I don’t know life without RA, it’s literally all I’ve ever known.
Diagnosed at the age of two my parents were told I would be wheel chair bound by ten years old, the doctors were wrong. At nearly forty years old I am still walking!
My Mom always said, “you can do whatever you set your mind to. Can’t is not in your vocabulary”
Even at 8 years old, legally blind and barely able to get out of bed in the morning she STILL said, “you CAN do this!”
As the disease attacked joint after joint, and even my eyes, I was expected to hold my head high and walk on.
Oh, I did!! I was proud and brave.
It wasn’t until I began using devices for the blind that I began to retreat. It was grace 7 and life was awkward enough without having giant enlarged text books, magnifying glasses, and a talking watch. To top it all off I had a special aide who followed me around. I was deemed, “blind gimp” by the same kids that had cheered me on in elementary.
I was devastated. What had changed so much in one summer???
My only way to cope was to defy my aide, to tell her I hated her. To lose my giant books and to break my magnifying glass. Get rid of the things that made me stand out.
My aide sat me down and said, “one day these things that you hate will be the things that give you strength. You will leave here and go on to great things. These people that laugh now will tell their children of the brave girl they went to school with”
That moment I began focusing on the future, I saw a grown and older me walking freely, moving with fluidity and seeing clearly. That became my dream.
Now 38 years after my diagnosis I inject myself, I take pills I administer eye drops AND I walk with much more ease than I ever did. I stand without grimacing, I am no longer legally blind and I HAVE wrists!
I am not in a chair.
I smile, I laugh, I love and I live.
I share my story, my triumphs and struggles with others in my YouTube vlog and yes, those same people that laughed now say, “I admire your courage”
I defied odds. You can too!
Check out my vlog: