If I’d known ten years ago that I would have rheumatoid arthritis today, oh the things I would do! I would spend a small fortune on couture 5 inch hooker heels and prance around in them EVERYDAY until I started having problems. Going to the carwash? Awesome- silver 4 inch Loubatin’s just to make a spectacle. Church? How about some conservative 5 inch black polka dotted Jimmy Choo’s? Going dancing with friends? Prada, Prada, Prada! Doesn’t that sound magnificent?!? Yes, these are the things that this 29 year old RA patient who has, at times, been accused of being slightly vain fantasizes about.
Then there are things that I chose for myself before this whole RA thing that I’m clinging to like a madwoman. Things that are very important and self-defining; things that I can’t just let go of like a pair of shoes. Things that if RA messes with, I say “sorry, dude, these are non-negotiable.” Running would be one of these- I still do very infrequently- but relish the moments when I can. My job would be another one of these things.
I love that my job is very fast-paced, stressful, and completely the result of MY efforts. In today’s environment, I have to triple my activities to yield 50% of what I’ve produced in years past. To which I say: Awesome. Bring it. Rock on, Type A.
I do not love that my RA, when in flare mode, sometimes does not work well with a job that is very fast-paced, stressful, and completely reliant on MY efforts. In a flare environment which is generally twice a year, I have to sometimes cut back on my activities which (somewhat embarassingly) still yields 50% of what I’ve produced in years past. To which I say: Suck it, you traitor. Leave me alone.
I know, I know. You can say it. It’s weird as heck that I am more ok with the whole financial debaucle of late making me have to work harder than I am with the whole RA/flare debaucle of late making me have to chill out some.
If I’d known ten years ago about my RA, would I have chosen the same career path? Most likely, yes. But in all honesty, IF I’d known, I probably would’ve tried to go to med school. I feel like a part time rheumatologist most of the time anyway, why not get some initials to match?