Guilt

For the past few days I’ve been feeling a little guilty about not being able to say yes to a friend who wants to hang out.

I’m going off of prednisone…and anyone who has ever done that knows it will make you feel like you have the flu. Aches, fatigue, hot flashes and muscle soreness.  But, it’s not just the prednisone. My knees have been filling up with fluid for the past few days and I’m supposed to keep them propped up as much as I can. Also, I’m on a rotation diet and eating really strictly, which makes it hard to go out in public and away from my fridge for long periods of time. So, I can’t hang out with him because I will undoubtedly be the worst company.  The whole time I would be hungry, in pain, and want to curl up and sleep. So, I keep telling him I can’t. And I feel guilty.

The truth is that I’ve been feeling guilty for 9 years now. Nine years of telling my friends no. Nine years of missing dance rehearsals, lacrosse games, classes, birthday parties, get-togethers. Nine years of making up excuses because I was sick of explaining about  my rheumatoid arthritis. Nine years of making up excuses because I was afraid my friends wouldn’t understand, or worse, they wouldn’t believe me.

I can’t imagine having a friend when I was 12 years old that said she couldn’t hang out because she had arthritis and it was flaring that week. Honestly, it would make me laugh.

But, isn’t this why I am living at home in the first place? I came home from school so that I could live a different life. One where I could spend an hour getting out of bed if  I needed to. One where I could focus on eating the right foods all day instead of rushing to classes. I wanted a life where I could do what I needed to do in order to be healthy without feeling guilty for it.

I needed to get rid of my social life so I could be free from having to make excuses about why I was staying in every night.

I guess I’ve come to find out that I can’t run away from these situations. I can’t run away from the part that this disease wants to play in my life.  This is probably the one part of RA that it’s victims have the worst time coming to terms with. The way it takes your social life away from you is crushing. But, it’s no tour fault. It’s the disease, not us.

Which is why I told my friend the truth. I told him that I am going through a rough time with my arthritis and it would be too much to get together this week. I told him maybe next week we could do something, but we’d have to do something low key and during the day. And he understood.

It is a liberating experience to explain this to someone. Over the past few months I’ve been testing it out and today was the first day I realized the ludacrisy of my guilt. I have been burdened by it for a long time and to allow myself to fully realize that it’s not my fault is healing. It took awhile, but it was time to come to this place in my life with RA.

The Daily Dose of foods/supps/meds:

YES: organic peppermint tea upon waking, one low-sugar organic fruit in the morning before any other food, plenty of organic produce, protein three times per day (one animal, one vegetarian and one whey protein), plenty of organic herbal tea.

NO: food allergens (i got a blood test done), food that is toxic to an O neg. blood type, sugar, refined carbs, MSG, or dairy.

Supps: Caprin 2 3x/day, digestive enzymes 2 w/ all meals & 4 btwn meals 3x/day,  Probiotics 4 capsules (5 billion live organism each) 3x/day, fish oil (360 mg EPA, 240 mgs DHA) 4/day, evening primrose oil 1500 mg/day, zinc 30 mg/day, Opti-cleanse 4 scoops/day, IgG 2000 DF 1 tbs/day.

Meds: 6 mgs of Prednisone

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~ by thetruthaboutjra on February 16, 2009.

3 Responses to “Guilt”

  1. Good for you for sharing. Sometimes I think this disease tries to rob us of everything and we have to fight back to have some rights. It is difficult though for people to see us at our worst. When we have out of town visitors, I always cringe thinking about walking down the stairs in the morning and try to wake up before everyone else so I don’t have to make the slow dramatic move in front of everyone.

    Thanks for the omlet ingredients. We have been making omelets in our toaster oven and they are delicious. I will have to add the potatoes and cilantro.

  2. I don’t know if this helps, and seeing from Cathy’s response above, I can say with 100% certainty that you’re not the only one who feels this way. It seems so unfair sometimes the things we have to modify because of pain. And I hate that you feel guilty about it because it’s not your fault! But I’m glad you were open with him about it. And I think that’s the sign of a really good guy to understand!

  3. I’ve always said if I could eliminate one emotion, it would be guilt. I often feel guilty about my RA, even though I know it isn’t my fault. It is hard to get my mind and heart in the same place. I am really impressed that you have taken this road to try to deal with your RA. I have tried some diet restrictions and herbs in the past and I just didn’t have the patience. Good luck!

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