Monday, January 9, 2012

A Promise To Myself

On February 7, 2011 in a blog post entitled "After The Storm, Here I Am" I wrote:

"I'll make the most of this year, whether my body cooperates or not. In fact, 2011 already feels like a turning point. I'll soak up experiences and make memories whenever and wherever I can. I feel like the luckiest girl to love the people I love and for the knowledge that they will be there, even if things get bad again. Finally, I'm pursuing a career that will bring profound purpose to my life; a career that will make sense of this suffering."

After a brutal flare that spanned all of 2010, my monthly Orencia infusions started kicking in last January, and in February I found relief. I've said it many times before, but this medication has been a miracle; it literally got me back on my feet and re-opened doors that pain had closed. Emerging from a year-long flare was an experience that's difficult to explain. In some ways, it felt like coming home after many dark months away. I had gotten so used to not being able to do much - even walking a few yards was excruciating. Although I wanted to exercise when my medication started working, I wasn't ready. I was still extremely fatigued and felt it was best to conserve my energy for school and everyday tasks. More than that, I was terrified to injure myself and rock the boat that I had waited so long to be in.

Now that it's 2012 and Orencia is still bringing relief, I feel a profound responsibility to myself. This year I will exercise whenever possible. Recently I joined a gym with John who has turned out to be a fantastic motivator. Instead of a chore, it feels like we're going on fun little exercise dates. Tomorrow evening I'm meeting with a trainer who is well-versed in pain conditions. I'm hoping to discuss my limitations and develop a unique fitness routine which will ideally give me greater confidence and lessen the chance of causing injury to myself. 

Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring, especially not those living with chronic pain. I'm not saying it's going to be easy, but whenever possible, I owe it to myself (and to everything I've been through) to keep on moving...


  1. Good luck on the new training! If for any reason the gym's trainer doesn't work out, you may want to consult with a physical therapist. They understand the limits on joints, etc. that some trainers do not. Hopefully this trainer has been trained to train people with chronic illness. In any case, you know you own limits and I am sure you will do just fine!

  2. Thank you so much for your comment and for looking out for me :) You're absolutely right - I should be careful about my limits. I met with this trainer a couple of weeks ago and asked him about his experience with joint conditions. He seems to be quite knowledgeable about them and has worked with many chronically ill individuals of all ages. It seems like he will really listen and ensure my safety.

  3. I just started Aquatic Physical Therapy Yesterday!!! It is amazing, to be grateful for something as simple as exercise! I didn't hurt, my muscles had that joyous fatigue that only exercise can bring!
    For those who have no idea what it is like to be sick, they cannot possibly fathom the joy we feel when those minute details return to our lives!

    Good Luck!