The truth is I thought I had come to terms with being diagnosed with an incurable, progressively disfiguring disease a long time ago. I considered my RA and I off the Ferris Wheel of denial, anger, bargaining and sadness. I had moved on to acceptance!
In a wheelchair, out of a wheelchair.
With a cane, without a cane.
Working a job, and “disabled.”
I had learned to love myself and appreciate all the facets of ME with RA on the side. The good and the bad, my RA and me had a ying and yang. YAY!
Then I became a mother.
And a newfound hatred of this piece of crap disease began brewing inside me before I even had time to recognize it or nip it in the bud. Now, it’s bubbling to the surface in surprising tears I can’t hold back.
I was warned of the postpartum RA flare, told to prepare my support system, told to come up with a treatment plan with my doctor. And I did!
I did all of that, but the one thing I forgot to do was to prepare myself.
For the disconnection between my love and longing to hold my son and my stiff elbows and painful shoulders that won’t cooperate.
I forgot to forgive myself for not being a “perfect” mother and to ask my friends and family to remind me when I forget that there is no such thing…
I forgot to tell myself that people lie on Social Media.
That commercials that say “Moms don’t take sick days” are just Marketing to sell NyQuil, not truths.
And everyone has bad days, even moms without RA.
The truth is I’m still learning. I don’t have it all figured out. With every milestone I experience and every new obstacle I face, and every year that passes with this lifelong disease *eye roll..* I come closer to finding the reason I’ve been given this rather distasteful set of cards.
But like Rafiki from Lion King says…