Since Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy lives with a chronic illness that is misunderstood by many people, it should come as no surprise that many times in the past he hoped that people could see the world through his eyes, if only for a short time. “If only they knew what it was really like to live with rheumatoid arthritis.”
Let me qualify this a little further, though, because I never wanted anybody else to actually experience the pain that I experience on a daily basis…I would never hope this onto my worst enemy (if I had a worst enemy). I just wanted them to get a little better sense of the physical and emotional struggles that are ever-present.
For a long time, I got sort of stuck in this phase of believing that people around me would never understand what it is like to live with rheumatoid arthritis, unless they lived with it directly. Then it dawned on me…they are living with it directly. They often do see the crippling effect that it has on my entire person. During my mother’s last visit, she once asked me if I was in pain. She commented that when my pain is at it’s worst, it is easy to tell because it is written all over my face.
Maybe others really are seeing things through my eyes, more than I think might be the case.
There was one of my siblings, who contacted my parents during my recent two day internet service outage to make sure that I was okay. (I was not answering my Vonage phone nor responding to email, so this created some concern.)
There is my partner of almost ten years, who unwillingly continues to explore new lows in our relationship – a relationship that has been rocked this past year by the presence of chronic illness.
There is that person within my support network, who continues to go above and beyond in order to help me not only get back on my feet, but to guarantee that I remain standing upright.
There is a kind friend who I met online this past year. We do now speak often, but when we do we always share interesting bits of information ranging from the trivial to the profound. This morning I found out that she is mourning the death of her her father.
There are readers, who continue to be more generous that I could have ever imagined, when it comes to making donations here in my blog.
I have learned that yes, I do need a lot of support as I continue to live with rheumatoid arthritis. But support is a two-way road. I too have to provide support to those who are around me, near and far.
Together, we can get though all of the challenges that we would otherwise face alone.
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis.