Wednesday, April 10, 2013

How being sick changes your life

When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, my life changed.

The disease affects my joints, and sometimes, I feel like it has taken so much away from me. But by the grace of God, I've been feeling SO much better over the past few weeks, I feel like I am taking my life back, little by little.

My body doesn't ache like it did six weeks ago. I am completely off of steroids, which was a goal of mine this year: To manage my RA without Steroids.

 Getting dressed isn't painful, I don't wake up in the middle of the night hurting. My hands don't hurt, cooking isn't challenging anymore, and I can open jars again without assitance. I've even went out for a couple of runs, which were more walking than running, and my knees still aren't 100%, but its a big change from when just getting out of bed caused me pain and running was absolutely out of the question. I literally can't thank God enough for blessing me with sweet relief from the constant pain I've felt since October.

God has also blessed me with a job that provides excellent insurance that allows me to get the best care from the best doctors in Idaho for my RA. I've recently been put on a medication that without insurance costs 6,000 a month. This medicine has literally changed my life. I feel like a new person. My mom said the other day "You're finally smiling again." The medicine I am on is Enbrel, which I take in combination with Methotrexate. I have to give myself injections once a week, which isn't fun, but its something, with the help of my sweet boyfriend I've been able to overcome the anxiety and look at it as something that is good and helpful for my well being.
My weekly injections

I expected my life to change when I was diagnosed. What I didn't expect was for having a chronic illness to affect my career in the ways it has. My boss has been more than accomodating when I need to take off early, come in late, or leave in the middle of the day for doctors appointments. But today was supposed to be my last day at my company, but instead, its not.

I went to my new job on Monday and had a bad feeling. I didn't feel comfortable there, and felt extremely anxious. From the day  I was offered the new position, I kept waiting to feel the peace of God about leaving, and starting at a new company. I chalked up not feeling peace about it to the fact I was nervous. But when I arrived at the new company, I felt very uncofortable and anxious. As I tried to get settled in my new office, my new position, my new role, I read through the insurance coverage policy and my eyes instantly saw the words: preexisting condition.

As I read closer, it all boiled down to this: The insurace doesn't cover pre-existing conditions.

And that was that. All my fear, and anxiety and dread about leaving was justified in my mind. This is why peace about the situation was absent. I spoke to my bosses, who graciously let me "take back" my two week notice, and I spoke to the company and told them that I didn't feel like it was the right move for me, personally or professionally.

This experience has been humbling for me. To go back to my bosses and say "Wait, I changed my mind, I don't want to leave." This experience has made me so grateful for the job and insurance I already have, and the exceptional medical care I recieve because of it. It has made me grateful for gracious and forgiving employers and coworkers. It has made me somewhat anxious for my future, wondering if there will be a place for me when the plant I work in closes and the new one opens.

 But I trust God and I have seeen how he had his hand in this situation, and I know He will take care of me in the future as he is now. He is faithful.


  1. Wow, God is so good. SO happy he was looking over you with the new job situation, and working in your previous employers' lives.

  2. Brittany you truly have a very inspiring story! Being humble is something that's tough for anyone but the fact you're able to do that with so much grace and be able to share your experiences with us is wonderful.

    I hope that your old job continues to go well and you're able to get the coverage that you need!


    xoxo Miss ALK

  3. This is a great post, it seems like so many things could have gone wrong with this situation, I'm glad you get to stay at your job, I'll be praying for you!