Tag Archives: relationships

Life Happens

Remember the saying life happens when you’re making other plans?

So true.

I have mentally blogged many times in the past month. So many little life episodes that I have subvocalized as if I had a tiny, invisible stenographer sitting on my shoulder. Alas, I do not, and as our nursing mantra goes: if it’s not written, it’s not done.

A lot has happened.

We had another anniversary, 35 if we go strictly by the calendar. That’s a freakishly long time. I remember seeing a documentary about George Harrison after his death. His wife of 23 years was asked how you make a long marriage. Her answer was striking and it has stayed with me. It’s simple, she said, you don’t get divorced.

So, so true. In 35 years you collect a lot of reasons to get divorced over.

But you also collect, or can collect, many reasons to stay together.

This year we celebrated by going to D. C. I’d always wanted to go, just to soak up the history. The place is so alive, you can inhale the adrenalin. It has a vitality that defies explanation or description. In short, we are going back.

We decided to drive, so that gave us four full days in enclosed proximity. If anything is going to drive you batty in regards to another person that will certainly do it. But the whole trip left us with nothing more than pleasant memories.

Except for one other thing. Within five days of our return my husband was complaining of UTI symptoms. I confess my initial reaction was: Been there, done that. But his being a man meant that his symptoms were far more complicated and unendurable than anything women might go through.

Of course.

We saw a kindly urologist. I’ve rarely run across a doctor so personable and I’ve run into many. Along with giving him some prescriptions, he suggested we buy a couple of books. One, he said, is called How Not to Die by Michael Greger.

I admit I laughed when he mentioned the title. Advice on how not to die seems kind of facetious. Snake oil, anyone? I mean, does anyone live forever? Does anyone want to?

Its subtitle, however, is: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. And I am nothing if not a sucker for anything that has been scientifically proven. So we shall see what it’s all about when I delve into it, because I know he won’t. He’s symptom-free now so that means it’s all so yesterday.

The book will have to wait its turn, though. Right now I’m knee-deep into the Konmari Method of tidying. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Her initial advice: “Start by discarding, all at once, intensely and completely.” And she advocates keeping only the things that “spark joy.”

Hmm . . . . That reminds me of the woman who said she got rid of 175 pounds all at once.

She got a divorce.

Cherry blossoms

Me among the cherry blossoms

 

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A Little Bit

Today is my sister’s anniversary. 51 years of married life. I can hardly comprehend that. That’s almost as long as I’ve lived on this earth.

We don’t keep in touch. She lives far away. All my sisters live far away. We don’t keep in touch, ever.

Sometimes that feels strange to me, and at other times, I don’t think about it at all. It just is.

But this wasn’t what I planned to write about. 

I planned to write about guilt. One type of guilt, for there is always a variety of it to go around.

As I go through my entries on this blog, and  compile those I might possibly use, all sorts of memories are being triggered. Some memories have nothing to do with RA, while others send me headlong into the world of constant pain that I lived in for what I assumed would be forever.

There’s no denying that RA changed me. It changed my outlook on life. It changed my ability to function, productively as well as effectively. It changed my career and career focus. It changed the trajectory of my future.

But looking back from ten-plus years, for I really do not know when this dis-ease arrived, I cannot say it is a bad thing. Not entirely.

I have benefited from the care of a wonderful doctor, who puts up with my self-treatment and self-diagnosis. Perhaps my intimate involvement with my treatment process has meant the difference. For though I no longer practice in the field, I cannot stop being a nurse. I cannot stop wanting to bring wellness to those whose lives I touch.

I have seen the depths and I have seen the light, to use one worn out cliché. And because of that, I feel guilt.

Guilt that while others suffer excruciatingly from this ailment on a daily basis, I am forced to agree with my doctor’s mantra. “You are doing very well,” he says to me after every visit.

And I am. I feel better and more mobile than before RA checked in.

I’m not really sure what I have done to make this happen. From the research of my writings, both posted here and those still tucked away in my journals,  I suppose I will find out, glean some sort of insight. Is it diet? Is it exercise? Is it love? Is it companionship? Is it finding like-minded friends to talk to? Is it knowing that people out there care about me? Is it caring for others? Is it all of the above?

I know that the treatment for RA is not a one-size-fits-all. But perhaps my story might help. Just a little bit.

 

The Long Hot Shower

water stream from shower in close-up, showing ...

Image via Wikipedia

While taking a shower yesterday, a thought struck me. Could I claim a tax deduction for those long hot showers? After all, they are like medicine to me, practically a treatment procedure for my RA. I go in stiff and come out pliant.

I once read this man takes two hot showers a day for his RA. I only take one a day, though two would be nice. But, would that be a tax break on my water bill or my electricity bill, or both? Will just asking the question get me into hot water with the tax man?

And I don’t take those showers just for my RA. I do my best thinking in there. I go in cold and come out with all these story ideas, poetry outlines and passages. So could I lump them in with the home office deduction for my writing business?

Time, as they say, is money. And I spend a long time in those hot showers, a long time. The hot water feels so good, like liquid silk on my skin. I can practically see my joints loosening up, especially my hands. My hands are the most susceptible part of me to the RA related stiffness that sets in.

The saying that idle hands are the devil’s workshop cannot possibly apply to me. Anymore. For idle hands become painful hands for me. I like to keep them busy while I am awake. And what they mostly do, besides dreary housework and even drearier bill paying, is writing.

This brings me back to my original question, a tax deduction for my long hot showers. Why not? They are multi-purpose. They foster physical well-being and creativity. They are soothing and relaxing. I wonder if I can get the doctor to write me a prescription for hydrotherapy. It’s a thought.

The only thing that would make my long hot showers even more beneficial would be having someone to share them with. There’s a lot to be said for closeness and companionship to ease the pain of RA. Besides, it would also help out the environment, conserving water and all. Talk about compliant.

But, would he be my tax deduction or would I be his? Would that be one deduction, two deductions, three? Things that make you go hmmmm? Guess I’ll go take a long hot shower and think about that one.

Unbidden

You come to me
unbidden
Searing my body
Scorching my consciousness

I am held captive,
helpless against you
You are an insidious layer,
burrowing under my skin

I sense your blistering touch
Every nerve fiber cries out
Synapses fire and are on fire

The lightest touch makes me shiver
The merest movement makes me quiver
I lie languid, letting you overpower me
I am yours, you devour me

An exquisite torture
that travels down my body
inch by inch
cell by cell

There is no escape
There is no respite
All I can do is lie in wait

In wait
for you to leave
And never return
For you to cease and desist
That is my unfulfilled wish
Never to feel you again
Never have you touch me

I refuse your insolent caress
I will not let you have me!
I will not let you have me!
I will banish you
I will cast you out
Like the scourge that you are

I SPURN YOU!

You
the excruciating
unrelenting
unforgiving
pain
of
Rheumatoid Arthritis

First posted under my pseudonym soledadpaz on March 14, 2011

http://www.fanstory.com/soledadpaz

Green Bananas

Why is there a picture of bananas on a blog about Rheumatoid Arthritis? Maybe because I am bananas to think anyone will read it.

Maybe it’s because nutrition is so very important in the management of any disease process. And it is of prime importance in the maintenance of a healthy body. Our bodies are made to run like well-oiled machines, but sometimes that oil pan springs a leak.

Maybe because to me, yellow is the color of hope. And the color of sunshine. The sunshine that brings welcome warmth to our aching joints and lights up our day, bringing us out of the darkness whose name is pain.

Yellow is also the color for caution. As we move from stoplight to stoplight in our lives we must proceed with caution. It is what rules the life of someone with RA. We must take care not to overdo, for that invites the pain.

We must also take care to DO. Exercise and motion keeps those joints fluid. True for any body, more so to a body with RA. Use it or lose it could not be more applicable.

As I use this forum to share, connect and inform about my disease, I look for the color green. For green means go. I want to go. Go on with my life, go on with my future, the best way I know how, for me and for those whom I love and love me.

And no, no green bananas for me.