Am I a slacker?

Where in the world is Patti the writer?  I’ve not been doing much of anything, to tell the truth.  Well, working.  Sometimes.  But, writing?  Yeah, not so much.  I come home from work exhausted and in pain.  Most days, it’s all I can do to get the basics done.  You know, dishes, laundry, feeding the cats, cleaning the litter.  I tell myself I don’t feel up to writing.  I don’t feel like sitting in front of my computer and trying to come up with something to write about.  And I most certainly don’t feel like doing the actual writing.

But, the thing is, writing has always been my escape.  When I was younger, it was my emotional escape.  Why in the world would I refuse to use it as a means of escaping the physical pain I’m in every day?  I think, for most writers, the act of writing allows us to focus on something else.  And I could definitely stand to direct my focus somewhere other than the pain.  So why haven’t I been doing it?

I’ve been feeling somewhat alone in this battle with arthritis.  I’ve spent most of my adult life living by myself.  For most of that time, it’s worked well for me.  But lately there have been times when I find myself wishing I had someone here to help me out, to carry some of the load.  Don’t get me wrong, I have amazing friends.  Many of them have offered to help me out, to go to appointments with me, pick up prescriptions, and so on.  And my step-sister is just the best.  I know she’d do anything I need her to do.  I’m having a procedure done on my shoulders next week.  Originally, the doctor was going to do a more invasive procedure and I was going to need someone to drive me home.  Kathy offered to do that for me.  What I didn’t tell anyone was that they also told me I’d need someone to stay with me for 24 hours.  That just seemed like such an imposition.

So, what?  I think I’m better than other people?  That I’d do that for them, but wouldn’t give them the opportunity to do the same thing for me?  Or that they would turn their backs on me when I needed them?  Or that I don’t deserve their help?  I don’t know.

See?  This is another thing writing does.  It allows me to look at myself and try to figure out what in the world is going on.  Why do I behave the way I do.  Why am I so hesitant to ask for help?  I know no one likes to have to ask for help.  I know it isn’t easy for anyone.  And maybe, just maybe, I don’t want to look too closely at my feelings, my fears, my desires.  If I acknowledge those feelings, then I kind of feel obligated to do something about them.  And it’s a lot easier to ignore them than it is to deal with them.  Not healthier, just easier…in the short-term.

I think it’s time to get back to writing because I need to figure out how to live with this pain.  I don’t want to just survive it.  I want to be happy in spite of it.

Deep in thought...

Deep in thought…

 

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Atrium inside Mayo Clinic Gonda Building, Roch...

Atrium inside Mayo Clinic Gonda Building, Rochester, Minnesota (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, okay…that’s not exactly the truth.  What I should have said was that I have yet to see the specialist so I’m not really sure where we go from here as far as the medical treatment goes…but, as you can see, that would be entirely too long for a title.

However, I do have information…I had no idea there was so much info out there about RA.  (Makes sense since I never really gave it a thought before, right?)  My first stop was the website of the Mayo Clinic and there’s an abundance of information there.  I’ve also visited the sites of several other hospitals (Cleveland Clinic being one since I have a friend who has a son who was treated there for several years and I know how well-respected their pain management program is) to gather info.  I’m trying not to become immersed in this…I’d prefer it not control my life.  But knowledge is power….who said that, anyhow?

And then there are the blogs!  Oh my goodness, I had no idea how many wonderful people are willing to share their journey with us.  It really does help to hear from folks who live with this from day to day.  Doctors are one thing, having gone to school and been in practice for a while, but people who live with rheumatoid arthritis have a unique perspective.  Those who are in the trenches are sometimes better able to provide encouragement and suggestions.

After doing some research, I realized how dumb I was.  When the doctor told me it was rheumatoid arthritis, I thought it was no big deal.  I’d be able to pop a few pills and continue on my merry way (and that could be what happens…will have to see how it runs its course).  Then I began reading.  Whoa!  I had no idea it could be so serious.  But, I’m trying to remain positive…no use worrying about things that may never happen.  See the specialist and then proceed from there.  Hey, really what else is there to do?