Friday, December 27, 2013

A new challenge...

I'm starting this blog with the hope that it will not only provide an outlet for me to talk about my new challenge, Rheumatoid Arthritis, but also will be a place for others like me to find valuable information.
I'm going to start by introducing myself and telling you a bit about how I got to this point. In future posts I hope to share useful information, tips, and sewing related topics as well.
I'm Sarah. I'm 36 years old. I live in Northern NY State near Watertown. I've been sewing since I was a child. My first sewing project was a skirt I made to earn a badge in my girl scout troop. I remember it vividly, it was a sailboat print fabric and I was so proud of it. I sewed on and off for two decades but, got back into it heavily once my first daughter was born, 7 years ago. It's the "thing" I call my passion. It's the "thing" that helps relieve my stress. It's the "thing" I love to do above all else (well okay i don't love it above my husband & daughters but they aren't "things" exactly).
I've struggled with the muscle pain, head fog and poor sleep of fibromyalgia since I was 19 years old. I've pretty much learned to live with fibro, i take it easy when it flares up. I don't medicate it, i just deal with it the best ways i can find.
In May/June of 2013 I had a sudden onset of pain. It started in both hands. Within about a week they hurt so badly i sought the help of my family doctor. He did the standard lab work looking for an answer. All tests revealed no problems, in fact some of my labs are downright awesome. We tried various methods of pain relief, but nothing helped. So by the end of the summer he referred me to a rheumatologist. My first appointment was in October. She's a wonderful doctor and after a thorough exam and listening carefully to how my symptoms came on, where i was hurting and what we'd tried she proclaimed that she believed I was in fact suffering from the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
To say I was surprised would be a lie. I like most Americans had already done a lot of internet searches and knew that is what my symptoms were pointing to. By October not only did both of my hands hurt but now I was starting to have pain in other joints too. She started me on some baseline medicines. We talked in depth about where to go from there. And she ordered a bunch of very special lab tests. I continue to follow up with her, changing medicines already and still seeing no relief but unfortunately, worsening of my pain. I'm hopeful we can find a combination of medications that will stop the damage from proceeding.
How this affects my sewing life? Well it makes it very difficult, to be honest at times I have considered throwing in the towel. But I just can't, i can't give up the one thing I feel really talented at. I can't give up on my passion. So, here I am, dealing with this new challenge.
I look forward to sharing my journey with the world. I hope I can inspire others to not give up when faced with a challenge. I don't intend to let the RA win. Please join me in exploring the disease. The treatments. The adaptions. And most of all the SEWING I will do with RA.

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