“To become a spectator of one’s own life is to escape the suffering of life.” Oscar Wilde
A funny thing happened yesterday – Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy realized, once again, that the simplest of thoughts often lead to some of the most profound steps forward in life.
I was once again sitting in the back of a taxicab, making the almost fifteen minute journey from my house to my physical therapist. I have made this trip so many times during the past few months (yesterday was my 41st session, actually) that I know every traffic light and stop sign along the way.
My entire body was is so much pain, that the discomfort of each individual joint sort of seemed to meld together into one big blob. (I still remember going to see a showing of The Blob one Saturday morning when I was in elementary school…those were the days!) I knew that out of everything my ankles were hurting the most – but beyond that I couldn’t even tell if my wrists hurt more than my elbows, or if my elbows hurt more than my knees. All I knew was that everything hurt.
Normally, it would be at just around this moment when I would once again have that sensation that the world around me was falling apart (when in reality, the only thing that was really falling apart was my physical body). My eyes would tear up, feelings of losing hope would begin to start creeping into my mind, and on top of feeling physically lousy I would being to feel emotionally lousy.
If you order now, we’ll throw in a free anxiety attack – complete with an increased heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and dizziness in the head.
But yesterday, none of this happened. All of a sudden, I realized that I had once again broken a mold in which I have fallen into for the past few years. And it was all the result of a few simple words.
“This is my life.”
Once again – experiencing pain that no words can accurately describe. This is my life.
Once again – sitting in the back of a taxicab, on the way to another afternoon of physical therapy. This is my life.
Once again – feeling completely winded from the most extreme of flares, which I experienced the day before. This is my life.
Once again – having a completely different combination of joints that work and don’t work to varying degrees. This is my life.
Once again – having no clue how I will feel the following day, much less the following hour. This is my life.
Once again – overcoming my internal alarms that go off every time I spend, spend, spend (just like the illness never ends, neither do the expenses) on another medical treatment or another month’s supply of medications. This is my life.
Once again – riding the emotional roller coaster that sometimes seems to compress the ups and down normally encountered in days down into a few seconds. This is my life.
With this, I completely preempted a routine that I have been through so many times before. I sat up a little more straight and looked out the window, as I continued to affirm to myself that this was indeed my life.
And just like that, my rheumatoid arthritis became a more integral part of my person. Just when I feel like I have achieved a total acceptance of my RA, I once again learn that I can get even more close to it, much more than I had ever imagined.
This has been my life for quite sometime now. I think it’s about time that I accept as much.
This is my life, and I love it!
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy.