I grabbed my cane and went out shopping to the fresh produce stand for the first time since the pandemic.
I really needed to find out if I could do this on my own. (I have Whole Foods deliver to my house).
I barely made it back to my car after several times of almost falling. (I have several spinal issues along with the RD).
Losing independence with RA
Driving home I had this overwhelming feeling of fear and helplessness. I realized that I cannot function independently anymore, and that's not going to change.
I live alone. I am an only child of parents who were also only children, so no living family.
Michael died 9 years ago and I have no children (had cancer 2x now). I have no local support system; everyone has either moved away to be near family or has passed on.
I am, as my 'name' indicates, an introvert, so this has never been an issue for me before. I've always been fiercely independent and don't quite know how to adjust to this "new normal."
I'm not talking about getting things done. I hire people for yard work, house cleaning, etc, so no problem there.
It took a while, but over the years I've come to terms with having to give up my art studio, my guitar and piano playing (hands don't work anymore), and my daily walks in the local parks.
But I don't seem to be able to cope with this most recent loss. Or the fear that comes with driving (accident? car dies?) when I can no longer walk or stand for long.
The mental side of RA
Right now I'm overwhelmed with deep sadness and hopelessness.
I do have some great friends around the country, but I know they are tired of my complaining and don't really understand anyway. They just worry and offer impractical suggestions (bless their hearts).
I guess I just needed to write this out as a way to acknowledge how I'm feeling and what my fears are. No more dancing around the issue in my head; no more denial.
Someone who thrived on doing things on my own can no longer do things alone. Not how I'd hoped to be at 70.
Does your RA impact you financially?