So how is everybodys' week? Mine has been pretty eventful I must say. I probably should have mentioned that a while back, during the depths of despair when I returned home jobless, in agony and generally feeling like the "crap had hit the fan" (I'm sure you have all been there at some point or another!) I made a decision to take myself off around this big wide world. Now, for someone with RA it's probably not the wisest decision and most responsible way of dealing with things but at the time I had a sort of "sod it" attitude to life.
The plan involved me joining 5 of my friends whilst they gallivanted around South East Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam) and then make our way over to Australia. The trip was to be for 3 months or so. I know what you are all thinking (well those of you who have RA anyway) "How on earth is she going to manage that?" Well the simple answer is, I'm not.
It's a sad fact that those of us with long term illnesses have things to consider when thinking about the future and making plans. Unfortunately my attitude towards this trip was not quite realistic. Don't get me wrong, I had discussed with doctors beforehand and they warned me of the consequences (catching awfull diseases on top of the one I already have, tiredness from travelling, bad food, too much sun etc etc) However I pretty much thought myself invinsible at the time and couldnt see what else I was going to do with my time. It was something to look forward to I guess, something to achieve and work towards. The only thing I had to do was get better...
So now we are a few months down the line and my head is (somewhat) clearer I returned to see the doc yesterday to discuss the trip further. I was due to leave at the end of September and return just before Christmas. Now what I didnt really consider was the new treatment I am on. As I previously wrote about in an earlier post, I had my first Rituximab infusion in April of this year. The doc explained that not only do I need to be closely monitored after my hospital admission a few weeks ago, but I also need to be around in October for the possibility the infusion may start to wear off (you can only have Rituximab at least every 6 months and it works differently for everyone).
If im off on a jolly around god knows where in the middle of some third world country and it starts to wear off, what exactly am I going to do then? I stupidly didnt consider this at all when I booked my ticket. I have spent pretty much most of my life not considering the consequences of my actions but when your health is in mind you really need to start taking some responsibility for it! (or so i've been told).
The fact of the matter is I cannot go to Asia. As much as it saddens me to let my friends go off without me, I need to take this seriously. I can no longer do as I please and expect to be healthy and pain free, I need to do as much as I can to prevent my situation from worsening. This is not to say that I can't still live life to the full though my friends, do not be put off by this. It simply means we have to consider alternatives. For example, I now plan to join my friends on the Australia part of the jolly for 4 weeks (safer, everyone speaks English and it doesnt clash with my Rituximab treatment plan). So there is always a way around things. I luckily have very supportive friends who understand the seriousness of my condition and wouldn't want to jeoporadise that.
Off I go then as a lone ranger to explore the delights of beautiful Australia later this year. Whilst I encourage you to not let your disease ruin your future plans, sit back for a while and consider how you might make things a bit easier on yourself and take responsibility for your own health, no-one is going to do it for you (unless you have a really bossy doc).