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If you have a chronic illness, you learn to hate that innocuous question, “How are you?” I have found myself caught between smiling and saying “fine” and biting both my tongue and the urge to dump TMI about how I really feel. Now when friends ask, I’m more likely to respond, “For me, I’m doing okay.” Anyone who knows me knows that there is ALWAYS something going on, but if I’m at least on an even keel and dealing with things, I’m doing okay.

That’s pretty much where I am at the moment. In fact, I had lunch with some friends over the weekend. As we commiserated with each other about the current challenges in our lives, one of the remarked to me, “Who would have ever guessed you’d be the normal one?”

But that’s pretty much where I am. Life has been good lately:

  • My recuperation from gastroc contracture surgery has been remarkable. I’ve been released from physical therapy a full two weeks early and I only have one final, follow-up appointment in about a month with my surgeon before he discharges me completely. I can tell I have a bit of stretching and strength building left to go but I really am doing great.
  • Very unexpectedly my Social Security disability claim got approved so I am now receiving full benefits. I (1) didn’t expect it to be approved at all and (2) didn’t expect it to be approved this soon. The last time I checked, they told me I should get a determination by the end of October and that might just be a notice of review extension.
  • I haven’t been feeling like my RA has been well-controlled lately. I had my regular rheumatology appointment this past week and my rheumy made some minor tweaks to my treatment program. Interestingly, to help combat the severe fatigue I’ve been feeling, she reduced my methotrexate dosage. I’ve been on a high level and one of the side effects can be fatigue. Then she added in Mobic/meloxicam which is an NSAID to help control pain as well as inflammation. She correctly pointed out that I have osteoarthritis as well as RA and I’ve done well on meloxicam in the past. I just started this new plan so it’s too early to know whether these changes will work. However, the old situation wasn’t working so I have hope.

So, yes. Compared to a “normal” person, I’m not great, but for me, I’m doing okay.

I hope you are, too. Thanks for checking in.

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