My Own Reality

It's confession time.

I usually don't worry about what others think of me. I've noticed the older I get the less I care about what people are saying behind my back!

The one thing I try not to post too much about is my daily reality of living with arthritis. My fear is that if I write too much about it I will come across as always complaining or a whiner. Neither of those is appealing. To you or to me!

I started blogging when I was physically and emotionally spent. God knew I needed an outlet for my pain. I didn't even know what a blog was at the time! But step by step He helped me through and before long I was posting and making wonderful friends!

And what an encouragement you have all been! You've been there for me when my father died. When I had my first kidney stone. Then my second. And the third! And you lifted me up in prayer many times for my hip surgeries and other concerns I've had throughout the past.

I guess what I am seeking is maybe understanding of what I live with from day to day. I want a chance to express my pain, my frustrations and my accomplishments. And I can through this wonderful world I call Blogville.

I have been absent from Blogville for many days now because I had a major flare up with my arthritis. I spent a week sitting on the bed while others fed me and kept me going until I could move again. No fun for me or for those that have to take care of me.
When I mention arthritis do you think of it as the kind old people get? You know, the aches and pains we have here and there. Even some of you younger folks are feeling it too, aren't you? You know what I'm talking about!

Well, that is not the kind I have. I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) when I was ten years old. I am now forty three. Do I act my age? No! I use the excuse that I have juvenile arthritis so I am allowed to be immature. ;o) And sometimes I laugh at the most inappropriate times. Again, the juvenile excuse gets played. But that in itself is a whole other post!

Okay, so I guess what I want you to know about me is that:

1. I hurt 24/7/365. Sometimes it is all over my body and sometimes it's only three of four joints giving me fits. The pain is always there. There is no escape from it. So while I tend to keep a smile on my face once in awhile there's a grimace or two.

2. My range of motion in any of my joints is severely limited. I am unable to wash my hair without the use of a handy dandy gadget my hubby made for me. I cannot put on my own socks or shoes. Which really I don't mind because I like to be barefoot! I tend to wear loose baggy clothes because that is what I am able to put on myself. Big deal, I was never into fashion anyway! And if I have an itch I may ask you to scratch it because more than likely I will not be able to get to it. Thanks in advance!

3. When I shop I always get the electric scooter. I used to be self concious of it, but now I just want to enjoy my time out and find as many bargains as possible! And I may not be able to run a marathon or play tennis, but boy can I cheer you on! God gave me a big mouth and a great whistle!

4. And because I am slow in the moving department this means that I can sit and listen to you. I can pray with you. I can be your shoulder to cry on or your friend when you need to vent. I'm a great friend that way!

5. If I post about my aches and pains please just bare with me. Blogging is one way to release my frustrations without unleashing them on my family. You have a choice whether to read it or not! I'm not looking for sympathy. I do know and understand that there are so many others facing far more difficult challenges than I ever will. I know that and I am thankful that God hasn't given me more than I can handle. He keeps His promises! And without my Lord and Saviour I would never be able to keep laughing through my tears. I give Him all the glory for He is good to me, even though I don't deserve it.

Thank you for caring about me and being my friend. I really do love all of you that stop by to see me! You mean more to me than you'll ever know. Really.


Faith said...

I am so glad you stopped by my blog today. I haven't been browsing much either.
I had no idea this was the kind of arthritis you have. I know you are in pain because I knew a young man in college who also had JRA. I will keep praying for you!
AND YES! I will pray for your son and daughter. It is so hard for our children isn't it? This world is tough. It is tough for us seasoned Christians and even tougher for our kids. Satan wants them...but...I cling to the verse from Proverbs which says "Train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it". Or something like that...my Scripture memorization is lacking! Point is: that is a promise from God I believe. our children are in His Hands....we need to keep pressing in..and lifting them up...and I believe they will come to the Lord.

Goofy Girl said...

I can't imagine how hard the pain must be, so I don't mind at all if you want to complain. :) You're allowed!

Thanks for your thoughts about my Grandpa. We recently had to put him in a nursing home because he just was wandering around too much and couldn't keep him safe with my parents.

The Boyds Family said...

Hi! I found your blog through Debbie at Family of Four. As I was reading your post, I was smiling inside - not because of your pain, but because your post actually applies to something I was listening to on the way home today and I believe that God brought me here so I could share it with you.

Call me crazy --- I get that a lot.

Anyway, I have been listening to a CD in my car on the way to and from work each day. This CD is about stress and things that we can do to help reduce the amount of stress in our lives and live a more relaxed, healthier life.

JUST TODAY she talked about people who write. (BTW. SHE is a doctor and speaker on health/stress) She was talking about studies that have been done which prove that people who write about their feelings/diseases/pains/etc. can lessen their illness.

Point being. Writing about it probably isn't going to cure your aches and pains but if it can help reduce the amount of pain you are in then why not write about it??? After all, this is your blog and you get to chose what to write about. :)

Sorry I rambled...I tend to do that sometimes. ha!

Take Care!

DidiLyn said...

Amy, I'm Diane and I just happened by your blog today. Glad I did. Nice to meet you. I like your attitude and your relationship to our Savior.
I'm sorry that you hurt so much. I know that someday you won't, but you already know that. I bet there are so many things you could teach the rest of us about patience and acceptence and enduring.
I'll be back to visit. Keep bloggin', sistah.

Jose said...

Wow, I just came to commend you on your picking Ford over Chevy as I am a Ford guy and drive a Mustang too, but your post has touched me. Isn't it wonderful about being a blogger, the way I see it it's your blog so you can whine all you want, it's up to us reders to read or not. I hope your pain subsides.

Sandy said...

Hey Amy, I was wondering why you haven't posted in awhile. UGH the annoying JRA......I can not imagine what that must be like to
have that constant source of pain. You may have pain in that old body of yours ( I use the term old loosely, since I will turn 44 tomorrow). But you do have a young, joyful and precious mind! And if I did ever run a marathon I'd want you on my team cheering me on. God certainly does use you despite the physical difficulties.
Praying for you.......
Sandy @Jesus and Dark Choc.

Christine said...

Hi Amy!

I can't even imagine the pain you must be feeling, and please don't feel like we don't want to hear it, that's what we are here for, for you!! I don't, or hope it doesn't sound like I post about Josh's bloodsugars all the time either, or how tired I get from dealing with it, that I know what you mean.

Wish I was there to make everything feel better for you!

Marissa went to school with a young boy who had Juevenille Arthritis, it hurt for him to just walk. and he was so little.

BIG HUGS Amy! I hope your pain is a little less today!

De said...

Isn't it amazing that while we try to keep our blogs cheerful and light, we never actually share our deepest struggles and burdens? I have been keeping away from my own blog because I can't find a way to keep it very positive right now. Thank you for sharing. It was not "heard" as whining but explaining to us so we have understanding. Praying for you my friend.
~Blessings always,

marina said...

amy, I am so gald you came by my post today and please let me know when you give your testimeony.
I tried to eamil you but notice that you didn't have an email address. I can understand some of the pain you are going through my mother in law had lups for 20 years I saw her suffer and her ups and downs she live to be 83.
I feel like we have alot in commen I too started blogging right after I had surgey last year and then I was told in June I had Espteen Barr Virus and now I have an ucler I just want to be well but every time I start getting well I get hit again. my immume system is down and I am trying so hard to bring it back up I pray these is only just a sesons at first I would listen to my body and when it would say sleep I would but then I notice I shut myself off from friends b/c I was too tried to go out so I started pushing myself again and I got sick again I don't blog about it too much in fact I think these is the fist time I really talk about it. I too don't want to sound like a whiner ,but I am hear for you sister with all my heart when ever you need me just email me or post on my blog I am a beat away form you and the first tiem I meet you although I have never seen you I thought how beauitful you are.love marina

Tea Time said...

A dear friend and neighbor sent me a link this morning to your story. God bless you for sharing your journey! Recently I was diagnosed with a rare form of RA that will most likely lead to classic RA. It has been devastating on so many levels. People are very familiar with cancer and how to help (I'm a cancer survior, too), but this is largely misunderstood, and it seems to be a hidden disease. I have never known anyone with it, so I have felt very alone.

I did find a website for support and encouragement that seemed different from others. You might find their forum interesting. The site is called The Road Back Foundation, and the forums have several mothers of children with JRA. Your insites would be so helpful. It is at www.roadback.org. Email me if you would like to know more about it.

May God bless and keep you and your family. Thanks again for opening your heart to share!

Amy said...

Hello Tea Time,

I would e-mail you, but I don't know how to contact you! I am going to look up the website though and take a peek around.

I'm sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis, but please know you are not alone! I would love to share my story with you and I would love to listen to yours and be an encouragement. I sure hope you see this! Until then, Amy

Kailani said...

You are a true inspiration. I don't know how you stay so strong. Makes me feel so silly for complaining about my trivial woes. I'm striving to be more like you!


Shonda said...

You're an inspiration! I have a friend/neighbor who struggles with RA. She lives her faith in front of me day by day.

Blessings in Christ-

Michelle said...

wow Amy is that an xray of your hands?! How do you even type...it seems like it would be very painful. I don't think it would ever come across as complaining or whining if you posted about your daily struggles with RA. It is your reality and no one else knows what you are going through but you. If you're having a bad day - post about it - it's your blog and you can say what you want! Thank you for sharing a part of yourself and what you go through; I really had no idea.

In my search for freebies I came across this site: http://www.zingiberrx.com/send_mail.php It says the product helps with RA too; you can request a free sample. I'm not sure if that is something worth trying or not, but I hope you don't mind me mentioning it.