No need to send a search party, I know I’ve been MIA for a bit. I wish I could say I won the lottery and I’m checking in on society from my private island, but sadly, that is not the case. I finally managed to lift my head just above the oppressively pounding surf that surrounds that lovely island and not choke on the water, long enough to take a deep, live-saving breath. I have been in a FUNK friends and not the James Brown kind.
I’ve lost weeks trying to pinpoint when all this started and I’m still not sure I can root that out. I know its been longer than my unplanned hiatus from this blog (Oops!) and before we bought this house, (which apparently did not fix all the things I was hoping it would fix. Told me so!).
It didn’t arrive the day Miss O joined us either, although it certainly hasn’t made the first three years the shiny happy experience I was hoping that would be. People assure me our recounting of the last three years is “normal,” so I’ve stopped worrying about the lack of fulfillment on that one for a bit. (It does help to let it go, though. STFU, Elsa!) It didn’t happen when we moved to Massachusetts, or got married, or met, or even on any of our now-we’re older-than-25-birthdays. I cannot tell you how immensely annoying it is to not find the blame for my less than funky funk.
The one thing I can point to that was a true turning point for all of us happened long before Miss O came to be. In fact, it even affected when and how she came to be, but more on that another time. On Christmas Eve morning in 2011, I woke up unable to make a fist with my right hand. I couldn’t even flatten it. I was in no pain other than that one area of complete immobility and I panicked. That’s when I put my feet down to get out of bed and almost fell into the wall next to me. What do you do when you trip and think you’re about to face plant into I don’t know what? Put out your dominant hand to catch you, that’s what you do. It’s an excellent strategy, except when your hands are convinced you’ve turned into a baby T-Rex overnight and you’re now faced with using your big head and little arms to save you.
From that moment forward it’s been years of hurting, testing, hypothesizing, poking, hurting, discussing, medicating, hurting, adjusting and diagnosing. As my team of doctors tells me…Wait…What?! You don’t have a whole TEAM?! I’m getting mine jerseys this Christmas that say “SuburbanJackpot” on the front and “We keep the meds coming!” on the back. They will be numbered either according to what position (year) they came on the team or by amount of appointments I’ve had with each of them. Possibly number of prescriptions written. Maybe dollars spent or amount of tests ordered. So many possibilities!
Anyway, the team has decided to proceed as though I have rheumatoid arthritis. Which is momentous not only because that’s the first time I’ve typed that correctly, but also because it’s a clear path forward with a treatment plan. To be clear, we still do not know if I definitely HAVE rheumatoid arthritis (that’s twice now!), we’re just treating me as though that’s the big winner. I also have Hoshimoto’s, but that’s definite. Well, as definite as that can get and it really can’t hold a candle to the full RA experience. It’s also a blast being the youngest person in the waiting room for all my appointments. There is nothing better than getting a sly pity glance from an 80-year-old with a walker and an oxygen mask. NOTHING.
So here I sit in my funky funk, hating on myself and mourning the loss of my twenties.
FINE. Thirties. They’re not completely gone, but it’s an early night on this side of 35.
There’s been a lot of exhaustion, pain and sadness. There’s also been, support, love and immense joy. Sometimes I get lost in a moment and realize how far I’ve come since that day. I am typing on a keyboard with all ten fingers and there’s no pain. Not one knuckle pop. I have my feet up and my knees aren’t screaming. I remember crying in the morning just trying to sit up and then crying again while I tried to wash my hair. Let’s not even talk about brushing it. I still can’t quite braid my daughter’s hair as well as I used to braid a mane for a horse show, but I can get by. I don’t know for how much longer, but I try not to think about it. When I do the funk returns and there’s just no escaping it.
I’m working on it.
Really, I am.