I’ve Been Robbed: Living With A Chronic Illness

anunews.net

anunews.net

I’ve been robbed.

Multiple times.

And the suspects are at it again.

Missing, are my hours, my days, my being, my joy…and my life.  Each time, they strip away another piece of me, chipping away at my existence until all that is left is a broken, dark and useless me.

They break in and penetrate right through my brick exterior.  Nothing can shield me, nothing can stop them.  Some measures slow them down and put up a good fight but usually prove to be no match to their destruction.

I know their names.  I’ve stared them right in the face.  I have even punched a few of them right in the gut.  They just laugh and shake their heads at me.  They are truly in control.

They belong to a very active gang worldwide.  There is a branch of the gang right in my very  neighborhood.  It’s a family, bound by a common desire to destroy.  Attached to one another and knowing full well what they are capable of, collectively.

The leader of the gang is, Mr. Rheumatoid Arthritis or RA, as they call him in the streets.  He is the mastermind behind this brilliant force.  Ruthless.  What he says – goes.  Barking orders to the worker bees in the gang and mapping out the details of each attack on the intended targets.  He has personally marred my body.  Attacked my joints and left some disfigured.  His latest focus is my neck.

Second in command is, Fatigue.  A repulsive fellow who won’t leave my side.  Every once in a while he sneaks out to get some fresh air or to attend the gang’s ‘strategy’ meetings, but he’s on me the rest of the time.  He is responsible for my uselessness.  Only allowing me to perform a few activities in a day.  Robbing me of a chance at a job, participating in my kid’s activities, enjoying the outdoors with my husband and making me unavailable to attend to my family’s needs.

Fatigue oftentimes prevents my kids from coming to me when they need help with homework, projects, a trip to the mall or just to talk.  He barricades me in my bed and makes me sleep for hours at a time.  Like a rag doll, I am lifelessly wasting away to nothing.

He has invaded my brain, making it difficult to rely on my memory, recall words, make decisions and react sharply to situations.  He holds the remote control responsible for my functioning and oftentimes, sets it on MUTE.

Depression, though not as powerful as his peers, is not far behind.  I don’t let his deadly silence fool me.  He creeps in slowly and soon becomes my strongest voice.  He reminds me of my misery that exists.  He forces me to compare my life to others’ and points out the unfairness of it all.  He uses his full force to pull me down, to see the hopelessness around me and to prevent me from fighting the battle.   In fact, he is with me now.  Made himself right at home and is showing no signs of venturing out in this cold (and who can blame him.)

This is my life.

Oh sure, there are many things I am grateful for and wouldn’t change for the world, but underneath that smile and positivity lies, reality.

Now, please don’t feel a need to call the police, alert the authorities or come to my rescue.  Though I appreciate your efforts greatly, I will somehow, survive.

 I have to.  

I always do.  

It’s daunting and exhausting, but survival is possible.

I will continue to fight my hardest, so I can one day be in full control of my own remote.  One in which the settings are permanently set at, POWER, PLAY and HIGH DEFINITION and one that will never be robbed from me.

 

66 thoughts on “I’ve Been Robbed: Living With A Chronic Illness

  1. Again, so glad you shared this with me. You definitely understand as I do for you. I love, love, love how you wrote this. These things do rob us of so much. They tested me for RA because my mom has it, but it was negative. Instead they added the fibromyalgia to my list but it doesn’t matter what it’s called. It all boils down to what you listed: pain, fatigue and depression. Hope you’re feeling well today. ((Hugs))

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  2. Brickhouse in deed my dear! I wasn’t aware you battled this nasty bitch! And now, I shall tell you that my mom does as well!! Not only my mother, but poor Inion is showing early signs of having the same exact monkey on her back & only at 27. It breaks my heart to know that my daughter will suffer as my mother has. And this thing comes in uninvited any time it wants. No Rhyme, no reason, weather…too much activities…or just because it can! I know exactly what you mean in your comment to Sweet Catherine. My mother was told to keep up with her knitting & hand crafts yet she pays dearly when she does. It’s a vicious cycle and there are no easy answers. My mother also suffers from fibromyalgia. & these two bullies love to gang up on her & hit her at the same time! Our prayers will go out to you & we will pray God gives you some relief my dear. Other than that…I don’t know what else to say, except always feel free to vent on us & know we’ll understand. ❤ ❤

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    1. Oh Goodness! So sorry about your mother and now your daughter. NO ME GUSTA!! Let’s pray that a cure or real good medicine is found soon. I also have Fibro and the combination is toxic. Sigh.

      Thank you for your very kind words and I will remember that I now have a new place to go and vent. I invite you and Inion to do the same.

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  3. Hey Maria…. sorry to hear that you are in so much pain, but I can re-late. This cold weather has been brutal on my fibro as well. Haven’t got much accomplished this last month. I totally get the depression side also. I don’t think people really understand how it is to live with chronic pain and fatigue day after day. There are some days you have just had enough, and feel like quitting, but you know we are way to ornery for that! Hang in there. Like I always tell myself this to shall pass, and I can either choose to be bitter, or make it better. Take care and I hope you get to feeling better. ❤

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  4. I can relate to what you are saying, about the pain, the sense of uselessness, the fatigue and brain fog. These are my companions as well. You encourage me to take on more and keep going. I am beating some of these more and more frequently. I’m even trying meditation to deal with the pain instead of drugs. My depression seems a thing of the past, and the sense of hope real for the first time in my life. As long as you have hope, you have everything.

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  5. I just wonder if you are in the right climate for this nasty illness? The cold you’ve been having must make this unbearable! I know what it’s like to be robbed of the last one on the list… but all three? You’re made of tougher stuff than me…

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  6. Man I wrote earlier. Where did it go? I agree, time for another Spanish lesson. They crack me up. A thought on getting through winter, you are over half way there. You can do it!!! That’s what I tell myself on long runs. 🙂

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  7. I’m so sorry Maria. I wish I could make the cold and the pain go away. I am counting down with you to hot, summer days with red frozen drinks. Thinking of you.
    Most of my city is shut down due to the weather. I 4wheeled my way into work today, though. Hugs and Luvs are being sent to you through cyberspace. 🙂

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  8. When I read your post and comments I couldn’t help but think how lucky John and I are. This might help.
    If I’m in a long crappy run, I psyche myself up by thinking about how far I’ve gone, and once I’m passed half way, I psyche myself up by thinking about how little is left. So, with that in mind, you are over half way through winter.
    Now if that long, convoluted pep talk did not rock you, you need to look for cheap flight south and give those joints some serious heat!

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    1. Your words always ROCK me, Shelley. I believe there are only about 37 days left ’till Spring. That helps as long as I ignore the 10-14 inches of snow we are expecting tomorrow… Next winter, if I am still here in the Northeast, please yell at me and force me to get my arse to Puerto Rico ASAP. Once both my babies are in college, I can do just that! Woot, woot! Now, enjoy freakin’ Mexico (no, I am not one bit jealous). 🙂

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  9. Pain is debilitating. While I don’t suffer from RA, I know what the effects of pain can have on your whole being. I suspect, in your case the pain of RA gives birth to depression and fatigue. I’m sorry this is a rough period for you but the fact that you can sit down long enough to write about your experience and share it with so many who are also suffering is truly amazing. That connection you’ve made with others is what stands out in the most positive light.

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    1. You are so right about RA giving birth to the other culprits. RA needs to be destroyed if not sterilized so it cannot multiply! I know many people out there are suffering with their own criminals and I hope that I have made a connection with some of them. Thank you for your kind words! 🙂

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  10. Recognizing what you’re feeling and why is the first step to getting better, right? And those gangs messed with the wrong chica, because you are going to take them down with your icy willpower and your unending strength.

    Because you are an f-ing badass.

    Don’t ever forget that.

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    1. I may not be a 36-24-36, but this brickhousechick is STACKED – damn it! Stacked with BAD-ASSNESS. She’s mighty mighty and letting it all (her stomach) hang out – damn it! Sometimes she loses her BAD-ASSNESS and needs her readers to help her find it. Thank you, Pinot.

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    1. That must have been tough watching her suffer and not understanding her psyche at the time. They really do go hand in hand. Thank you for visiting me here and for your well wishes. I appreciate it. 🙂

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  11. I always thought walking and eating healthily were good for depression but I read a great post about learning the other day and how even depression cannot stop the good feeling you get when you learn. So sign up for karate or something and I’ll teach you some French. Take care!

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    1. That’s the struggle with arthritis. You need to stay active but being active hurts and sends you back to bed! Oftentimes, the more I do the more I hurt. I like the idea of learning, that’s a great concept, Catherine! I know blogging has been healing and therapeutic for me and something I can do from the comfort of my bed. I’ll teach you Spanish if you teach me French. 🙂

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  12. *sigh* I’m feelin’ your vibe, amiga.

    For me, it’s nerve damage and chronic pain, mostly, the same that’s keeping me awake right now. For all of this, I have a string of doctors that I’m ever-so slightly starting to lose track of. Now, I deal with bipolar mood disorder as well, but that’s thankfully well-treated, after about 20 years of psych med hell. Took long enough to strip out the crap that wasn’t working and stick with what does.

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    1. So sorry to hear about your struggles and pain. We know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep for restoring our muscles and our minds – so when that is disrupted, things get worse. 😦 It sucks. That seems to be the word of choice. SUCKS. Thank you for your kind words and I am sending positive vibes your way (if I can find them). LOL

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  13. Dude. Dude! I hear ya sista. Although I’m not familiar with RA that fat bastard fatigue and that bitch depression make constant appearances and I totally have to fight them off with my ninja skills on a daily basis. They constantly show up because the blueprints I set up when I was younger don’t seem to match my current life conditions. And that burns me out. It burns me out to have worked so hard for so long and not yet have what falls in others laps so easily. So fatigue and depression come knocking on my door, constantly … but the power of chocolate sometimes help ease the situation, and I come back for round II like a heavyweight fighter and I remember I’m a badass. I know you got the fight in you too, and I got some chocolate for you at the end of the line. Keep your head up.

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    1. Oh, Guat. This made me cry – tears of sadness mixed in with deep appreciation for your kindness. What a perfect song to send my way. I know you have been struggling as well and I am sorry. I am looking forward to stuffing my face with my favorites – Chocolate covered strawberries. YUM. I know you are a badass so I’ve got you on the list of people to call when I need reinforcements. 🙂

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  14. *Hugs!* My brother was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when he was about 8. I remember the pain he used to go through every winter. Actually, if we got hit with a severe cold snap, it was not uncommon for him to be admitted due to how big his joints would swell. I’ve seen the needle they jammed into his knee cap to pull the fluid. No fun at all. I pray the pain eases up for you and that the weather becomes more mild for your sake.

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    1. That must have been tough watching your brother suffer so much. My husband always feels so helpless. Fortunately my joints haven’t been swelling up lately. They hurt, but are not filled with fluid. Phew. The fatigue is what is killing me. It’s so powerful and completely takes over my body and mind. I can’t wait to sit out in the sun and absorb warmness and joy. Thanks for the love!

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    1. You are so sweet! I haven’t been myself and I don’t like it. I can feel me plummeting to that dark place. This too shall pass, but boy does it suck. Maybe I’ll do a Spanish lesson on how to deal with bullies and thugs. I appreciate your kindness.

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  15. If I could come kick the sh*t out of those thugs for you, I would.
    I always think things seem at to be at their absolute worst in February…not to diminish the effects of that punk RA and his posse, because I know the effects are REAL, and AWFUL…it just seems that this month is so very short on joy…that all the icky stuff just seems so very much more icky!
    blog your way through until the sun shines. Keep writing & I’ll keep reading & cheering for you. 🙂

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    1. You are so right. Winter makes things worse all around. Joints hurt more, we tense up more in order to keep warm and can’t be as active. Proves my point that Winter needs to be banned- forever. Thanks for the cheers, they mean a lot to me. 🙂

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    1. I would love your help kicking their arses. We’ve got to break up the gangs and lock them up for good. Alcatraz would be good, as long as there is no chance of escape. Crohn’s, I hear, is a repulsive guy as well. Thank you for your support – always. xo

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    1. Thank you Pam. That means a lot to me coming from you. I’ve got to fight for that remote so I can control my own mind. You are right, winters don’t help. Like your dad, I guess I AM a victor, aren’t I? Just call me victor brickhousechick.

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    1. So sorry to hear that RA struck your house as well. Loved ones often do feel helpless but I don’t know what I would do without my husband. You sound like you understand very well what she goes through. Nice. 🙂

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  16. I also meant to say that I know that feeling of being robbed. I know it deeply. My depression has not only taken away joy and pleasure in life (though I fight for those and can generally claim a win) but has pretty much ruined my finances, distorted my career and left me struggling to make connections. Also – just to get stuck in the trivial for a moment – I WANT NEW CLOTHES!!! But I can’t justify the money to pay for them. Godammit, can’t I even buy some new clothes?! How pathetic is that? Not fair. Robbed indeed.

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    1. You need a back up team to knock those things down so you can get back up so here it goes….my best 👊👊👊. Seriously, that is really awful. I hope you are feeling better soon. That trifecta is not a great ticket at all. Sending you energy, love and a step in a healing direction 😉 ❤️Feel better friend!

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  17. Ahhh! I love this description of the gang! I suffer from depression, and fatigue often plagues me, but I feel very lucky not to have to tolerate RA as well.
    Keep fighting the battle; as you say, we just have to, don’t we?
    I look forward to reading more about your streetfights – hopefully with many victorious stories!

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