It's kind of weird to talk about, I don't like to sound like I'm complaining but people have asked why I've been really quiet, and I think I should just be honest about it and explain it here. To put it really simply, I've had a rough time for the last few months but I'm alright, and the situation is getting better every day.
I've had rheumatoid arthritis for over 5 years, it started when I was 19. Lately it's been pretty chaotic and this winter and spring has been the hardest ever. I had been sort of unwell for a while but suddenly got a lot worse than I have ever been. I was in extreme pain and was told to go to the emergency room. I absolutely hate hospitals, I can be extremely stubborn at times and I refused to go. My mom came to see me the next day. By that time I was basically stuck in one position on my couch and couldn't stand or walk on my own. She said that if I wouldn't get in the car with her myself she was going to call an ambulance and let the paramedics deal with my shit instead.
I couldn't really argue with her so she got me out to the car and I ended up being pushed into the hospital in a chair.
I've had bad flare-ups before -- this time was different but I still wasn't too worried. It usually gets better eventually. I found out that my immune system was attacking my internal organs as well as my joints; I was a mess. My liver was swollen and sore and I had to have a chest x-ray to check my lungs and heart, and a bunch of other tests to make sure all of my organs were still functioning. I spent the night in the emergency room and was sent home the next morning with very strong painkillers and a warning from the doctor. I'm just turning 25 this week and even though I've learned a lot about the disease I had no idea that RA could be that destructive at my age, and it was really frightening. My doctors think I have a very rare form of the disease that affects mostly young adults and can be really aggressive at times, but can be controlled. I'm much better than I was but it takes time. Of course I'm getting better faster now that summer's coming.
As far as the community here goes, I really regret it but I haven't been able to spend much time at my desk focusing on anything lately. My own art is even frustrating, creative work is usually my favourite thing to do but working on anything has been very painful and tiring. My main priority has just been life, taking care of myself and doing what I have to do. A bunch of things fell apart on me really quickly and I had to focus on absolute basics.
I do have some good news at the end of all of this!
Last weekend the mainboard on my old PC failed, and I'm sorry to say it's gone. RIP PC. I was worried because I was hoping it would last until I planned to replace it with a little MacBook in September. I needed a computer ASAP to do what work I can so I thought I was totally stuck. My stepdad is a Mac technician, so I gave him a call and he JUST happened to get a one year old 17" MacBook Pro
, still under warranty, previously owned by an old reverend
in perfect condition, in his store from a trade-in that he can give me at cost!
On Saturday (my 25th birthday + party
) I'm getting a new laptop that I can move around wherever I want to completely solve the problem of being uncomfortable working at my desk, it's much faster so I can get more use out of my speech recognition software and in general it's going to be SO much better for me! My parents offered to pay for about a third of it as an incredibly generous and amazing and awesome birthday present for me. I still can't believe how lucky I am.
I'm using my mom's 12" iBook G4 a little bit right now and I swear, it's such a tease! I can't wait to get my hands on my own, I'm so excited. Anything that makes work easier makes a huge difference for me and I'm going to take full advantage of it.