A Guy in a Skewed World: Still hanging in

It’s been a few years since I updated this blog.  I’ve been dealing with going back to school, getting additional diagnosis, and generally going downhill mood wise.  Life hasn’t been easy, but with my wife’s loving support, I’ve been able to keep from giving up, just yet.

I’ve spent the last couple of years, since I was laid off, going back to school to at least get an associates degree.  That’s almost complete.  I’m at the end of the last semester’s worth of work needed for that.  The question comes in – am I actually going to be able to use it?  That leads into the rest of it.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve had several items added to the health issues list.  In addition to dealing with the fibromyalgia, I’ve also been confirmed to have psoriatic arthritis (PA).  This is the red-headed stepbrother of rheumatoid arthritis.  It presents similarly, attacks the body in similar ways, but it varies slightly.  It tends to attack tendons, ligaments, and the skin (including possible discoloration of the skin), where RA doesn’t.  On top of that, issues with my back have been getting worse.  So, between the PA affecting my lower back and other issues affecting my back, standing and walking are very difficult.  Needless to say, getting treatment for the back issues is difficult.

On top of all of the physical health issues, the constant pain, difficulty in doing anything, and not being able to hold down a job, my mental health has gone south in a hurry.  Chronic depression is a constant companion.

I’m worried that I won’t be able to actually hold down a job, anymore.  As it is, anything (including class or doctors visits) that is more than 10 or 15 minutes away, I need someone to drive me, most of the time.  Fatigue, dizziness, distracting pain, and debilitating pain, make it difficult for me to drive any significant distances.  I’m having to nap frequently during the day, just to keep energy levels up for class.  With the absentee rates I had BEFORE my health got worse, I’m concerned about anything that requires me to be physically present to work.  My mental faculties have taken a hit, as well.  Between the pain, chronic fatigue, depression, and mental fog associated with fibromyalgia, it takes me almost double to the time to do anything that it took me, even as recently as last year.

In all of this, the one thing that has kept me going, and kept me from giving up completely, is my wife.  Without her love, support, and chauffeuring, I wouldn’t have made it this far.  My desire to do better by her, and our children, and my desire to not let her down … these keep me going.  Without her love and support, I’d have given up a long time ago.  In so many ways, she is my lifeline.  And she does this in spite of her own health issues and challenges.

Hopefully, it won’t be another 3 years before I update this again.  I’m hoping to get this back to what I intended it to be – a daily (or multiple times per week) journal.  We’ll see.

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  • Christy Stawarz  On April 27, 2017 at 20:14

    You are the light of my life. No matter what, no matter when, no matter why… you are all that matters.

    • shamandin  On April 28, 2017 at 09:26

      Aw. Thank you, dearest! Thank you for all you’ve done to help and support me.

  • Angela  On April 30, 2017 at 14:42

    John, are you getting infusion for your PA and fibromyalgia?

    • shamandin  On April 30, 2017 at 16:58

      I’m taking a self-administered injectable for the PA. We’re working through things and haven’t gotten to the meds that require infusions, yet.

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