Friday, March 3, 2017

Facing Forward: Kristin or mini2z

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:  Kristin or mini2z
Location:  Ontario, Canada
Diagnoses: Hashimoto's, Chronic Migraines, Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults also known as; LADA, Type 1.5 diabetes or progressing Type 1 Diabetes, Lupus SLE and Fibromyalgia, Gastritis.
Age at Diagnosis: 25 for Hashimoto's, 42 for Diabetes, 44 for Lupus SLE and Fibromyalgia

How are you currently treating your condition?
I was sick for so long between the Hashimoto's and the other autoimmune diseases. I argued with my Endocrinologist to put me on a Natural Desiccated Thyroid medication. He finally gave in and I was really sick for about four months after the switch over. My thyroid was finally controlled with the NDT medication. The diabetes is an autoimmune disease and I'm currently on three medications including insulin in really small doses. After the LADA diagnosed I went on a Gluten Free diet and because of diabetes and getting off the sugar, bad carbs, and eating healthy I did the 21-day fix and learned even healthier eating. I see many different doctors for all the complications of my autoimmune diseases but I also see a Chiropractor and a masseuse.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
I've not been able to work for the past two years, the pain, the fatigue, the depression and anxiety. I have basically become homebound and have very little interaction with anyone other than my family. I was very hurt when no one from work called, texted, or sent messages. You'd think after 26 years someone would care but I'm working it out and not letting it get to me as much as it used to. I was getting almost my full pay some of the sick leave but now I'm adjusting to less money and monthly pay instead of weekly.

What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
I usually get up around 10 am or so. My dogs sleep in and don't bother any of the family members but when momma wakes they want food and then outside. I will make a tea, try to clean up something in that time. I'm not able to do even half the things I used to do. If I want to cook something I try to think about it a few days in advance because I never know how I'll feel on any given day. I'm still working on my new normal and find it hard. 

How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
My family and the pupalups! I'm never alone because I have furry company. My psychologist told me I should get Ranger trained as a therapy dog. He's with me most of the day and he's like a heating pad. There are days that are hard and the depression is bad. I know I have an amazing family and even if I don't contribute like I used to I know I'm needed here. I've recently hired a person to come in and clean the house every two weeks and it helps.

If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
It's a journey that you weren't expecting but you got this! You're going to be okay! You will have bad days, even worse days but you'll have love of family. Start a journal from day one. Several of your symptoms will confuse you because they come with all of your autoimmune issues. Fight hard to get to see the specialists. 

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