Motivate Yourself!

I am posting this to hopefully give some motivation to help people that are struggling with this terrible disease. My story began approximately three years ago at the age of 28 when I started to have this neck pain that would not go away. No matter what I did physical therapy, chiropractor, anti-inflammatories, nothing would make it go away. I had several MRIs and they all came back negative. Several months later I started to have a lot of pain in my left foot and specifically a very swollen second toe and I also had what I thought at the time was dandruff on my scalp. It wasn’t until I went to my family doctor that he ordered me a blood test and the results indicated that my C reactive and SED rate were elevated. That along with the “dandruff” he diagnosed me with PSA and referred me to a Rheumy in Pittsburgh.

I was optimistic about PSA because honestly I did not know much about, I thought it was just some pain in my foot. It wasn’t until I started researching it that I became, let’s say distraught over the diagnosis. I have always been active in working out and trying to stay healthy so I thought to myself let’s wait and see what the rheumy has to say. I figured I was going to a Pittsburgh Hospital where I would receive top notch care and when I meant my rheumy who was old enough to have been a rheumy in World War II he wasn’t much help, which I have found out that none of them really seem to be. He actually told me to take naproxen, don’t walk on uneven ground, and don’t have any more children and that was my first experience with a rheumy. When I left I felt so depressed and I didn’t know what to do. So I came home and immediately began to search the internet for miracle cures and miracle diets. This continued for several months, I became obsessed, I stopped working out and the pain got worse as well as the depression. All the time that this was going on I was going through a competitive testing process for a career that I have been pursuing for several years. The career involved six months of very strenuous physical activity that including running for several miles every day which was something that I could do in the past with no problem. It also involved physical workouts on a daily basis. I knew that this career would greatly benefit my family and in the condition that I was in I knew there was no way that I could make it a day there in the, I will call it an “academy”. Knowing that the depression got even worse and so did the pain. My wife who is my rock and has always supported me really didn’t understand what I was going through and I don’t fault her for that because no one can understand and relate unless you have this disease.

It took almost a 2 years for the testing process and each step I took I kept getting closer to my goal but the only thing that was holding me back was my health. The pain was now in my right wrist and fingers and I was out of shape because I pretty much gave up on everything and the only thing that I could think about was PSA. It wasn’t until I woke up one morning and made the decision that I was not going let this disease control me anymore. I began training again and even though I was in pain I stayed with it. The runs were hard at first because of the pain in my foot and lifting weights wasn’t easy because of the pain in my wrist, but slowly the pain lessened. I started to feel good again, still had pain but felt good, several months later I received my acceptance letter for the “academy” and made the decision to go for it. I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by because now at the age of 31 I would never get this opportunity again.

I knew it was going to be hard physically and mentally with the strenuous workouts and being away from my family for a long time. Needless to say the first week there I thought to myself, what the hell did I get myself into, there is no way that I will be able to do this. The runs were up what the instructors called hills but they were more like mountains to me for several miles daily. The workouts were challenging to say the least. This was going to be my life for the next six months. I stuck with it though still in pain but nothing like the onset of PSA. I struggled at times but I was beating younger guys who were perfectly healthy on the runs and hanging with them on the workouts and that gave me motivation

One morning on a cold run I began to think about my children and my wife and how much that I missed them, which I thought about them often. This feeling of happiness came over me that I can’t describe. I was happy that I knew I could do it, I knew that I could make it through this. I was also happy because I had PSA. I know what youre thinking, but I was happy because for whatever reason I was chosen to have PSA and it wasn’t my children or my wife, I felt almost blessed that this happened to me and not them. I eventually got through this six months of hell and the career is going well.

The point that I am trying to make is do not let this disease control you. Make the best of the cards you were dealt, enjoy your family and friends. You only get one life so make the best of it and remember that everyday above ground is a good one.. I still struggle with pain from PSA but I don’t dwell on it daily I just deal with. I know that this disease affects everyone differently but you have find that motivation deep inside of you to say I will not let this disease control me. Like I said I still have pain but I take it day by day that is all you can do, will my pain stay minimal like it is now or will it get worse? I don’t know, only time will tell but I don’t worry about it I just take it day by day and enjoy each day pain and all. Stay active and keep moving!!!!!!

Great story - thanks for sharing ! I needed a motivational story today.

Thank you for sharing!! my mother always said..'everyday we wake up on this side of the dirt is a good day!'

Haha !!!

Smitty said:

Thank you for sharing!! my mother always said..'everyday we wake up on this side of the dirt is a good day!'