Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wedding Blues

I have been MIA for good reason. I was in NYC for a big family wedding. I was excited to celebrate my cousin's wedding, but man did it come with major pain and a trip to the ER.

For those of you who know, I am engaged. I was engaged 11/22/11 (easy to remember, right?). I finally solidified a wedding date. We plan to get married 9/13/13. Yes, it is a Friday the 13th. Like the day I was born. It's a lucky day for me and the 13th year must bring luck. Lord, knows I need it ahaha.

So, I have been looking at wedding magazines for ideas and researching the interwebs. One major thing is holding me back from my wedding day, and that thing is unfortunately Rheumatoid Arthritis Rita. As I look at all of these beautiful weddings in the magazines and sites, I just sit there and get depressed. These are my thoughts:

1. After two major knee surgeries and bum joints, I can't wear heels.
2. These damn dresses look too heavy to lug on my body.
3. I can barely cut my food, how can I cut cake?
4. I can't dance without paying.
5. I can't drink because of my damn meds!
6. I get so fatigued easily, what am I going to do? Take a disco nap in the middle of my wedding?
7. What if I feel like absolute shit that day? I can never tell from hour to hour let alone month to month.

The thoughts are endless. So, I have been thinking about this since November. Then before I left for my cousin's wedding, RA Guy had an interesting post from a female RA bride. She posted an interesting post on weddings and RA. My biggest fear is knowing planning a wedding comes with stress and we all know stress does not help RA, in fact stress can literally kill us.

If you are a RA bride, or plan to be one, please check out this post. It calmed me down a bit before I left for the family wedding.

The link is (hit it): http://www.rheumatoidarthritisguy.com/2012/07/claire-my-wedding-with-ra/

So, here I was thinking all would end well.

Baaaaammmmmppppppp, not so much.

I don't know about any of you but the thought of travel never ever freaked me out. I have traveled so much before becoming seriously ill. Now, traveling on a one hour and 11 minute flight flips the hell out of me. Between lugging all of my meds through security, to walking, to standing, to sitting, to having no leg room for a leg that barely bends really becomes full of anxiety.

Then staying at someone else's house that is not your own is scary now. I have a walk in shower because of my RA. Regular tub showers are difficult. So much so, I bit it hard in a slip and fall accident in one last summer after my knee surgery. I could have really set myself back big time! I don't have access to my heating pad, my ice packs, my bed, my thousand pillows I use for a cocoon. The list goes on. What the hell has happened to me? I have turned into such a travel wuss now having RA.

During this whole past week, I was having lower back problems (never have that). My back pain is usually in my thoracic portion of my spine where I have stenosis. So, I tried ignoring it but each day it was getting worse and worse and then the most intense burning pain and numbness was occurring down my whole right leg. So much so, I was unable to feel my right foot. I was trying to be a trooper and carry on in order to get through the wedding.

The wedding. So, I can't wear heels and I am on the taller side at 5'8. I'm one of the tallest cousins and my other cousins wear these sky high heels and wedges. Then I feel like a shrimp. I get weary if places like the catering hall have steps, if the floor is too shiny and slick, if the seats are comfortable. How can I sit for too long and not look like a spaz ready to blow? I sat through the reception. Okay, that wasn't as bad. Then, the dreaded happened. We were ushered to another room for cocktail hour. There were stairs, and a slick floor. Double whammy. I luckily made it, not so gracefully...but I made it. At this point, advil was wearing off and so were my pain patches. At that point, I threw RA caution to the wind and had a cocktail. Damn did that cocktail go down fast.

We sat there for an hour or so. All was okay. I didn't eat much because it required too much walking and coordination from station to station in shoes over slick floors. Then we were ushered back up the stairs to another room where the reception was held. Damn was that floor slick. It was nice seeing everyone dancing and drinking and having a great time as I sat there in my uncomfortable chair like a lump on a log. As I was sitting there watching my youth pass me by and all the young healthy cousins have fun, I just sat there feeling useless. I sat there drinking cocktails right and left in hopes that the pain would shut up. I felt like I was becoming a one day alcoholic. As I sat there slamming them back, I became pissed because this is my new life, my new normal. I kind of got wasted because I wanted to numb the pain and because I was pissed. A bit self-destructive, right?

I want an old fashioned wedding like my cousin had but I sat there that night thinking what I couldn't do as a bride from heels, dancing, drinking, and stairs. There were so many stairs that anxiety took over. I got to sit there at an empty table while all my younger cousins got to dance. It depressed me. I tried pulling one for the team but it put me back in a dark place. Plus, constant intense pain that was working on a week wasn't helping.

Saturday was the travel day from hell. Let's just say at JFK I stood for 3 hours straight, sat for 7 hours straight, and cried myself all the way home on the plane that got struck by lightening and was the bumpiest ride of my life. Yep, that didn't help my damn pain.

I got home early Sunday morning without my luggage and had a serious meltdown of pain. I cried so so hard from the pain. I tried toughing it out Sunday but come yesterday I couldn't take it anymore. I called my doctor and she's on vacation. I wound up going to the ER. My diagnosis, siatica!? I think a slipped disc is causing that issue but I have an appointment with a spine specialist in August. ER doctor blamed it on a major RA flare from all of the stress and the inflammation is attacking my nerves again. I was loaded up with pain drips that knocked me on my ass. I was put back on prednisone and pain pills. I wasn't too happy. By the way, I am hungry as I type this and I just had dinner. Yep, it's going to be a long 8 days.

Traveling really did it to me this time. Yikes. Now it is official, I have the wedding day blues. How will I be able to be a bride if I can't even make it as a wedding guest?


  1. I know a lot of brides who have used really pretty flip flops that are specially made to have little bedazzled bits and look fancy, so don't stress about shoes :) Oh and here's an idea! When one of my cousins got married, they had the actual ceremony early in the day (relatively speaking) at like 2:30 or 3, but then the reception at 6:30 or 7. As someone who has performed wedding ceremonies, even longer ones at most go like 30 minutes, so then you can maybe go take a power nap :) I know that thinking about all of these things is overwhelming, but there are so many things you can do to compensate for Rita. Maybe consider doing a more beachy themed wedding? That way the flip flops fit in and you can go with a lighter dress... and you can even have 'messy' hair that a nap wouldn't really ruin and do a punch instead of alcohol! I promise I'm not trying to plan your wedding haha, but I will definitely help you if you ask!

    I am sorry that you had a rough go at this wedding. I hope that you get some relief soon honey. <3

  2. Hi KirBir,

    Those were some awesome ideas and modifications! I think you should be a wedding planner for the disabled and diseased! You might actually be a specialty item. I will definitely take your suggestions into consideration. I just to know where or how to start. I tried working on a wedding file today with pictures of various ideas. I need to start talking to facilities soon to set one up a year in advance. I just don't want stress.

    I hope you are doing well. I have not caught up on my favorite blogs yet.

    HUGS! <3

  3. Hey A! I'm sorry you are so stressed out by your upcoming wedding. As I was reading the beginning of this post, I immediately thought of the post from RA Guy and was going to suggest you go look at it, but I saw that you posted it yourself :) Seeing as how I don't even have a boyfriend, I can't give you any good personal advice for your wedding, but I do know that there are a lot of things that you can do to keep Rita from being a total biatch on the day. I love the suggestions from KirBir. I think that the most important part of the whole process is that you are comfortable and happy every step of the way, not what other people think your wedding should be like/look like.

    I am also sorry to hear that your trip didn't turn out the way you might have hoped it would. Travel sucks sometimes, especially when you have to fly. Good luck with the Prednisone and hopefully your pain goes away soon.

    Big huge (non pain-inducing) HUGS!
    Kelley <3

  4. Hi Kelley,

    I hope you are doing well in this crazy heat and are enjoying your gig at the zoo. Thank you for your kind thoughts and suggestions regarding my "big day". I guess what it really boils down to is the fact that I have truly not accepted that this is my life now, my new normal as one asshole doctor put it. I just wanted to be "normal" for one day. A day without pain and just a day with happiness. I will take you and Kirbir's suggestions. I've missed you. Have you posted much?

    I send you back those same HUGE (non pain-inducing) HUGS back my RA friend!

    <3 A

    1. Big news around here is that it has finally cooled down - it was 78 here today for the high. Has it still been unbearably hot where you are? Other than that, I'm doing pretty well. I haven't been posting much, but I'll probably post something either tonight or tomorrow. I hate when doctors use the term "new normal". Like you, I'd rather go back to being "normal" - no pain, no fatigue, just completely normal for a 20-something year old.

      I've missed you too, RA friend.
      <3 Kelley

  5. Hi Kelley!

    It's still pretty damn warm and super muggy. Ugh, will this ever end?! Hahaha. I'm glad it got cooler for you. Yes, new normal sucks. I'm with you, I want my old normal or what the real normal should be for us young ladies!