I’ve completed my first month of this journey and I feel like a lot has changed. First, I can tell that my attitude has generally improved. Now I have never thought of myself as a negative person. It’s just that my attitude and energy level were low pretty consistently before I took on this project. But now I feel positive and happy more than negative and sad.
Having more fun has led to maintaining positivity and higher energy.
Second, my confidence has improved. Over just one month of sharing so many personal things, I’ve really started owning who I am more. It feels like a weight has been lifted or a door opened that was buried or shut tight before. My relationships with my friends and family who read this blog have grown, and it seems people feel like they can ask me about my experience with Rheumatoid Arthritis whereas before it might have felt like a taboo subject.
Having more fun leads to confidence and ownership of self.
Third, I often have to think creatively both to come up with new fun things to do and to then write what are, hopefully, funny, interesting, relatable blog posts. Writing every day is not easy. Some days I feel too tired to put in the effort that I should or would like to. But some days I am so inspired! On those days, I tend to feel most proud of the posts that I write. And I really do need more suggestions of fun things. I keep a running list, but it would be nice to get more ideas from any readers out there. I plan to do a suggestion from the ones I’ve received very soon.
Having more fun leads to creativity and inspiration.
And finally, my arthritis is doing better. There are a lot of factors contributing to this–the cortisone shot, taking medication regularly, acupuncture, walking/getting exercise, eating right–however all of the positive changes I have experienced because of this blog, especially when it comes to attitude, energy and confidence, must be factor, of this I am sure. I had an appointment with my rheumatologist this morning, and he said that attitude has a lot do with treatment. When you feel confident and comfortable with a treatment, it is more effective.
We were discussing treatment options because I had a lot of questions and reservations about the infusion (that I never started). From our conversation this morning, we decided to go back to a medication that has worked well for me in the past called Enbrel. It has been years since I’ve given this drug a real shot, so I’ll take it through the holidays, but if by January it does not seem effective, we will move on to something else. I feel good about taking Enbrel because I am familiar with it having taken it before. The dose is once per week, so my doctor and I will have more control over how much medication I receive (and therefore how suppressed my immune system is) should I contract any kind of infection. And, finally, Phil Mickelson, pro golfer takes it. (That’s a little joke. Well, he really does take it and do the commercials for it, but that is not a reason why I want to take it. Really. I swear).
Having fun leads to better health.
So as you can see, I am already seeing benefits and learning a lot from this project. A few of my goals before the new year include:
- incorporating more suggested activities
- taking more pictures and including them in the posts
- taking on a few larger projects or fun activities that might have multiple parts and include more people
Further down the road, maybe after the new year, I want to somehow include some kind of fundraiser for arthritis research. This is not a fully formed idea yet, but I would love to somehow use this blog or one or many of my fun activities to raise money and awareness for arthritis research. I am not sure if it would be through an existing organization like the Arthritis Foundation or through something of my own. (Please message me if you have any brilliant ideas about this).
So today’s fun activity is taking the time to reflect on what I am doing, acknowledge that it is working and set some goals for the future. Having fun can be work, but it is also, well, fun.
Gaaahhhh. Love it. Continue to be awesome. I love this blog.
You are very inspiring Sarah! Thank you for your honest reflections. You are motivating many people to live life positively. Writing is therapy in itself…I’m sure you are pushing yourself so be sure you listen to your body:) enjoy the outdoors this crisp, autumn weekend!
Thank you Susan!
Sarah, I was encouraged to check out your blog by mutual friends of your parents. I saw you at the Tubandt wedding and wished I had met you. I have Psoriatic Arthritus and I have been on Enbrel for approx. 8 years. I have experienced no side effects. I’ve become a great believer in having more fun and taking time to do things in your life that are meaningful to you. Keep up the good work, I will continue to follow your journey.
Prayers and Peace, Debbie Duncan
Thank you Debbie! It sounds like the Enbrel is treating you well. I’m hoping it will work for me this time too. Perhaps we will meet in Muscatine some time!