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!
Diagnoses: SLE, RA, POTS
Age at Diagnoses: 36 after my second child was born
How are you currently treating your conditions?
Plaquenil, Sulfasalazine, Prednisone, Methotrexate, Remicade infusions, Propranolol, Vitamin D supplements, and yoga!
What are the biggest challenges you have faced since your diagnosis?
Accepting that I cannot accomplish everything I set out to do in the time frame I had initially planned. Realizing that I owe no one an explanation as to why I look better than I feel.
What are your favorite tips and tricks for managing everyday tasks?
Honestly, resting in between tasks helps me quite a bit. Trying to eat healthier and on time is another big one for me. Once I start crashing, regardless of the reason, there's no way for me to get all my spoons back, so to speak. Therefore, I have to stay on top of giving my body its basic human needs before attempting to accomplish anything else. In doing so, I am able to enjoy my day much more easily.
How do you manage to keep facing forward every day?
Easy: my motivation is my family. I want to be everything that I can and offer everything that I have to them. With so much to look forward to together, I know that every day is a new blessing.
If you could go back to diagnosis day and tell your past self one thing, what would it be?
I would tell myself to realize the difference between living and functioning and to allow the diagnosis to free me from the dysfunctional functioning and lead me to learn how best to live now that I'm aware of what I'm up against.
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