Monday, August 13, 2012


     So getting back to me and my arthritis. The biggest game changer to date has been my bi-lateral knee replacement, which has now been over two years ago. They rebuilt me. They made me stronger. Healing has been going brilliantly. I have full mobility back, my strength is getting there and my endurance a distant, yet persistent third.

     The biggest change in the past year is the moving into a new home with my boyfriend. A funny, intelligent boy who is a great conversationalist with a yearning for knowledge not too far from that of my own. He’s also rather good looking, which certainly doesn’t hurt his case… but again all this has its place in a blog about my personal life instead of my personal life with RA. So why am I telling you this? Because he helped me realize its okay to be me, and to do what I love. You see, living with RA, I can really only do so much in any given day. Christine Miserandino's Spoon Theory demonstrates this principle really well. Never heard of it? You should familiarize yourself with it. Here is the link. Read it. It puts in perspective what people with RA, or any auto-immune disease, go through every day.

     So back to this boy and why he is so great in reference to my life with RA. Having been diagnosed at 12, I have never been in a relationship where my disability was not a factor. It usually starts out ok, but then it goes downhill once I hit a flare-up. It's difficult to explain to someone how I am able to be so active one day, and then the next, not be able to move. I don't just mean not be able to get out, go for a stroll or get on my horse, I mean CAN NOT move. Spending all day in bed, or the couch, or on a "good" flare day, at the computer. Dishes pile up, laundry needs to be done, the house needs to be cleaned, all things I am well aware of, but helpless to fix during a flare. I become dependent, something I can say I truly hate more than anything, not solely because I am prideful, but because of the burden I was always made to feel I was. I was once told by a boy that I was lucky to have him, and that I would never find anyone else that would "put up" with my disability like he did.

     Anyway, another point of distention were days that I did feel good. Most people wake up, and with the help of a cup of coffee, have enough energy to do whatever they want and need to do. This is where the Spoon Theory comes in. Every morning I wake up with a set amount of "spoons". Some days I have very few, only just enough to get through activities of daily living (ADL’s). Other days I have more. When I happen to have spoons leftover, I have to make a choice. I can either get out, go for a walk or ride my horse, or I can stay home, catch up on housework and cook dinner. But not both. I can tell you once I start to feel better, I could give a damn about dishes or dust. I am first going to do what makes me happy. I am not saying that is what I should do, I am saying that is what I am doing. Selfish? I think it’s more about self preservation. If I spend my whole life being either sick and miserable, or well and miserable in a kempt house, I am still miserable. And I do not mean “I didn’t get the toy I wanted for Christmas miserable”, I mean deeply despondent to the verge where one starts to lose themselves, and losing oneself is an awful thing to let happen. It's happened to me before, when I started to believe the ones who told me I wasn't good enough, that I was a burden instead of something to be cherished.

   And that's what this boy does. He cherishes me.  He supports me. He takes care of me. He helps me. He builds me up instead of tearing me down. And above all, he let's me be me. The Good, the bad and the ugly. I guess, in brevity, that's what this rambling is about - find someone who loves you. Accepts you. Everything about you.  Trust me someone's out there just waiting to fall in love with everything that you have to offer.



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