Thursday, November 03, 2011

Arthritis and fibromyalgia - impact on my life in numbers

It has been 10 years since I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and about 11.5 since my RA started.



  1. Post grad degree finished: 1
  2. Post doc position: 0
  3. Broke up with boy friend: 1
  4. Getting married: 1
  5. Suspension of studies because of RA/Fibro: 1
  6. Number of years without a job: 1-2
  7. Number of years with part time job: 2
  8. Number of years settling for an overqualified job: 5.5
  9. Almost knocked down by car ( fibro fog) : countless - 1 really narrow escape
  10. Lost job/had to quit because of illness : 2 times, 1 of them was not really due to illness, but the illness was a convenient excuse
  11. Considered a fraud - not really ill, but pretending to be ill: countless
  12. Current income vs income if taking projected career path; 30%

  1. X -rays: countless
  2. Blood investigations: countless
  3. Bad bruises from taking blood: countless
  4. Physiotherapist: 2
  5. Professor(s) shed a tear after noticing the bruises I had from blood sampling: 1
  6. Phlebotomist started crying because he could not get blood samples from me: 1
  7. I cried because phlebotomist cried, and indulging myself in self pity: 1
  8. Body weight increase: 46kg
  9. NSAIDs: lost count
  10. DMARDS: hydroxychloroquine
  11. Massages: lost count:
  12. % of income spent on massages: 10 % previously, 5% now ( income increased, but number of massages reduced slightly)
  13. $$ spent on doctors and drugs: 25% to 50% in the first few years, negligible now - mostly on ibuprofen, muscle rubs/ibuprofen gels, heat plasters
  14. Massager/massage chair for home use: 2

The most important and painful loss cannot be counted. It is the loss of opportunity to have kids, have job that fully stretch my skills and an active social life. Despite being relatively well now, I have to choose between a full time job and an active social life and kids. There is just not enough energy to have more than 1 thing. Without $$, I cannot afford a kid - I imagine I will need to hire help if I have kids. And no, there was not much social life when we could barely pay bills.

Nevertheless, I know I had beaten many statistics. My next target is to swim 3x a week and  lose the extra fat. This will be no mean feat, as strenuous exercise is one big trigger of a flare!