I have always been a Type A person. I’m overscheduled, always moving, and always stressed. With my career I burned the candle at both ends and was a complete work a holic. My career was in call centers and technology and typing for 8+ hours a day. I was proud of my 90+ words a minute typing and how efficiently I could maneuver through computer systems. It was what I was known for – efficiency. Then I was struck with RA and that all went to hell!
So now that I’m in the throws of RA, I’m having to completely change my personality it seems. I have to not stress (yeah right), I have to try and rest with no more pushing through the fatigue to get more done in a day. Typing isn’t going to happen for 8+ hours a day anymore. I find that if I type leisurely at home for an hour my hands are in terrible pain. I can use speech to text software at home, but that wouldn’t work in the job that I’m currently out on disability from since it requires me to be talking on a phone while typing.
Then there is keeping the house clean and the errands run. I used to run all my errands on Saturdays and start laundry. I would finish the laundry on Sunday and clean the entire house Sunday morning. No more! I can get one floor of the house done in a day and that is if I take a few breaks. Laundry doesn’t seem to bother me to bad so I can keep up with that. Running errands have to split up over several days because pushing grocery carts that are full aggravates my knees as well as my hands, elbow, and shoulders. Not to mention reaching and grabbing heavier items.
I have also been a really independent person, even when I was super morbidly obese, I was independent and wouldn’t ask for help with anything. Now I have people offering to help me with cleaning the house and other things and it’s really hard to accept any of their help. It bothers me when I can’t open a jar or bottle in the kitchen or have a hard time getting heavy casseroles out of the oven.
This RA is making me change how I live, how I think, and really change my entire life. I’m sure some of the changes will be worth it since I was really killing myself with getting up at 5:30 and continuing to go until midnight each and every day. It’s making me reflect on what is important in life and what I’m willing to push myself to do and what I’m not going to push myself to do anymore. In that respect, I’m OK with my RA diagnosis. However, it does leave me with a lot of uncertainty which I’m trying to learn to live with. I hate uncertainty in my life, I am a Libra after all.