Autoimmune diseases are often invisible.

5ef0675663ff35e54711a40e7f6edb08On the outside, you look normal and often have a smile on your face – but on the inside, you could be in excruciating pain that is relentless and frustrating. This type of chronic pain can really get to you…it can make it very difficult to stay positive, it can be exhausting to always look your best at work or in front of friends, and it can make everything (even the simplest of tasks, like brushing your hair or taking a walk) very difficult and painful.

It has been a hell of a 3 months for me as I slowly got off of the medications I was on. At first, stopping the methotrexate wasn’t so bad. I had a few mild flare ups, but they were tolerable. And the biologic medication was still in my system. But then I stopped the Remicade infusions. And after 6 weeks of detoxing it from my body, I became VERY aware that there was nothing stopping this vicious disease. Every joint – even my elbows and hips – are achey and weak. With the joint inflammation, my bursitis in my shoulder flared up, so I can barely move my arm above my head. Every stroke when I swim has been painful, but I know that exercise is the only way I won’t stiffen up. It has definitely been a difficult few weeks, but I know it will be worth it because now we can start a family. ❤

“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.” – Theodore Roosevelt

One thing I have learned in the past few months is that having a support system is so important to help give you the strength to get up every day. It is hard to keep a smile on your face at work every day and in front of friends when you go out for lunch or coffee, but there has to be a time and a safe place that you can breakdown when you need to. There has to be someone to confide in about your uphill battle, reminding you how strong you are and how you can’t give up. My husband, my family and my very close friends have been that support for me and I am forever grateful for them in my life.