Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Complete Happiness: My Rheumatoid Arthritis Has Come a Long Way!

Yesterday the weather warmed up after the snow arrived making it bearable to be outside for long periods of time. I couldn’t resist taking advantage of this warmer weather and the new snow. After walking Izzy and shoveling the driveway with Alexander (something I couldn’t do last winter), we loaded up the car with sleds and Izzy and headed to our “secret” sled hill.

Alexander and Sophia.  We took advantage of being homeschoolers and made it to the hill before anyone else. 

When we got to our sled hill, I attached Izzy to a long leash that I use when it is snowing so she can frolic in the snow ahead of me. I had planned to stay and sled with the kids, but Izzy had other plans for us. She was so excited to be somewhere new where she could play in the fresh snow. She took off in a run and I was swept up in her excitement and ran with her. I was laughing out loud as we ran thinking, “This is how Santa must feel when the reindeers take off with the sled.” It was exhilarating. We ran up hills and through trees. My legs were so tired, but I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to enjoy this time of complete happiness. I wanted to run with Izzy and feel her freedom and I did.

 I wish I could have captured the excitement radiating off of Izzy.  I love to watch her run and hop through the snow.  It is a joy like no other. 

As we were returning to the kids, my laughter turned to tears. All the sudden I was caught up in a realization of how far I have come since last year. Last winter walking through any amount of snow was exhausting and painful. Last year sledding was not an option as my knees were too swollen to sit down on the sled and getting up by myself was impossible. Yesterday I was running in at least five inches of snow with the only pain coming from pure exhaustion that one gets when running through piles of fresh snow. I suddenly realized that I was not sitting on the sidelines any more. I was living life the way I want to live it. I was having fun! I think Izzy realized this too and didn’t let me stop. She knew I had it in me and pushed me on a little further.

This sweet Border Collie that made me so happy yesterday started off our day by stealing my breakfast sausage out of a cast iron pan while it was cooking and knocking the pan to the floor.  This was the first time she has ever stolen food while it was cooking.  She was banned from the kitchen the rest of the morning.  

After the sledding was over and we were all pooped out, the four of us took the long way back to the car so we could enjoy the trees, the snow and the quiet of the park. I shared my feelings of accomplishment and happiness with Alexander and Sophia. Sophia said, “Last year lifting a cup of tea was hard some days. Now you can do everything.” It is true. There is little I can’t do these days. Coming from where I was to where I am brings me pure, complete happiness.  I have been given a wonderful gift of health and I plan to use it.

 The always gorgeous Sophia. 

My adorable Alexander.

The completely happy me.