Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Ability to Move Never Gets Old

Feeling loved and lucky!
My sister visiting is always a good thing.  She has always been one of my strongest supporters in life. So, as I was preparing for her trip to visit me last month, I was surprised at how many painful memories came to surface.  I remember a visit where I wasn't able to do a lot of house cleaning beforehand because I was in so much pain.  I remember feeling embarrassed at how slow I had to walk, how I struggled to drive, and how I needed to use two hands to pick up my cup of tea.  I knew I could be vulnerable with her, but when daily tasks become a challenge, it can be hard to let even those closest to us see how challenging life has become.  I also remember her visiting and going with me to pick up my first dose of a biologic and crying in the parking lot.  She asked if I was scared about the side effects of the medication.  I wasn't.  I cried because I "knew" my life was about to change for the better and after so many years in pain, I was both excited and scared.

How I "knew" my life was going to change still baffles me, but after a long hard fight against biologics, my life literally started turning around in less than two weeks. Recently I was reading an article by my good friend Lene Andersen at Health Central titled 10 Lessons I Learned From Using Biologics.  Number six on her list of ten really jumped out at me.  It wasn't only that number six supports my belief that my weight gain started when I began a biologic, but her very last sentence, "for a veteran of RA, the ability to move again never gets old," summed up exactly all the memories and feelings I was experiencing as I prepared for my sister's visit.

My daughter, husband, me, and my sister. Life is good! 

"For a veteran of RA, the ability to move again never gets old."  It has been six years exactly since I started my first biologic.  However, some days I still find myself thinking things like, "This would be an awesome dress for a day I can't button my own pants." or "Wow! Remember last time you were at this park you could barely walk." Certain times of the year, the smell or the temperature bring back exactly how I felt when my pain levels were high and I can't believe how easy it is for me to move today.  I can look back at pictures of myself and instantly remember how brave I was that day to leave the house and experience life with my family and how for days later I paid the consequences of that day out.  As I gave my house a heavy duty cleaning for my sister's visit, I remembered crying before past visits because even putting sheets on our bed was excruciating, if not impossible.  I never stop feeling amazed at where I am today to where I have been in the past.  Feeling good NEVER gets old.  And, I hope it never does.