Friday, October 29, 2010

Where has Missy Been? - Diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis

So you're probably all wondering what became of Missy with her lovely gardens and houseplants. We've had some pretty good rain storms and the cold has set in here. Along with rain and cold comes Missy's reminder...achey bones. Around here we don't get a lot of rain, but when we do everyone is so glad! I am too...when I can think past the pain. When I heard rain drops and started crying a few weeks ago, I knew it was time to do something about it.

I consider myself an emotionally strong girl, generally, so when tears come, something really is wrong. I have an aunt who is a Registered Nurse. She also has a BlackBerry. I got on my BlackBerry and sent her a message telling her that I was taking the highest recommended dosage of ibuprofen and it wasn't even taking the edge off the pain. Her reply? "You need some very expensive testing." Nice of her to be honest, right? I'm always fretting about how much things cost. After giving it a few days thought and only feeling worse, I decided she was right. She told me to look a few things up on the internet. My symptoms all matched up with what she told me she thought I had: Rheumatoid Arthritis. Click on the picture below to read about it on MedicineNet:

Rheumatoid Arthritis

A 21 year old girl doesn't just accept that she has a chronic debilitating illness like as if she'd just been told that the cookie jar was empty. It's a big deal! I finally scheduled an appointment with my local doctor. She's a really nice lady. After listening to my symptoms and feeling my joints she said, "She's got to have it."

She ordered a bunch of tests and told me to take lots of things. Now we're waiting for the results in order to know what to do next. In the mean time I have good days surrounded by bad days, I have bad days with bits of good mixed in, and good days with bits of bad mixed in.

You know how it is when you go to the doctor? You almost feel like it made things worse, but really, why did you go to the doctor? Because it wasn't getting any better, and just because you went to the doctor doesn't mean it's suddenly going to get better.

So how does an avid gardener and houseplant lover keep up with a hobby like that when they can barely get around? Let's take a spin around my bedroom.

When my wrists don't hurt too bad, there's nothing stopping me from reading. I have a little collection of gardening books and magazines in my bookcase:
Gardening Books and Magazines

You can probably guess my hobby by looking at my dresser. Butterfly Thermometer/Clock, Flower Vase, Rose Lamp, Rose Clock, Flowery Jewelery Box, and a Little Hand Crafted Birdhouse I made once:
My Dresser

I'm learning Spanish, and I don't see why I can't mix it in with what I already enjoy. Thus, I got this Spanish book on the Life Cycle of the Earth Worm:
Spanish Life Cycle of the Earth Worm

And my Calendar with beautiful flowers every month:
Flower Calendar

First glance at my bookcase would make you think, 'Yep! This lady is sick!':
Book Case

But, I haven't lost sight of the things I love which is shown by these plastic Cosmos hidden amongst all the pills (And yes, I need to dust!):

I also have my beautiful plant shelf that I've shown in other posts. My bedroom looks very "gardeny" as a whole, so nope! It's not going away any time soon. Rheumatoid Arthritis or not I'm still a gardener at heart!

Yes, I've accepted and rejected the diagnostic about 150 thousand times in the last few weeks, but I still have the old reminder, pain. I've been so glad for things like Ibuprofen, Tylenol Arthritis, Lavender Oil to soak in, and all my wonderful friends and associates. I looked back in my old chats with my co-workers. I was mentioning my knees in April of 09 and talked about my achey bones through the winter of last year and into this year. It was interesting because I kind of felt like it was a little "all the sudden". Apparently, it was not.


  1. My heart goes out to you! Keep up your interests and hobbies it will help you get through the tough times. I was diagnosed with Crohns disease at the age of 31, I was a single Mom with a 13 year old son, it has not been easy but my garden is where I found my solace and you will too!

  2. So sorry to hear about your troubles ... it's a condition that can be so painful. I think you've got the best approach to it all ... keep your interests as alive as possible. I know my husband suffers terribly with Osteo-arthritis and there are days when he just can't move ... those are the days when it's hard to raise a smile! But he just puts one foot in front of the other and somehow gets through the day. His workshop is his refuge ... and I'm sure your garden will prove to be the same.

  3. Keeping in mind that I know you also play the flute and will find that a difficult interest to maintain, I recommend the gardening portion of your hobbies as a means to cope. It is a great comfort to have the support of family and friends. Count me as one of your friends in need.--Your duet ourselves partner of some time ago.

  4. Sorry to hear about your health issues. I hope you're able to keep up the gardening when you're feeling good, and when you're not able it looks like you have lots to look at enjoy while you're inside. I know what you mean about going to the doctor and feeling like it made things worse. I recently was feeling the same way. The good part is that you'll be able to find the right things to help with your pain.

  5. Ouchie girl! I'm so sorry, I hope it dries up soon! Just enough for you to feel better, we are enjoying the rain too... Lots of little neighbor boys are out trying to turn our unkept, miskept...however you say it... back yard into their playground! I guess their yard is too confining with all that lawn and sidewalk haha

  6. So sorry to hear about your health! My husband is diabetic and so I can identify with having to take a lot of pills. I am glad that you have your hobbies and books to see you through.

  7. Take care of yourself and stay positive!

  8. I kind of know how you feel, I too love gardening all be it of the vegetable variety. Earlier on this year while working in the garden I severely hurt my back and have endured many months of painful treatment. So I do have an appriciation of what you are going through. Keep on with the hobby and don't give into it problem.

  9. I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. It just isn't fair to anyone, let alone someone as young as you. Please take care and stay active. I hope the meds work for you better now that you have a diagnosis.


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