I am so ashamed that I’ve been MIA for so long. Aside from sponsored work, I’ve just been too busy to truly update like i want to. Since about October life has been somewhat of a roller coaster. We’ve been battling Jake’s RA, and his pain as well as handling normal life craziness. The school year is coming to a close and I think we finally have life a little bit under control so I thought I’d do a catch up post and work forward from there! I’m going to update on Jake first because it is kind of where everything started to go haywire.
Jake was diagnosed with RA last year, like i sort of talked about here. The diagnosis was a very long time coming and while its been a scary ride, its so nice to be able to put a name to what we’ve been battling through for so long. In October of last year, Jake started these treatments called infusions. In short, the hope is that the infusions will lower his immune system so that his body stops attacking itself.
Before the first treatment in October, we decided that it would be good for him to take some time off from work so that we could focus on the treatments. I wanted to be sure he didn’t start a new job and then the infusions knock him out. I didn’t want him losing a job after just a couple weeks. Plus, it was getting near the holiday season, so I knew I could carry us for a few months. He was to the point where everything hurt all of the time and he was exhausted.
Over the course of those months, and after 3 treatments we started noticing a big change. Jake could bend his knees and there was no pain, and no popping. His swelling was down considerably and things were looking way up! He found a new job and began working again when he caught a bug the girls and I had.
Sidebar: A little history on Jake, in the past he almost never got sick. In the decade I’ve been by his side I can count on one hand the amount of times he’s even had the sniffles. It turns out, his immune system has always been on overdrive, hence the rampant auto-immune diseases. Which we’ve since learned are hereditary.
So anyway, like I said before, the infusions take someone like Jake, with an autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis in our case, and make them immuno-compromised. So when he caught our bug, he got very sick. He couldn’t stay awake and was very weak. There was a time he slept 18 hours straight. His legs swelled like me at 9 months pregnant. His hands took turns swelling and he was just in bad shape. This lead to more time off work and having to bump up his last infusion.
Since then though, he has made big progress. His energy is returning and just the other day he climbed a jungle gym at the park with the girls. I am so thankful for the treatments and we are basically taking life one treatment at a time right now.
To be honest, I’d like to wrap him in bubble wrap most days. I’ve talked here before about our wedding vows, in a post titled In Sickness and in Health. You never think at 27 that your spouse will become sick in a scary way like with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have been a stay at home mom for almost 8 years, and aside from this blog, we rely on Jake as the main bread winner for our family. So this journey has been full of keeping those promises we made when we married. It got hard, with no warning, and fast. I had to learn to take on a different role and had to think for 2 people.
I wont lie, i essentially threw my hands up and went into survival mode for a few months. I didn’t feel like I had the words to put down on this site back then and just now made myself be okay with a long absence from my blog. That said, I am making goals to take this space back and I really hope you will all continue to follow along! I will write an update soon on the girls, and myself. I feel like this was much too long as is, so I apologize for that.
Tell me below, do you have any experience with RA, auto-immune diseases or invisible illness? I’d love to hear your stories and ways that you cope.