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Reconciliation Part 1

I’ve talked about my rocky relationship with my parents before. Especially when it concerns my Arthritis

I’ve written about the day I got my first cane and my dad’s harsh judgement. 
It’s been really hard, not having my parents’ support or understanding. 
It never made me angry with them. More sad, that they couldn’t be there for me. 
Well, last week my mom had major surgery. A hysterectomy to be exact. 
I knew before what a hysterectomy was, so when my mom called me to tell me she’d be going in for surgery in two days, I knew of the difficult recovery she’d have to face. 
So when she got released from the hospital after a couple days, I drove over to my parents’ house, prepared to take care of her. 
I know she wasn’t expecting it, but to be honest, I knew I’d do it even before she asked. 
Not because it was my job as her daughter– she hadn’t taken care of me when I needed it most. 
Not because she deserved it- because she defintely didn’t.
Not even because I wanted revenge or to make her feel guilty– show her what she could’ve, but didn’t do for me. 
I did it because it’s the right thing to do and I always knew if the roles were reversed- which they now were– I would take care of someone who needed help. 

I’m not a stranger to needing help. Not one bit.
I’m a disabled, sick girl with Rheumatoid Arthritis
There’s so many things I can’t do on my own. There’s so many things I need help with day in and day out. 
So when someone else needs help, when someone is sick. I know. I know the feeling
I know what it feels to be in pain. To not be able to do things you can normally do.
That’s why I did what I did. That’s why I chose to take care of my mother when she was in pain, unable to bend over, unable to take a shower or wash her hair, unable to cook or clean or drive to the pharmacy. 
I did it because I know how it feels and because I know how it feels, I knew I could help her.

Celebrating the victories BIG and small

What do you like to do to celebrate yourself and your victories? 

I think it’s so important to celebrate the victories B I G and small
It makes me feel good about myself. Good about my place in this world. 
It makes me feel like I’ve conquered something I couldn’t do before. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the disappointments of having a Chronic Illness. Especially when you have a family and responsibilities. On days where I’m feeling less pain than normal, I find myself catching up on chores I wasn’t able to do the day before. 
I often spend the “good days” folding laundry, changing the bedding, cleaning the bathroom, grocery shopping, etc. 

“Bad days” aren’t spend relaxing in bed and watching TV as most people would think. They’re spent covered in Ice Packs from head to toe, laying as still as possible as not to aggrevate the joints that are frozen in place. Attempting to sleep, exhausted from the agony my body is experiencing, but unable to get a wink in. Holding my pee till I can work up the nerve to hobble to the bathroom. Making that trip worth the physical exertion by combining my need to empty my bladder, brush my teeth and my hair, put in contacts, shower,  and change into a new set of pjs (ones I can put on by myself) into one trip down the hall to the bathroom. 

Spectacular sunrise over Miami Beach. Photo © William Wetmore: facebook.com/NjordPhoto







But as a wise person once told me, sometimes it’s important to “just sit back and enjoy the good days. Instead of spending my good day doing chores, even if it’s for just a moment, take the time to celebrate it. 
I like to reward myself and my ability to keep moving forward with a chocolate treat or a small gift like a book I’ve been wanting. Sometimes just an experience, an experience not clouded by pain, like laying in the grass, watching the sunset, thinking to myself, “I did it.” 

There’s something so satisfying about dressing up on a day that I feel good. Most days I don’t have a choice but to dress in pajamas. On “Ok” days I take it up a notch by wearing an actual bra and a tee. So when I’m feeling good it’s important to me that I style my hair, put on make-up, and a nice outfit…even if it does take me three hours… 😉 

It’s easy to get caught up in everyday life, especially when you feel like you’re always playing catch up. But for just a minute, an hour, a day, taking the time to paint my nails, watch the Sunset, or take a long, relaxing shower makes me feel not just like the girl with Arthritis, it makes me feel like a woman, a human being- just like everyone else- again. 


And for the “great days,” there’s always skydiving! 😀

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