Thanks to Rheumatoid Arthritis, not the future we expected
None of us knows the future and it often surprises us more than we expect. Getting a diagnosis of “Rheumatoid Arthritis” usually comes with life changes we couldn’t anticipate. No one expects to feel old before it is time, having friends and relatives twice your age who are able to outrun you.
I remember when I was diagnosed and started my first RA treatments, I expected to get well. That lasted a long time. Actually, I still expect that I will get my turn at remission. It’s just a matter of time. Sometimes in the back of my mind I must think I’ll win because I am not willing to give up. Eventually this evil disease without a soul must reach the end of its effort.
Still, the functional losses were sudden, producing shock and grief. It helped to talk with a counselor about it for a while.
Adjusting to unwelcome changes to the future
Last September, my son Roo was barely seven when we visited the pediatric ophthalmologist. She is good with eyes and great with kids. Her thorough testing showed Roo had 20/20 vision in the right eye, but 20/600 in the left. And worse, he had no depth perception since his brain only used one eye.
Doc was encouraging that therapy could improve his vision so that one day he would do well wearing one contact lens only. Roo seemed pleased with the answers taking it all in stride. We got a milk shake and made plans for getting glasses.
That night, I read up on the best eye patching system to cover the strong eye a couple hours a day. We ordered a soft patch with a puppy face. Lying on the sofa, he told me, “Today, my life changed,” and he burst into tears. He realized some things in his life and future would not be the same.
Roo is very doing well and his eye is improving. He’s adjusted well to the changes. But he told me once me he realized some doors might not be open to him (like astronaut, I think) and that made him sad. One day he said, “I hate my life.”
Embracing the life God gives us
I told my son we cannot know the future, but… This is your life. It is the only life you have. These are the only eyes that you have and you need to love them. I cried as we counted up lots of blessings… And you have plenty to eat and parents who love you, and you sleep in a bed WITH PILLOWS!
We know one day there will be answers for Rheumatoid Disease – and a cure. But, what is our immediate future? We don’t know. We don’t know when the next treatment will be approved or whether it will work on us. We don’t know whether a remission will begin or end.
All we know is this is the only life that we have under the sun and we need to live it. And since God gave it to us, we love it as much as possible, counting whatever blessings we can to outnumber the losses.
- Hope for Rheumatoid Arthritis
- 10 Commandments of Chronic Illness
- A World Where No One Suffers from Rheumatoid Disease
- Accomplishing Thankfulness via Thorough Commitment