I felt defeated but I know this setback will help me in the end

My RA recently took a turn for the worse in my knee, but I am still fine. The only real impact is that I can no longer walk very far without experiencing pain, so being in college and having to walk across campus to class was no longer an option. So I started the very emotional process of talking with my doctor about obtaining a disability parking placard. Sure I had casually mention to my mother on several occasions that I could technically get one, but I am 21 and I knew in my heart that it would be devastating if I actually needed it. So when I did need it, I cried, I cried for days. I wanted to drop out of school instead of having to deal with getting disability parking. It was not that the process was difficult or stressful. It was that I felt that if I got the placard I was accepting defeat, and that my disease had finally won.

But I can now say that after having my placard for only a week, I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner. Sure people give me funny looks, but now that I am being good to my knee my body is thanking my for it. My knee pain has lessened and I now have so much less anxiety about making it to and from class. I know that what feels like a step backward is actually a step forward in my treatment, and that I cannot let my worries or the concerns of others get in the way of my health.

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