I was going to write about something completely different today. I had been preparing all week to write about some very good news I’ve been wanting to share with you all.
Oh, how life suddenly throws you a curve ball.
He really was the best kitty cat in the entire world and I can’t tell you how much comfort he gave me during my school years when I suffered from depression and my Arthritis came back with a vengeance. He slept with me every single night and was truly my cat. I’ll never forget the moment he came home for the very first time, rescued by a friend from a bush near the Metro Rail. As soon as my mother walked in the door holding a cardboard box and in it this fuzzy, grey kitten with a missing toe, she said, “He’s ugly.” I, of course, protested, “No he’s not! He’s beautiful!” It was love at first sight.
The day I grew up and moved out of my parent’s house and in with my highly-allergic husband, I cried knowing I would have to leave him behind. I hoped he would be watched over and not feel replaced by my new sleeping companion. All those years before of broken hearts and puppy love, I had still always told him that he was “the only man in my life.”
The night before I took him to get put to sleep, my parents texted me and told me he hadn’t eaten in at least three days and was meowing in excruciating pain. A few weeks earlier, we had taken him to the Veterinarian to get a dental cleaning when the doctor told us he had a severe oral infection caused by his FIV and there was nothing we could do to cure or treat the virus. Even after the doctor attempted to clean out the infection as much as possible he was still having difficulty eating and was losing a lot of weight, but he had never gone this long without eating and I knew it was time.
The next morning was so strange. Kiki had always been terrified of his faux-fur lined carrier and would meow VERY loudly just being in the parking lot of the Vet’s office. But that morning, he was so quiet, not making a sound. He seemed to be at such peace, and to me, it felt as if he was almost thanking me for ending his suffering and letting him pass on with dignity.
|In Loving Memory of Kiki Bubba, 4/10/2005 – 5/4/2014
| Because I have Arthritis, I know pain. I can relate to his suffering more than anyone. Sometimes, even I feel like if there was euthanasia for people, I’d want someone who loved me to end my pain and let me die. Not many people know that RA is a potentially life-threatening illness, with complications ranging from increased risk of Cancer to inflammation of the heart muscle leading to congestive heart failure. I can’t tell you how difficult it is living with a chronic illness that lowers the quality of my life as well as the quantity of my life. This isn’t something like Cancer where I’ll suffer through illness and physical pain for a few years and then either succumb to death or become a survivor through remission. Arthritis is something that is a part of me, that is so ingrained in the immune cells of my body that there is not hope of “beating it.” Arthritis is something I have to survive with for the rest of my life and hope there will be a life-long treatment that can control my symptoms. I’m not saying people with Cancer are less than people with Arthritis. They’re not to be compared. It’s like apples and oranges. None is worst than the other. They’re both horrible and I wouldn’t trade either one for the other. Although I can say there is something about death that seems peaceful to me. I guess it’s the thought that I’ll go to heaven and God will make me perfect like Him. Finally being able run and jump without pain. I like to close my eyes and imagine that’s how Kiki is living now, chasing birds and catching lizards like he used to, without pain. And that brings me great comfort, knowing he’s happy and watching over me now.
The people who say, “Think of those who have a disease worst than you,”
are wrong. All illnesses, all diseases are not to be compared.
We are all the toughest people I know.
Today someone told me (multiples times…), “You have to think you’re going to get better to get better. Don’t be so negative. You have to stop talking about negative things. Positive things happen to positive people.”
Most anyone who knows me knows that I am a very positive person. I pride myself in being positive. It wasn’t easy to get here. It was an honest-to-God uphill battle. It took a lot of practice, hard work, and patience.
To me, being positive means accepting my pain and living life happy with who I am even though I have pain. I don’t try to be normal, because I’m not! I’m special and even though I’m not like everyone else I can be just as happy and fulfilled, if not more than those ‘normal people’! I choose to live my life knowing that God gave me this disease because he knew I could handle it and chose me specifically because He knew I would try my hardest to turn it into a positive. What’s so negative about that??
What I like to say is, “I’m not just LIVING with Arthritis, I’m THRIVING with it.”
This pain reminds me that I do have a purpose.
I think it has to do with bringing people hope.
If thoughts were letters and I had every sick, hurting, desperate, worried, hungry, sad, defeated person’s address it would say:
“You are going to get better. One day the pain will disappear and you’ll get rest. You won’t feel the hurt and frustration you feel now. You won’t be confused and desperate for answers to why this happened in the first place! The sun will rise and these dark clouds will go away—but that’s not without effort. You do your best, you do what you can and leave the rest up to God. If not for your health (because laughter truly is the best medicine), but for your sanity. You have to believe it will get better and it will, I promise! I’m not saying this because I’ve been there and I’m now on the other side. I’m telling you this because I haven’t yet and I’m still waiting. I will never stop hoping and believing that my miracle is going to pick me up and I’m going to fly away into all the dreams I’ve ever had. I will never, ever give up. You see? You’ll get there too. Even if it has to be in Heaven. One day the pain will disappear and you’ll get peace. Don’t worry, it will get better.”