Shift and Reshape…

Hiking, Trail, Tree

Recently I had a six month check up with my Rheumatologist to follow up on my latest lab work and review a few things. Along with treatment, the Rheumatoid Factor, or RF levels, are routinely tested by a taking a blood test to measure the proteins produced by your immune system. Having high levels of protein in your blood cause them to attack the healthy tissue in your joints, which cause severe pain and can lead to permanent joint damage. Additional blood testing is also routinely monitored to watch the liver function, as high doses and long-term use of Methotrexate has been associated with chronic liver injury, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Lucky me, as I despise needles of all kinds. However, after two years of getting poked on a regular basis, I’m getting used to the ordeal. It’s almost routine maintenance now, like getting the oil changed in the car.  And, Yes, a band-aid, smiley sticker, and a sucker make me feel a lot better about it.

On that morning, the doctor came in ready to deliver me the latest results of my lab work. First, she leads off with, “I’m reclassifying your PsA diagnosis to RA”. As you can imagine my response to this, “OK, what?”.  It’s funny how my mind immediately shifted to things like, “what about my blog! My blog references my diagnosis of PsA, not RA. I also just wrote an intro to my other blog on the AT journal. I mean, what am I going to do now?”….Wait, deep breath, let’s focus on what she’s telling me. She obviously has some additional news that is really more important than the name my disease is labeled with. I would have liked to know what she was thinking as she saw my jaw drop like I was just given the worse news ever.

So, as of my latest test results, I had indeed lowered my RF activity to the remission status level. I contribute this to the medical treatment and some personal life changes. My liver test also came back normal…Ok, I can live with the diagnosis change in exchange for that outcome, besides it doesn’t really change my message. I still have an autoimmune disease, and I still had psoriasis. Now they are just not packaged together. In fact, now I get the opportunity to inspire two groups of people, what a great day it turned out to be!  She also lowered my Methotrexate dosage to see if I can keep off the RF radar, #savemyliverplease. PS, she still doesn’t know about the AT thru-hike yet…LOL

I’ve said it before that my blog really isn’t about my condition. It’s real, now more than ever, more about my awakening to shift and reshape my life and to live with purpose. When I was diagnosed with PsA, now RA, that still wouldn’t have changed the first thing that I thought of, which was, “how can I beat this, and not let it beat me!”  Only you hold the power to live your purpose, and I can only hope that with my stories, I can inspire you to learn how to shift and reshape your life. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. Obstacles, changes, setbacks, hardships, etc…are really opportunities. You have to accept them and embrace any challenges with the willingness and desire to Be_again.

Lower Gap Trail – Morgan-Monroe State Forest 10-21-17

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