Happy Monday (sarcasm of course )! But it actually isn’t that bad of a day! It felt like Summer here so that’s always a plus!
Today I have an amazing guest post for you all from Lindsay….her story is truly incredible.
Hey Healthy Helper readers!
I feel so honored to be writing a guest post for Kaila. I’ve been reading her blog for a long time now, and I just love her and her cute little pup. Anyways lets get this show on the road. I’m Lindsay and I blog over at Surviving Candy Land!
This past year I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis.
What the HECK is that?
Yeah, I said the same thing. It’s an auto-immune disease that starts out with a skin disease called psoriasis. I would show you pictures, but the ones online make me kind of sick to look at. Psoriasis flares up when you get stressed out, but I had no idea that mine was flaring up/I even had it because it was hidden in my lower scalp. I was stressed out because I was pre-med at Boston University, I just found out I had to transfer back to Texas, and I had already signed my lease for an apartment (Uh oh was right). Having psoriasis itself pretty much sucks in general because you pretty much have dandruff times a million.
I always have to worry about how much will be on my clothes or if I will "shed on someone else.
Scalp! How could you do this to me?!?
10% of people with psoriasis then go on to develop arthritis. Aren’t I lucky? The summer I transferred back, I had my normal job of coaching a youth volleyball team, but I was also taking a bunch of art classes. In the middle of summer my elbow started hurting, so I went to my mom. She just thought it was because my arm wasn’t used to those movements. Oh no she didn’t. Life lesson: go to the doctor whenever something is up. Also, don’t WebMD that because it will turn you into a crazy hypochondriac (look at me now, I’m going crazy). Luckily I did have a doctors appt for something else, but I mentioned my elbow at the appt. My doctor decided to take X-rays, but they were inconclusive. I had to get MRIs. For anyone that has had them, you know what those are like.
So after hours and hours of having MRI after MRI postponed, at like 11 pm I finally get to enter the torture machine. Good times. The next morning I get a call from the doctor being like stop eating because you are going into surgery. Uh WAIT WHAT?!? Hold up. I didn’t sign up for this when I was at the office yesterday. Sneaky sneaky doctors. My mom has to drag me to the hospital (BTW did I mention that I was a 20 yr old at a pediatrics hospital), but eventually we get everything worked out and I’m being prepped in the pre-op room. Drama explosion (kind of personal), but I end up not having the surgery. Yes, I just wasted 6 hours of my morning starving to death and being bored for nothing. I was given names of a bunch of doctors to continue on my journey to consult. I went to a ton of doctors, but I was still waiting to get in to one specific doctor: a rheumatologist. These doctors were booked all the way until the end of August. DANG. They must be miracle workers. Unfortunately by the time it had reached the day of my appointment, my elbow was in pain, my knee was in pain, my lower back was in pain, and my knuckles were in pain. I felt like I had the body of an 80 year old. I could barely move, it hurt so bad.
It must be April Fools? These really aren’t actual treatments for a non-cancer disease? Oh they are. I’ve been on every single one. I first started out with the chemo drug, methotrexate, because it was in the pill form. Every week I got to take about 10 pills that would make me feel nauseous, and eventually my hair started falling out. They weren’t really working, so on to the next one. I then started Humira, an auto-injectable. Ouch! My mom had to give them to me because I would freak out too much about giving myself a shot. They hurt too. Oops I did it again, more like didn’t do it. Drug fail. On to another injectable, but this time it didn’t hurt. I loved this one, but of course my body had to ruin a good thing, and I developed these allergic reactions to the drug.
Only one drug left. I’m literally like sweating in the office because what happens if I fail this last one? I need to walk. I can’t live in bed all my life. Then the miracle happens. My body responds to a drug. Unfortunately for me this drug kind of sucks (it is an IV treatment where you get hooked up for 2 and a half hours to get drugs put in you – yeah, it sounds a little like chemo – what is up with that?). It’s amazing though. I’m so thankful for it because without it I wouldn’t be able to get around like a normal human being. Sometimes its hard because either people don’t understand what I’m going through or I get treated like I’m about to die any minute (which gets SUPER annoying). I guess I should just be happy that I have so many people in my life that care about me.
My non-existent year is what I labeled that time in my life. Finally, I am able to go out and have fun with my friends. I mean look at me now, I’m gettin crazy – in a good way. I forgot to mention that some of the arthritis side affects are exhaustion and hot flashes. If sweating like crazy in an ice cold building doesn’t scream sexy, then I don’t know what does. I try to make light of the situation. That’s my advice to everyone. You can’t let something awful like this get you down in life because you might not make it to the other end. Luckily I had great support from my mom, who is like my best friend. She was there for me the days when I broke down in the school parking lot because I couldn’t move and she was there for me on the good days when I couldn’t feel the pain anymore. Having arthritis has definitely been a growing experience for me. I matured a lot, and I wouldn’t be who I was without having it.
Hopefully my post didn’t turn ya’ll into hypochondriacs or anything. Have an amazing day.
Do any of ya’ll have diseases (they don’t have to be severe – maybe like an allergen or something)?
Have you ever had a friend with a disease/illness?
Wow! You are truly inspiring Lindsay! To have such a positive attitude after everything you’ve been through is amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Tomorrow I have a BIG ASS giveaway for you all! So get pumped! I wish I could enter cause it is AWESOME!!!
PS: Keep the Q’s coming on Formspring for my next Q and A post!