Brushing Off the Dust and Catching Up

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East Slope in June 2011

Image by Just a Prairie Boy via Flickr

Has it really been so long?!  Re-reading my own posts, I realized the huge hurdle I’ve jumped.  What do I mean?  I still feel good.  In fact, the other day, it occurred to me that having RA doesn’t phase me much these days.  Of course, I still have to poke myself with Enbrel once a week and take an NSAID twice a day, but that’s pretty much the extent of my RA frame of mind.  Have I really done it?  Have I really reclaimed my body?  Stiffness comes and goes, but it’s not the.. I can’t move for a week kind of stiffness.  It’s more like the, I’ve been sitting the same way too long, kind of stiffness.   So, YAY!!!  If I can do it, so can you!  If you haven’t already that is.  *smiles*

Now, moving on to a sad note.  There is a reason for my sharing this…  My mom passed away in June 2011 at 67.  She was a hardworking, intelligent, tough little woman, and a dedicated RN.  Unfortunately, she developed COPD and her body just couldn’t cope anymore.   It was/is probably one of the hardest things I’ll ever have to deal with in my lifetime.  I feared the stress would wreak havoc on my body, but it didn’t.  What it did do, was send me into a world of chaos.  A world of rediscovery.  A yearning to explore far away cities, climb mountains, swim with dolphins.  You know, live.  I had decided that I’d had enough deprivation.  Those of us with RA are faced with the feeling of deprivation far too often.  The problem was.. I had kids, bills, responsibilities, and now a dog.  It wasn’t like I could just pick up and go like I wanted to.  Looking back now, I may have just been wanting to run.  Well, time inched by and reality set in.  Then it just hit me.  I can explore those places I’d like to go.  Climbing a mountain isn’t impossible.  I CAN swim with dolphins, even if I can’t swim.  So, I’m not really deprived.  It’s just a matter of setting a goal and following through.  In the meantime, I have a beautiful family, a desire to learn, and most importantly I CAN MOVE!!!  Things began to calm down after that.  Maybe the chill of the coming winter set in too.  No matter why, I felt more at ease.

My mom consistently told me, “God will heal you”.  She’s one of the few people in this world that truly saw what was happening to me.  Like she felt it in her own bones.  She would push me to soak my feet in Epsom Salts, she would rub Ben-Gay on me even as I fought her, she would tell me to pump those legs while I’m sitting there, and remind me to raise those arms up.  In other words, she was my biggest support.  At first, I thought that support was gone when we lost her.  In a way, it is.  At the same time, it will always be there.  As I cook a meal, I can hear her telling me what to do next.  When I go shopping late in the evening, I can hear her telling me to be careful.  When the day has been too hard, I can hear her telling to take one day at a time.  She made a positive impact on me.  As a mom should.  You never know how much of an impact you can make on someone and how it will affect their life.  Even if you can only move your mouth to speak, especially with the way things go viral now, you CAN make a difference!  So..keep those positive attitudes up and don’t forget to stretch!

My Mom

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