Behind Every Superhero Is a Supermom

Yesterday morning Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy went to the airport to meet his mother, who arrived for what is scheduled to be a month long visit. I applaud her courage in traveling alone on this long trip, which due to a few hour delay on the last leg, stretched out to almost twenty-four hours door to door.

(The fact that she uses crutches to walk was not helped any when the passengers were forced to disembark down steps onto the tarmac.)

I have always had a very close relationship with my mother, so this made it all the more difficult to see first-hand the difficulties she has experienced in accepting the realities that rheumatoid arthritis has introduced into my life, and – by extension – her life.

I have seen her struggle over the past few years, and have often wished that the journey from denial to acceptance progressed more quickly…but then I am reminded that everyone around me deserves to process, in his or her own timeframe, the emotions that result from the presence of this chronic and crippling illness in my life. (I only know how long it took me to walk down this path myself!)

A little more than a month ago, my mother called me to tell me that she has just finished reading a series of posts here on my blog, in which I spoke of a particularly rough patch that I was going through. She wanted to know what she and my father could do to help me. We agreed that she would come for a visit (both of my parents are scheduled to come back for the holidays later this year) – hence her arrival yesterday.

I know that this is a big step forward for her, and I know that living with me for the next month will provide her one of the starkest descriptions of how my life has been and continues to be affected by my rheumatoid arthritis. I can only begin to imagine how hard this is must be for my mother to see…but I am glad that she has reached this point.

One of the true rewards I have received from writing this blog has been being able to see not only how far its reach has spread, but also being able to see how close to home it has hit. It continues to be a great coping mechanism not only for myself, but for those people who are a part of my daily life. (One sibling tells me that it’s a great way to check up on how I am doing, without having to call me all the time.)

Although my mother has not commented publicly on my blog, she does read it daily. Please join me in supporting her – and all parents of someone living with rheumatoid arthritis – as she embarks on this new path of acceptance with open eyes, and with an even more open heart. I know that rheumatoid arthritis has a profound impact on all of our lives.

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

12 Comments
12 comments
  1. Millicent says:

    I am so happy that your mom is visiting now for some important mother/son time & also that both your parents will be spending the holidays with you!

  2. MissDazey says:

    Have a great visit with your Mother. I hope you will use this month to give all your attention, love, and time to her.

    Note to RA Guy: This following is written to your Mom.

    Dear RA Guy’s Mom,
    All of us that read his blog welcome you. We mothers always like to baby and be with our kids, don’t we? Please have a good visit. Your son writes a great, informative blog. I am proud to know him via the Internet and now to meet you.

    MissDazey

  3. Helen says:

    Dear RA Guy’s Mom,
    Your son has been such a help to me, enabling me to use humor as a major coping mechanism in coming to terms with my somewhat recent diagnosis of RA and the lifestyle changes necessary, and not to feel so alone. He also has a wonderful ability to articulate things that I am feeling even before I can find the words to express it.
    I also sent the link to his page to my rheumatologist (who has concerns about some of the internet info on RA) and she thought it was a very good site.
    You should be very proud of him, his efforts and his willingness to share his experiences.

  4. sara says:

    YAY! I hope that the coming month will provide some much needed time and space for understanding and good visiting time. I’m so happy that she can be there for you, and you for her!

    Welcome RA Mom!

  5. Leslie Rott says:

    I think you’ve really hit on somethig in this post. I’ve always said that this illness is going to be harder on other people than it is on me. I can handle the pain and everything, but most people can’t handle doing nothing when they feel the urge to help, and see a situation that demands action. I think this is especially true for parents who have children who are ill. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what kind of (healthy) person it takes to be able to deal with this stuff and I’m still trying to figure that out. Hope you enjoy the time with your mom!

  6. Helen says:

    Have a wonderful visit with your Mom! It will be great for you both to be able to support one another over the next month.

    The past 23 years with RA have been a tough road for me, but I can only imagine what it was like for my parents to be told their 2-year-old had arthritis, and then to have to watch me in pain, accompany me to the hospital, see me struggle to do the things I wanted. I am eternally grateful to them for their support.

  7. Laurie says:

    Hi RA Mom! Hope you have a great visit together. RA Guy’s blog is one of the first things I read every morning. Even if there’s a bad day for him, he manages to sneak in a ray of sunshine. Hug each other often, and be proud of your son. He has turned his disability into an ablility, a gift that few have!

  8. Cathy says:

    My mom is visiting today for about four days! I am looking forward to it. We have definitely had some frustrating moments together but it has brought us to a good place. My mom is my role model. For about 15 years she has lived with fibromyalgia. When she visits, she takes the stairs one at a time just as I often do. If we are out too long, she needs to rest for a bit just as I often do. She goes to bed in pain many nights just as I do. But what I have learned from my mom is that she gets up each morning ready to face the day. She never gives up. She lives alone and is making her lifelong dreams of traveling a reality. In the last few years she has been to Israel, Australia, and more. As soon as she returns home from visiting me she will be starting a 5 day journey in Egypt, 3 days in Jordan, and 9 days in Israel as a parish nurse, her other passion in life. I have seen my mom laid off from a job of 40 plus years and start her own contracting work where she is doing exactly what she loves in life while dealing daily with fibromyalgia.

    I have learned a lot from my mom about not letting disease stop me from living but since my diagnosis I have also learned to share more with her and she has learned to do the same. I think we are never too old to need our moms and when we can grow from the experiences, we are definitely lucky. You are lucky to have your mom with you for a full month. Enjoy every moment.

    RA Guy’s Mom – You did something very special with this man. He is bringing a positive change to the world! What a proud momma you must be. 

    (Sorry! I didn’t intend this to be so long)

  9. Rainbow Lucy says:

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experiences. My husband has RA, diagnosed about a year ago, but other than saying “it hurts” never really wants to discuss what it is like and how he feels – true british reticence at work. Reading blogs like yours really helps me to get a better understanding of what he is going through. It is difficult to know how to support him and what helps.

  10. Jules says:

    Dear RA Guy’s Mom-

    As a daughter (and sister, and sister-in-law etc) who lives with this, I cannot tell you how important it is for those of us who are close to our Moms to have your support. I know you read his blog- but I don’t know if he has shared the Arithritis Foundation’s boards with you. If you have read them, you probably know how very fortunate we are to have family members who want to learn and understand what we are going through. I want you to know that WE know that we are very lucky to have Moms like you. <3

    As the Mom of a grown son- I know how difficult it is to watch your son (aka the light of your life- the apple of your eye- I could go on for weeks) struggle and hurt. The pain our sons deal with is very different but I am sure it tears our hearts in the same way. The hardest thing for me has been to step back and let him find his way.

    Thank you for your wonderful son. He contributes so much to our community. He has not only made a difference with those of us living with the disease but he has helped us bridge the gap with those who are in our lives but don't *quite* understand. You should be so very proud,

    Jules

  11. Jules says:

    Dear RA Guy’s Mom,

    Welcome to our “family”! As a daughter ( wife,sister, sister-in-law etc.) who is very close to her family it is so important to have our loved ones involved in this journey. I don’t know if RA Guy has shared RA Connect with you but if not it would show you how very fortunate we are to have family members who care enough to try to understand what we are dealing with and support us. I do want you to know that WE know how lucky we are to have you!

    As the mom of an adult son, I know how very hard it can be to watch your son hurting and struggling. It can tear a piece of your heart out when you can’t do anything to make it stop. Though our sons have different situations- it doesn’t change that as a Mom our first instinct is to protect our children and try to make it all better. I am sure it is doubly difficult when faced with your son having a chronic illness. My heart goes out to you.

    I want you to know that your son contributes so much to our community. Not only does he share his journey but for many of us he has given us a wonderful tool to open a dialogue and educate the people in our lives who might never be able to understand. It makes a tremendous difference. You should be so very proud of him!

    Enjoy your visit and stay strong RA Mom! We are all here with you.

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