Normal is Sweet

Remembering back to the year before I was diagnosed with RA, the overarching theme was exhaustion.  Any errands I had to run occurred between breakfast and lunch, and were limited to three stops. More than three were more than I could manage, and by lunch time I needed a nap and had to take it easy the rest of the day.  When my husband left for work in the morning, his parting words were always, “Don’t overdo it.”

How different things are now!  I’m so happy that I received a prompt diagnosis and my rheumatologist kept making adjustments to find effective treatment.  It’s taken a while, but I’m finally able to have a somewhat normal life.  My schedule this year looks like something anybody with five kids might juggle, and not something carefully crafted to accommodate time for lots of naps and resting.

Schoolwork takes place first thing in the morning, or whenever there’s a few spare minutes.  We also have extras:

Monday1: 12-3 music lessons
Tuesday: 10-11:15 music lessons; 11:30-4:30 swimming; 5:30-9 scouts
Wednesday: 8:30-5:30 horse
Thursday: 9:30-11 nursing home; 11:30-4:30 swimming
Friday: 12-1:30 music lessons; 3:00 guests begin arriving; 6-9 teens invade our house

This is a testament to the fact that my meds are working.  There is no way I could have managed a schedule like this a few years ago.

I definitely notice that the Cimzia is wearing off a few days before my next injection is due, but I’m okay with a couple days of being tired if I can have minimal pain and the energy to lead a full life the rest of the time.  The meds do wear off, though.  Saturdays are okay if I pace myself and say home in the evening – unless I go out on Friday night.  If I go out Friday night, Saturday will be like the days pre-diagnosis.  This means that I rarely go out on Friday night (even on those days that our house isn’t overrun by teenagers), and never go out on Saturday night.  Some might think that sounds awful, but if I could spend time with anyone, I’d choose to be with my husband, and we don’t have to go somewhere else and spend money to be together.  An evening at home is a great way to spend time together.  So, although the Cimzia wears off, it rarely causes a problem.  I enjoy a few quiet evenings at home with my family, relax on Sunday, and everything works out fine.

There were times that I despaired of ever feeling normal again.  I’m happy to report that almost-normal is a possibility.  I’m loving it!

1 Times are accurate, days might be rearranged