Saturday, October 27, 2012

I'm a scrappy fighter

Knowing that I more than likely have a disease inside of me has been tough to deal with the last couple of days.  Of course I won't know for sure until I see a rheumotologist, but all the symptoms are pointing strongly in that direction.  I got up this morning and started really checking out R.A. on Webmd and some other sites that have pretty reliable medical information.  I just wanted to know what I'm facing if in fact this is what's going on.  It was pretty difficult to read, I must admit.  Part of me wants to say, No, this isn't me.  I don't fit the symptoms.  The other part of me, though, realizes I fit many of the symptoms.  R.A. can be devastating on the body and the medication used to deal with it has potentially horrible side affects as well, thinks like leukemia.  It's all pretty overwhelming to digest. 

Yet, this isn't the first time that I have had challenges in my life.  In fact, this isn't the first time I was faced with a chronic condition.  I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2000 and I remember having similar feelings of fear.  Yet, I am now no longer considered diabetic.  Since going on Optifast and losing all the weight that I have so far, I have been told by several doctors and other medical staff that while I'm not necessarily cured of diabetes, I am in remission because I no longer present with any of the symptoms.  That really is a miracle to me.  I said to myself, Fight, Kathy, fight!!  When my back is against the wall, I come out swinging and I fight, so this time would be no different.  I changed my clothes, laced up my shoes and decided now was a good a time as any to go outside and move my body. 

As I started walking, the pain was coursing through my legs so it was slow going at first.  Then, a couple of blocks into it, my fierce determination and will to persevere kicked in.  I picked up my speed, raised my head in defiance and walked briskly down the road.  I was reading that one of the things that helps with R.A. is exercise.  As I continued walking, the pain was lessening enough for me to make it through a 5K.  I felt so powerful and strong.  Yes, there was still pain there, but I think the endorphins of the moment helped me realize that I have the desire, determination and fighting spirit to walk through all of this.  I will fight because it's what I do.  I refuse to give in to the fear that tells me my life is never going to be the same again, that all of my hopes and dreams for myself will never be realized and that I should just give up.  No way!

By the time I got home, I was feeling so much better.  The pain in my legs was back when I stopped moving like I was, but that didn't matter in the moment.  What mattered was that I was not going to give up.  I am going to fight to be as healthy as I can.  I did not start this weight loss adventure only to be saddled with more medical challenges.  I don't believe that was my purpose in this whole thing.  I want to be healthy and I am committed to that, no matter what roadblocks stand in my way.  This is not easy, by any stretch of the imagination.  I was reminded of that fact when I got in the shower, stood under the water and sobbed in the corner.  That's the place I have always cried when I am alone and really honest with my feelings.  When I was diagnosed with cancer last year, when I was told I had diabetes, even when my ex-fiance broke my heart ... the shower was where I let out everything I was holding in.  But that's what I needed to do because, by the time I got out of the shower, I knew that I was not going to eat over this, I was not going to sink in the corner in a helpless state.  I knew that I was going to move forward in the most positive space I could be in, honoring my feelings but putting one foot in front of the other anyway.  God has given me His hand to hold, so I know I'm not walking through this alone.  I'm a scrappy fighter and so I will continue to fight, fight, fight.


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