Monday, September 23, 2013

Reclaiming my life....

If anyone has been paying attention it has been approximately one year since my last blog post. It doesn't seem that long ago, but it was. There is one simple reason why. Fatigue. 

I am not talking about the, 'I didn't get enough sleep, so I need a nap, fatigue' or the 'I spent way to much time at spin class, so now I am exhausted, fatigue'. No.  This is a completely different animal. I am talking about the kind that envelopes your life like a shadow and keeps you in the dark with no light on the horizon, fatigue. The kind where lifting your arms just to wash your hair seems like a monumental task. Walking up the stairs, thru quicksand, on all fours, kinda' fatigue.  It has come and gone for the past 7 years and fortunately my good 'spells' were much longer than the bad. Until this past year. 

Some of my friends today are more than a little surprised when I tell them I used to be an athlete.  Most Athletic my senior year in HS. Made the State & National soccer teams  and even played Softball at Ohio State. I had, as one reporter said in an article..'blinding speed'. Now, on most days I can't open a bottle of water or wear my shoes because of the swelling. I can't play with my kids in the backyard or teach them how to kick a soccer ball.

I am not the person I want to be.

The mom I thought I would be.

Some may know I suffer from an autoimmune disorder called psoriatic arthritis. Simply put, my immune system is overactive. My body thinks my joints and ligaments are 'foreign' objects so it attacks these areas causing inflammation, stiffness and pain. Lots of pain. Unfortunately this horrid disease is treated with horrid medications. I have to take something to lower the effectiveness of my immune system called a biologic. My drug of choice these days is Enbrel. One shot, weekly, along with another binding drug called Arava and all should be right in my rheumatic world.

Except, it's not.

The pain persists and the fatigue from chronic inflammation continues to be debilitating. It is my norm to go to bed around 7:00 most nights. Sleep through the night and feel completely exhausted in the morning. Sure there are some good days, but when they do occur I tend to go over board leaving me completely useless for the next couple of days. You never know when a flare is going to hit and you never know just how long it will last. 

In addition to PsA. Thanks to being born with scoliosis, I am also recuperating from my second reconstructive spinal surgery. Muscle relaxers and vicodin are the norm these days. My back is progressing nicely but needs some major strengthening.

My friend 'fatigue' has other plans.

Being fatigued even when you have the ability to lay in bed and rest is hard.  Being fatigued when trying to raise two little boys is extremely difficult. Being fatigued and raising two little boys, one who has special needs is completely overwhelming. How do you meet the needs of a child who is relying on you in every aspect of his life when you can't even load the dishwasher? 

I am going to talk about my kids and their health issues in my next post. This post is just to remind me where I was, with my health, when I started this journey. To remind me how right now at 8:30 pm, I can barely type or keep my eyes open. This blog will hold me accountable and hopefully chronicle my road to relief.  

Today I made a change. I am reclaiming my health and the health of my family. Just a peek of how I hope to do just that.


  1. good luck to you and i hope you can help yourself feel better. :(

  2. I am praying for you, Francine! I too, have had to make some radical changes to my life in order to survive to be a wife and mom. I pray for this new beginning!

  3. I am praying for you, Francine! I too, have had to make some radical changes to my life in order to survive to be a wife and mom. I pray for this new beginning!

  4. Oh Francine, I had no idea! I am so sorry to hear that you are affected by this horrid disease! I'll be praying that this is the change your body needs so that you can live the life you always envisioned! Hugs!