1-800-Support

There is a fine, fine line between losing hope and moving forward. Yesterday Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy crossed that line multiple times, and it was scary as hell. My biggest victory during the afternoon was lifting my own fork to feed myself – before yesterday I would have never been able to envision that such a seemingly simple task could be so difficult. I now know otherwise. (I did ask for help in cutting my food as it’s been weeks that this has become increasingly more difficult. I always know my place setting – it’s the one with a steak knife, no matter what is being served.)

But today is a new day.

I spent last night and this morning reaching out to my personal support network, both near and far. This was a big jump for me, as I begin to finally accept that asking for support is not a sign of weakness, but is indeed a sign of strength. I know I still have a lot to process on the path of asking for help, but being able to write the previous sentence with ease is a big step forward for me. (And I really do need these big steps, as my physical steps have become shorter and slower.)

Sometimes the support we are looking for comes from the individuals we expect it from the most. Sometimes is does not comes from the individuals we expect it from the most. At other times, it surprises us and comes from places where we least expect it.

Some of the strongest shows of support that I have received during the past few days have come from my readers, from fellow superheroes in online support groups, and even from the manager at my fitness club who told me that I would not be charged for any days that I lost at the gym due to limitations of my rheumatoid arthritis. For this, I am grateful.

Some of the strongest shows of support that I have received during the past few days have come from loved ones close in my life. It is hard to see the effect that my illness has on them, but I am learning that by working together we can all become stronger. I am working past feeling that I am burdening them, and learning that in talking and crying we can together move forward. For this, I am grateful.

I close today’s post with sincerity instead of humor. To everyone near and far, personal and virtual, – THANK YOU for your support. That is just what I need to get me through moments like this.

[Looking forward: I am going to my rheumatologist this afternoon for some anti-inflammatory injections. I am also lining up a physical therapist familiar with RA to exercise my body during some of the most difficult periods.]

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

5 Comments
5 comments
  1. Holee says:

    How we handle RA or any major disease has a lot to do with attitude. My attitude is that it will not stop me from enjoying life. Today and for the past several weeks, I also am in a flare up and unable to cut my food. For me asking for help would mean defeat. So, instead I eat what I can manage to serve myself, use my power chair so I don’t have to ask for help, shower with liquid soap because I can’t hold a bar of soap..and on & on…

    I sew and am deep into swapping items I make in blog land. I have found ways to continue to use my sewing machine with a control on the table instead of on the floor…Attitude, it’s all about attitude. Good Luck

  2. Kali says:

    Learning to accept help is such a difficult thing. Until you do it, you assume that being helped will make you feel like you are…less. And then, when you start getting good support, you realize that getting help takes one hell of a good mindset, and it connects you more deeply to the people in your life.

    I’m glad to see you’ve overcome your old thinking!

    ~Kali

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>