“Getting through the day, just getting to the end of the day”
“Sometimes the pain is just too great, and I just focus on getting to the end of the day. I hope that tomorrow will be a better day. What can I do?” Those are the days when the pain breaks the tolerance threshold for Kate.
For years she worried. She knew something was wrong. She saw the specialists, the doctors. She did the tests, and she was told this and that. The uncertainty, the not knowing brought on plenty of distress, plenty of fear. Would she be there for her kids? Would she be able to continue to work?
And - though this seems silly for Kate, it’s embarrassing too. Getting up from a table in a restaurant, she might take a few seconds to fumble in her bag for something. Just to buy time so she doesn’t have to stagger out between the tables. She doesn’t want to draw attention to herself, to the fact that in her early 40’s she can be immobile, a burden.
Such a long process to a diagnosis, followed by a pamphlet. She needed to talk to someone. Not to read at home, or in her car. She needed to talk to someone on the road - the journey. Who knew what it felt like. Who knew where the potholes were. Anything to lift the fog of uncertainty, to show the way.
Kate called the Arthritis Ireland helpline. She spoke to one of our volunteers. Who also lives with arthritis and knows the journey. Kate was able to share her fears and questions, all in confidence. She knows the helpline, and the support is there. Whenever she needs it.