Some of you may know that I suffer from arthritis. Sometimes, pretty horribly. I have this throughout my body, but particularly in my hips, spine, knees, and back. In Sept., after my heart problem, I was also diagnosed with it in my chest area including my shoulders, breast bone, ribs, etc.. I also have a problem with psoriasis. I developed psoriasis on my hands 2 winters ago. During the past month, I've been having more and more problems with my hands. My fingers started curling when I was 38 so that was nothing new to me. However, not being able to turn a door knob and open my kids' bedroom doors was something totally unexpected that has happened lately. I haven't been able to open bottles, etc. for about 6 months and I figured that was just due to weakness. Boy, was I wrong.
This past Monday, I went to see my doctor again about my arthritis problems. Particularly the pain. And not being able to use my hands like I am used to. I have started another series of tests and I'm also taking a series of steroid shots now. My doctor said he thinks he has misdiagnosed some of my arthritis. I now have a form called psoriatic arthritis. Just great. I can continue to lose the use of my hands. As well as other parts of my body. Much quicker than I had anticipated. I already have 3 types of arthritis: osteo, gout, and rheumatoid. For those not familiar with arthritis, osteo arthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis. This affects the joints.
Anyway, I wanted to share some of my struggles with arthritis this week. It's horrible. Much worse than I've ever experienced before. And I've lived with this since I was 17 and about 7 years ago when my fingers started turning at the joints, my doctor suggested that I find a hobby that requires constant use of my hands and that this would keep them in working order much longer than not using them on a daily basis. Since I already knew how to crochet, I just made crochet a part of my daily regimen. I crochet something each and every day. Until this week. I have struggled and struggled just to hold the hook. Crocheting one row of something is taking longer and longer and is more painful and more painful. And today, when I woke up and couldn't move two of my fingers on my right hand, I got scared. I called the doctor's office and went in for another steroid shot. Since this is my second shot this week, I will have to wait awhile now before I can have another. What am I going to do? This is all I can think about. Not only do I work at jobs that require the use of my hands (somewhat), but I can't imagine a life of not knowing if my hands will work today when I wake up. So...I'm trying really hard to think of positive things that I can continue to do and I'm trying hard not to "bring on trouble" when I already have enough of it in my life, but honestly...sometimes it's so easy to wallow in my despair. With that being said...I'm using this post to get rid of my worries and get on with things. The shots make me sickly and I end up in bed for many hours after receiving them but hopefully they are worth it. They have given me a low dose of pain pills and even cutting them in half still makes me ill, so they will not be a regular part of my regimen. Whenever I had a moment today, I made sure to sit down and pick up my crochet hook. After many attempts and tries, I finally figured out how to hold the hook with the least amount of pain. I also managed to work out a little bit of the kinks in my fingers after several hours of crocheting. I even managed to knit 18 rows on the scarf a little bit ago while watching TV. So, even with my troubles this week, I am feeling blessed. Yes, blessed that I am still able to do my crafting that I love so much. Regardless of the obstacles that will come my way...I will persevere. No more pity for me, only positive steps and actions in the future. Thank you so much for reading my arthritis story and for being there in the future when I become low or when I feel uplifted with this struggle.