Hope Is Like Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy in a Spray Can

Hope, the noun, is like oxygen. Hope, the verb, is like breathing.

rheumatoid arthritis therapy spray canLiving with Rheumatoid Arthritis requires hope. Of course, we hope for a cure. We hope that the medicine will work. We hope the doctor will listen. We hope that the insurance covers our tests. We hope people will understand when we can’t do what they expect us to do. How are we going to get this much hope?

A couple weeks ago, I read this blog on hope and it really got me thinking. I totally agreed that hope is essential. In fact, it is like oxygen; we need it to go on. That’s unmistakable.

But I kept thinking, how do we get it – and keep it. Why do some seem to have more of it? Sometimes, I wish I could buy hope in a spray can. That way I could spray it like air freshener as I walk through the world.

After wrestling with it, I realized that hope is not only a noun, but also a verb. The thing “hope” is what we pursue. We all want to have plenty of it and never run out. We’d like to have enough to share. When we are compassionate, we give out some of it to one another. Or God can give it directly to us.

However, hope, the verb, is harder to nail down. We say, “I hope things will change,” and we are trying to will it to be so. We strain towards that goal. Indeed, hoping is something to do. We can either do it or not.

When we do it, it is a choice to do it. It may not be a conscious choice usually, but still it’s a choice – like how much ice cream to eat or whether to wear a seatbelt. There are some things which we can do both deliberately and automatically, like breathing. Hope, the verb, is like that.

If hoping is hard to do, maybe we can get better at with practice – like speaking French or decorating cakes or playing tennis. It’s like a muscle which needs to be exercised so that it can grow stronger. That’s what we are doing when we practice hope against heavy odds; we are weightlifting. When we have to keep on doing it and it seems no end is in sight, we are wait-lifting, too.

With Rheumatoid Arthritis, therapy of all kinds is needed. We may even exercise our hope muscle and get really good at it. Then, folks will wonder why we have so much more hope than other people seem to have. “That’s okay,” you spread it around like air freshener, “I am willing to share. My can is full. Breathe in deeply.”

Holly’s article on Hope at Health Central

Recommended reading:

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also http://www.rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

7 thoughts on “Hope Is Like Rheumatoid Arthritis Therapy in a Spray Can

  • January 8, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I am smiling…. I have spent the last 5 hous reading articles from this ‘oh-so-special’ site. The information you have here gives me so much hope and encouragement. Just knowing there are others who are tired of being tired or sick of the pain, brain fog… Or news to know how to deal with doctors (rheumies). I am so grateful for the abundance of information.

    You are ahhhhh-mazing!

    • January 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you for the big smile MonaLisa. It helps me keep going on when things get hard.

  • February 16, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Aww, this was just what I needed to hear! Bit down today because my primary care doc canceled my appt tomorrow, the one I was desperately hoping would end with a rheumy referral. Maybe I just need a little hope to get through the days til my rescheduled appt. Thank you Kelly.

  • May 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I am starting methotrexate today after almost two years of refusing to take it. My arthritis has worsened with more frequent flares, and this has greatly changed my lifestyle. I want some of the old life back. I will let you know how it goes.

    • May 16, 2011 at 6:46 pm

      I really hope it works for you. It does help most people. Brave step, Sandra.

  • September 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I really hope 4 a cure & I did enjoy that read..♥


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