For a long time I didn’t see or even speak to my Mother.
Just knowing I was going to see her would bring on the worst feelings in the world.
It was like a combination of anxiety and resentment building up in the pit of my stomach.
My mom had me young. She was 17 and in her first semester of college when she got pregnant with me. Then two days after her 18th birthday, she married my dad, dropped out of college and moved to New York to have me.
So, a few years ago when she decided to go back to college and fulfill her dream of becoming an Accountant, I was supportive. I thought it was a great idea and very brave.
I wasn’t at all jealous of the fact that I- 21 years old at the time- couldn’t go to college because I was too sick from my Rheuamtoid Arthritis. I had always said how I felt my life was “on hold”, my youth “wasting away” while I fought this seemingly “old person’s disease.”
So when she called me one day hysterically crying, I wasn’t just surprised, I was annoyed.
She explained to me how her college had suspended her Financial Aid due to the F grade she received in the class she never finished back in Fall of 1990.
She sobbed, “Now I have to wait one semester, before returning to college because of a mistake I made 21 years ago!”
Slighted, but still with a patient attitude, I explained that even though this was disappointing news that it would be ok and she could return to college NEXT semester. No big deal. She’d only have to wait 5 more months before moving on with accomplishing her dream. I even told her to think of it as a break! Time to prepare and relax before jumping into something new and challenging.
Of course, this meant nothing to her and no matter how hard I tried to reason with her on how they had only suspended her Financial Aid for ONE semester as punishment, she continued to cry and complain.
So… I thought I’d try to relate with her. Make her feel like she wasn’t alone.
I explained my own situation with RA and how disappointed I was that all my friends were graduating with Masters while I was stuck at home, sick, unable to accomplish my own dream.
I explained how even though I did get down about it sometimes, I had hope that one day (..who knows when..) I’d hopefully feel better enough to go back to college and get my degree.
I even told her, “This is only temporary. At least you know that in 5 months, you WILL get your Financial Aid and you’ll be able to go back to school.”
I don’t really remember what happened next. All I remember is that the whole conversation lasted almost 2 hours and by the end I was furious.
I told her she was a brat and that I never wanted to speak to her again before hanging up. And I didn’t speak to her again. Until now.
Luckily, I’ve still been able to do things I haven’t done in years, but even now, just two months without Orencia, I can’t sit in a chair for long periods of time anymore. I need to get up, move around, lay down, change positions because the stiffness in my spine and hips is so painful. I feel more of a difference in my extremities now, my wrists make it harder to write or even type on the computer. My toes are little swollen, painful sausages that make it difficult to sleep.
(health insurance for old people and the Disabled) I wouldn’t be able to afford these treatments that keep me out of my wheelchair.
|Look at me working out my legs! Haha!|
I can only tell you that the first week –at least– without my cane, I felt so outside myself. Like I could carry so many things at once. “So this is how normal people feel,” I thought to myself. Walking to and from places still feels so fast. It’s like when you say, “Pause the movie real quick. Let me get us some popcorn, I’ll be right back,” before, depending on many variables- like the weight of the bowl, the accessibility, my pain level, the swelling in my hands to open the package, etc- it would take me at least 10 minutes to come back. By then, I’ve forgotten what the movie is even about. Now when I say, “Pause it, let me get us some popcorn really quick,” it’s LITERALLY quick and I’m back in three minutes tops. Ha!