I began having symptoms in the spring of 2005, and since then I have not gone a single day without pain. It’s become such a normal experience for me. It’s become a part of me.
When I first started feeling pain I thought it was the worst pain I would ever feel. I couldn’t imagine ever hurting any more.
After several more months and no improvement and only steady decline, I wished more than anything that I would only hurt as much as in the beginning.
Whenever I thought it couldn’t possible yet worse, it always did. No matter what I did or what I tried or who prayed for me or anything. It always got worse. This has been going on for a very long time.
It’s astounding what one person can get used to.
I am finally beginning to feel like I’ve stopped sliding down a slippery slope. I feel like I am finally beginning to climb my way back up. And I know this will be a much harder and longer process than falling down it.
I remember many times when I would be in so much pain and would get so upset I’d yell, “I give up! I give up! I can’t do this anymore”
It would make me laugh afterwards. Because of course I cant just “give up” R.A.
My neck used to swell up and get stuck in one position. If you pull your chin in and try to give yourself a double chin you’ll understand what I mean. It would get stuck like that for hours on end. Sometimes all day. It was almost impossible to swallow, and I almost chocked a few times. The absurdity of the situation was never lost on me.
I’ve laughed out loud many a time over my situation. It’s always better than crying. I am a very upbeat person usually. But sometimes I felt like I didn’t have a choice.
Being anything other than upbeat makes people unconfortable. NObody likes to hear someone complain(even if they are in alot of pain)
I remember that after my mother died when I was fourteen I was crying, and my father told us four kids that crying didn’t help anything. That anytime I felt like crying, I should just get mad instead. Well, even at fourteen I knew that was bad advice, but I did agree that crying never helped anything. It only made me feel weak.
Another lesson taught us soon after was the “life goes on- turn the page” lesson. My father was not himself after mom’s death. He became a completely different person. He could not stand being alone. He remarried very quickly to a very bad woman. Yes, my life was the overly cliched Cinderella-evil-step-mother story. Except without the prince charming and fancy shoes.
When she started getting rid of all of our mother’s things, we of course were very upset. My dad said it was time to move on. To turn the page. I was very bitter about that. I knew it was a very bad thing to say to a child within a few months of her mother’s death, BUT it still stuck with me.
So I’ve never been one to dwell too long on my set backs. I push them to the back of my mind, and think about other things. Because life does go on.
And no one wants to hear you complain.
Everyone seems to have this romanticized vision of how sick people should act.
1) They should never feel sorry for themselves. Of course this is perfectly normal and is part of what makes them human. No matter. They should never ever be caught being upset about their circumstances. And under NO circumstances talk about being upset.
2) They should always be an inspiration to those around them. People like to mention that “they know so-and-so who has it so hard, but never ever complains” They should comfort those around them with their inability to help. Example: “Don’t feel bad! I’m just dandy!”
3) Seriously, under no condition are they ever to be angry! And if they are angry, they should never show it! Never talk about it. Just bottle that rage up and leave other people out of it. Even though any counselor will tell them that anger is a perfectly normal reaction to a painful chronic illness, it will make other people look down upon them.
People are not like this. No one is! Nobody makes a choice to make the best of things, and then NEVER think anything different. If there is, I would love to meet them. They must be some sort of christ like superperson.
I shouldn’t write things like this. I know it will annoy people, but it’s WHAT I FEEL.
And I’m not wrong for that. And if I can’t get it out here, I wont get it out anywhere.
I’m not sure this post will make any sense. But it helps to get things out.
And if you stop and think about it, it’s all very true. And absurdly funny.
Filed under: Background, Complaints, Family, pain, rheumatoid, rheumatoid arthritis | Tagged: anger, chronic illness, chronic pain, Complaints, disappointment, Family, pain, R.A., rheumatoid, rheumatoid arthritis | 8 Comments »