Let us give thanks
This is without a doubt my absolute favorite time of year. Yes, I actually do better RA wise once the days are a bit more crisp, the humidity has gone away and I can bundle up in socks and warm snugly PJ's when I get home from work. I know for many RA sufferers, winter means more pain and discomfort but once again that shows how each of us responds differently to RA.
I think part of why I so enjoy this end of year time period is I tend to use it as a chance to reflect on the past year and to relish all that is positive and good in my life. Even thinking back to the bad stuff - i.e. the pain, the treatment failures, the sicknesses, and most recently (last week) the broken foot I now need to deal with, I have to come to terms and realize that I am still here, still kicking (although not at the moment!) and that in itself is more than many others can claim.
I think the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc. are a chance to gather with loved ones and share time and joy and love. Since that is the single most important thing to me in my life, it follows that it would be my favorite time of year.
I am well aware that for some folks this is not the case and in fact it can be a time of great sadness and despair for many. I try and encourage others as well to reach out to those you know who would otherwise be lonely during this season. Invite them to spend some part of the holiday season with you. You will be giving that person a lasting and loving memory. No better gift in the world!
I like to remember and to thank those who have given their time and service to me over the past year. That means the doctors, nurses, physical therapists, surgeons, pharmacists, massage therapists, etc. who help to keep us on target with our medical care and well-being needs. Without their dedication to my care and management of RA I would be hard pressed to address it on my own! I appreciate their patience and consideration when I call with questions or concerns. It is not easy to deal with this disease for them anymore than it is for us.
And don't forget others like our favorite waitresses, hair stylists, manicurists, dry cleaners, cleaning ladies, etc. all of whom make our lives so much more pleasant and less demanding. If they were not in my life, easing the many demands of everyday living I would be a lot less functional and a whole lot less pleasant!
Of course at the top of the list are my family and friends and co-workers who on a daily basis give of themselves to keep me going, keep me strong, keep me fighting the good fight. Without their support, compassion and vigilant advocacy I would not be where I am today - still doing great despite 20+ years with RA!
I am wishing all of you, my friends and colleagues and those who are kind enough to read these articles and my blog the very best during this season of gratitude. Thanks to each of you for your input, support, kindness and compassion. You are the best!
On a scale of 1(low) to 5(high), how difficult is it for you to talk about having RA?