Before my doctor’s appointment last week I was feeling incredible. I had thought that I had figured out MCTD and was so excited by my new success.  I was talking to the doctor and as you have read in my
previous blog that I was so sure that my blood work was going to come back better then it had been before.  How can I go nearly a full year without a flare-up if my blood work wasn’t changing for the better?  As you also read my blood work was exactly the same. No scientific method to my success. I understand the power of positive thinking and use it daily as I manage a life living with MCTD. I also understand that my brain can become a powerful weapon against me as well. This is exactly what is happening now.

Since Thursday my husband has been asking me what is bothering me and I keep saying nothing and became pretty defensive yesterday when he asked me again and I didn’t have an answer for him.  Well this morning I had an answer not only for him but for me also. 

I decided to go to the gym instead of Bikram this morning and while I was on my elliptical machine my brain actually was telling me to take it easy because I’m sick.  What is that verbal garbage I was just feeding myself? It was strong enough that I got off of the elliptical and moved to the treadmill.  What was I thinking to myself, about myself? Where was this coming from?  I turned off my music and just walked and thought about what was happening with me.  I realized that ever since I saw my blood work and realized it was exactly the same as in March and last year and the year before that I was convincing myself I was sick. I don’t think of myself as sick so why would I do this now? Was I erasing the last 307 days without a flare and convincing myself that I was indeed sick? Yes I was and not only was I doing this I was depressed over it which is what my husband was picking up on the last few days.

I decided to turn back on my music and run, I know my body can do. I haven’t run in a very long time because honestly it isn’t good for me or my joints but I know I can do it so I did. I ran, and ran and ran
for a very long time.  My breathing was labored but I felt fine. I was sweating like I was standing in a Bikram studio but I felt fine.  I decided to get off the treadmill and hit the weight room. I know I’m strong but I had so much to prove to myself today.  Did I way over do it, probably but the point is I can.  I think of myself as a
woman who lives with and manages MCTD but I had forgotten my own strength. I was getting it back today. 

I got back on the elliptical and knocked out a regular workout without negative talk.  I ended up doing 3 hours this morning at the gym.  I did Bikram yesterday for 90 and did 2 hours on Friday. This is not
the ability of someone that is sick this is the ability of a woman who knows she is strong. 

I got home and had a melt down. I told my husband the negative verbiage I was telling myself and how defeated I felt from seeing my blood work. He let me cry and let me talk and let me sit quietly for a
minute and then said can I tell you what I see?  He is very good about just letting me have my feelings and my emotions without trying to help me. Sometimes I don’t need help I just need someone to listen.  Once I have gotten all my stuff out and had a moment to reflect then he jumps in with his thoughts.  This is why our
relationship works so well and why I love him so much.



  1. Wes September 27, 2011 at 5:30 am Reply

    Thank you for sharing, and thank you for showing an example of taking a positive attitude toward life with MCTD. It seems that a lot of discussion groups and blogs are about how bad people feel and who is feeling worse than whom. My blood work and medication suggest I have a fairly severe version of MCTD, and if I dwell on that things can get bad quick. I try hard to keep a positive attitude and I think I’ve been able to do some great things even with MCTD. I read your blog frequently, but don’t comment…this post struck a particular chord with me. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    • mevsmctd September 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm Reply

      Thank you for your comments. I started writing this blog about a year ago because I also found some negativity in other blogs and websites and needed something different. We all have tough days but we have some good ones too.

  2. October 5, 2011 at 8:24 pm Reply

    Hi Nicole, Hi Wes,

    Yes, I agree as well that Nicole’s Blog is very positive and I thank you for being an inspiration to those of us that have the disease/blood markers.

    Wes, I was curious as to what showed up in your bloodwork to indicate that you had a more severe form of the disease. Thank you for sharing.

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