A couple of weeks ago, I got the news that I was being referred to a specialist because I have an autoimmune connective tissue disorder. According to the blood work and my symptoms, they suspect it is rheumatoid arthritis, but I need to visit a rheumatologist to be sure. Other options include polymyositis, lupus, and Sjögren's, but RA is most likely.
I'm not quite sure why I'm sharing something so private in such a public manner, but honestly, I'm still processing this information. I've been in chronic pain for 10 years, and I've been ignored by doctors so long that I, too, have shrugged it off. That didn't stop it from progressing.
It makes a lot of sense. So much sense! It makes me feel a little more at peace with the non-traditional ways I've had to adapt to the workforce. However, as someone who has been forced in life to be strongly independent, the thought of not being able to tie my shoes, button shirts, open bottles, or walk unassisted in only a matter of years is a bit daunting. Which is why I'm still processing.
My appointment is June 1st, and it can't come soon enough. Perhaps I can get some treatment to help slow the advancement of the disease. And honestly, I don't think I'll want to talk about it much more after that.
Regardless, I find myself more inspired lately, and more apt to pick up a camera. I look forward to creating more work still, and I am grateful for the love and presence of friends who have helped me get to this point. You are what inspired me to see more of the beauty in the world.