateful. 🙏
Grateful for my life, my family, my health, my healing, my persistence, my strength.
This morning, I was struck with this emotion of gratitude. I remembered one year ago I was in a dark place. I was feeling down, hopeless, and crippled. It had been a month since I had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, and even though I struggled with joint pain for four years up until the diagnosis, somehow knowing it was RA made everything feel worse. Losing the ability to use my hands felt horrible and I was not going down without a fight.
In true Jenny fashion, I, of course, made a commitment to healing and reversing this disease, and was willing to do whatever it took. But it wasn’t easy. I share this with you not so you’ll feel sorry for me, so you will be thinking about gratitude. Appreciate what you have.
Thank someone. Hug someone. Be kind. These all seem like simple acts. They are and they add up to an attitude of gratitude.
I also share my story to give you hope. A diagnosis is not the end all, be all in life. It’s just that, a diagnosis, information in your health story. Your attitude and mindset can make or break a diagnosis. I chose to break it. You can do anything you put your mind to. It’s going to take work, and it might be hard, but it will be worth it.
What are you grateful for?