Friday, April 29, 2016

Facing Forward: Molly

Facing Forward is a series that shares the lives of people living with arthritis and other invisible chronic illnesses. The goal of the series is to see how we are similar and how we are different - and to remind us to keep moving forward because we aren't alone!

Name: Molly
Location: Baltimore, MD
Diagnosis: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes
Age at Diagnosis: 9 with T1D; 32 with Rheumatoid Arthritis

How are you currently treating your condition?
For RA - I'm currently on injections of methotrexate weekly and Humira biweekly. I try to exercise almost every day and I do physical therapy - currently for my knee and hip. I also use acupuncture.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
Trying to stop figuring out "why?" I like to know the reasons behind everything. RA is so unpredictable. I'm constantly trying to figure out what I did that would cause a flare up, etc. There truly aren't many answers and I need to work on letting that go!

What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
I try to move throughout the day. I have Fitbit step goals posted on my desk at work - such as 3,000 steps by 10am. This keeps me moving and helps keep fatigue and achiness a little more at bay. I ask for help from my family and delegate things such as taking the trash out and emptying the dishwasher to my children so I can do more important things, like make dinner.

How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
I keep facing forward every day for my family. I don't want my children remembering me as sick - I want them to remember that I'm funny and smart and love them so. If I allow myself to wallow in a dark place and let anger or depression take over, I'm not only hurting myself and my chances of getting any better but I'm hurting those around me. A positive attitude can truly make a difference when faced with a disease.

If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
If I could go back to the day I was diagnosed with RA, I would tell myself that this is going to be a lifelong struggle. This isn't going to just go away. It's also not guaranteed to be as "bad" as stories you've read online. You'll still be working. Your kids will be doing great. You'll keep fighting and need to be prepared to do that.

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