Thursday, October 25, 2012

Here comes winter.

Now I realize that temps in the 40's are NOT that cold, but I've lived in Texas for 10 years now and have developed thin southerner skin.  Cold does not usually bother my arthritis, but winter is always a bad time for my psoriasis.  The air is generally dryer in general, and having heat on in the house on top of that just sucks any moisture there is out of your skin.  I am not looking forward to it to say the least.  My skin is already worse than it has ever been as it is.

I was reading a post on Inspire this morning.  It was about the whole health benefit for chronic/immune disorders, specifically emotional well being and it's effect on your total health.  Part of having this illness is that people don't understand how devastating it can be because you look fairly normal.  Everyone has some relation or friend's relation who has psoriasis or eczema and they are fine.  Yes it's hard on your self esteem, but no reason for you to not be able to work!  What people don't understand is that the systemic swelling involved with Psoriatic Arthritis affects joints, tendons, ligaments, and according to recent studies organs and functioning systems such as circulatory.  What they also don't understand is it isn't isolated.  I don't have pain, swelling and damage isolated to my hands.  If it was I could probably find a way to adapt and be employable.  I do adapt every day.  ANYWAY I have wandered away from my purpose.  The benefit of emotional health.  Since I have been home on medical leave I have noticed some things.  My physical health has not improved.  I had 1 good day, and I LOVED it, but day to day I am not having any improvement in my arthritis.  What has improved however is my state of mind.  I am getting sleep when I need it or when my body allows it.  Yes I am still having a lot of insomnia, but on days I do have insomnia I can sleep later or I can take a nap.  It does not dictate my level of functioning for the whole day or the whole week because I am sleep deprived.  My stress has reduced SO much.  I don't feel guilty about missing work, I don't worry about not getting my work done, I don't worry I am going to lose my job because of my absences, my worry has dropped and changed.  People ask how I'm doing, and I still generally just say, "I'm OK, how are you?".  The truth is that in my head I'm GREAT!  How do you explain that to people though?  So many people think this is all in your head anyway.  As usual I have developed pretty tough skin so I generally don't care what other people think.  I do wish I could educate people.  Someone call Phil Mickleson and Kim Kardashian and tell them to get with it to educate people.  We are the 1%! (ha ha couldn't resist with the political stuff going on right now)

At the end of the day I am glad I decided to go on medical leave.  I am realistic that my psoriatic arthritis has gotten to the point that I will probably not work a traditional job, especially metrology, again.  When it's all said and done even with my physical health in the crapper my mental health is good.  I am well rested and optimistic.  That is SO much better than I was a month ago.