Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sometimes These Things Just Happen...

Well, since this is a place where I confess all my deepest secrets, I think it is only fitting that I mention that I am falling in love with my physical therapist.

She is in her sixties, and I'm pretty sure she is married...to a man, and I've never had any lesbian tendencies before now...

But all that aside...damn my knees feel good!

Do you think she will have me?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Discussion Update

Hey Guys,

I figured out how we're going to do the book discussion (Yay!!!), but I have had so many people express interest that if you guys don't mind, I'm going to move it to the end of the month in order to give everyone time to read the novel, including Wren whom I just sent the novel to today. :)

If anyone else needs the novel, comment here. Maybe someone else has a copy they are ok to part with. If you tell the post office you are sending a novel, they discount the normal postage rate. It is ony a few cents.

So once again, the book discussion is for Diane Chamberlain's novel linked on the left, and I will begin the discussion on March 30th.

I also added an new link of the week. (RA Mamma's link was added to the permanent blog roll.) The new link is a really cute blog that I enjoy. It is written by a female doctor whom is also a Mom with a lot of great parenting tips. I think a lot of you would enjoy that blog if you want to check it out. I love looking for new sites and blogs that you guys might like as much as I do. I know there are the usual blogs we all have come to know and love, but there are also a lot of fresh new ones I'm finding that provide unique perspectives. I hope you guys like 'em. And if you find a cool site, let me know!!!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

With Friends Like These...

I'm warning you know. Look out. This is going to be a bad one.

If you are offended later, I don't want to hear it, because I'm warning you now that I could possibly anger someone, but then again, being that you are "My peeps," I somehow think you'll totally get this.

And truly, this can't be held in. I am LIVID, and I suspect that many of you are too.

I am livid because I have been hearing THIS for the past two years, and the last person who told me was either just the straw that broke the camel's back, or else when I considered the source, it just made me feel enraged for all the inappropriate things I DON'T say to him, which I am going to list here and now.

O.k. so let me back up...In fact, let me back WAY up...and I promise, when I finally DO write the thing I'm tired of hearing, I'll BOLD it for ya since I backed up on everyone. (If you think that is frustrating, you probably don't want to get behind me when I'm driving.)

Seven years ago, I began dating the world's sweetest man. He is a very intelligent, considerate and well-respected man, but he is also a rather shy and introverted man, a wallflower if you will, uncomfortable in social situations, bookish, careful with his words and just all around not the type of man you would expect to date...say... Dance Club Barbie.

And as luck would have it at that time, I was Dance Club Barbie.

Or at least I was the outgoing, fashion plate, social calendar overbooked, sports car driving blonde on whom he happened to develop a crush.

So when the two of us indeed began dating, many of our friends, co-workers and even family members sorta scratched their heads at the rather unlikely pair that we had become. Most people chalked it up to "Opposites Attract," or something like that.

And perhaps that was a bit of our case. Who Knows? All I do know is that attracted I was. I hadn't ever fallen so much in love, nor so deeply, nor had I ever experienced the kind of chemistry that was present between the man who would become my future husband and me. And yes, that kind of chemistry STILL exists all these years later; I can assure you. Seven year Itch? Not in this household. The only man I itch for is my tall and handsome husband.

But seven years ago, during our dating years, I imagine my husband probably developed a bit of a complex, when everyone appeared shocked that he had landed such a party girl. I can still, rather satisfyingly, see the look of shock on his family's faces when I walked in to meet them on his arm. His brothers jaws promptly hit the ground, and he swears they formed a new found respect for him on the spot.

So imagine our surprise several years later when all the, "Wow, man. You must be smooth to land her. How did you do it?" comments turned to, "Wow, lady. You are so lucky to have such a great husband with a good job whom is so devoted to you even though you are sick."

(Even though you are sick - those words BURN into me now, but we'll get to that.)

But let's stick with the past for a moment more, because I would like to point out that when the perception changed from my husband being lucky to land me to him being some sort of hero for putting up with my disease, we thought it was hilarious. The two of us spent a few years laughing about how people could switch their opinions so readily when really we had both felt all along that we were both just as lucky, just as in love with each other from day one until now.

Alas, every joke loses its luster. And after six years of hearing their not so veiled comments, I find that I'm not laughing so much anymore.

Perhaps it is because I have heard it for way too long, or perhaps (and this is what I suspect is the truth), the disease has progressed to the point where my husband actually does carry an increasingly bigger portion of the load.

But whatever the reason, I heard it again recently and I LOST it. I logged onto facebook, with hope upon hopes, that the person who spewed that awful comment my way would recognize their words and know my retaliation was meant for them. I wrote, "If you say to me that I am lucky to have such a devoted spouse because I am ill, I might say back to you that you are lucky to have such a devoted spouse even though you are hideously fat and ugly."

Now, I have said this before, and I will say it again. I have no beef with fatness. I have battled weight before myself. It is simply that the same person who made that insensitive comment to me happens to be marrying a person that is very large. My husband happens to think I am very lovely, beautiful, kind and intelligent (and we all know I'm sassy.) So perhaps my disability is not a "thing" for him. Perhaps, in fact, he feels lucky that disabled or not, a woman of my particular kind finds him so appealing.

And so while I know many of my friends were, in fact, offended by my FB statement, I think it was important for them to see the superbitch in me fly for once, to know that their little sly comments are NOT making it under the radar. I see the insult, intended or not, in their words, and I am not going to endure it anymore. Because you see, a person may have the most perfect, gold-plated, hard as steel joints there are out there, but I'm sorry to say that does NOT make them a catch. So yes, for every time you wonder aloud why my husband stays with his "sick wife," I may have to wonder aloud how you stay with your dumb one.

Or crazy one.

Or pastie white, crooked teeth having, pants hiked up on her waist one.

Or infertile one.

Yes, one person who made this statement to us has been struggling with her own fertility issues for YEARS. Do you KNOW how hard it was for me not to point out her own failings in the face of her obvious rudeness.

But I would never. Because let's face it, most of us never WOULD say these things to other humans. So then tell me again why THEY feel it is appropriate for them to wonder at my husband's motives aloud.

The bottom line is that some of us may indeed have RA, or MS or lupus or Cancer, and that does not mean our spouses are STUCK with us. It means they love us in spite of our challenges, or because of our integrity when faced with such challenges. It means that yes, they are honoring their vows, but they are doing it with joy and love and even passion and lust, not because they are candidates for Sainthood.

So I say, the next time someone has the gall to wonder aloud how anyone puts up with your having RA, ask them why anyone puts up with their ass period!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Couple of Notes Before My Next Post

Just a couple of housekeeping items...

First, I posted a new link on the left. It is a new blog I found where a young woman with RA is seeking info. on being pregnant with RA. I was hoping some of you could stop by and share your pregnancy experiences with the blogger. She is a nice woman with an interesting blog.

The address is: http://ramamma.blogspot.com

Second, A lot of you have been interested in the idea of the book discussion. I was thinking we could aim for the middle of the month, the fifteenth. So if you haven't read Diane Chamberlain's novel on the left, and you are interested in the book discussion, go ahead and read it. (Especially those of you with your fancy Kindles. *grin*) Remember, the protagonist of the book has RA, and this is one of the only works of fiction I found where this is the case. So it is a really worthwhile read even if you don't wish to take part of the book discussion.

O.k. I will close out now and get back to work on my next post! Thanks Everyone!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Lesson Learned

It is one of our fears, I think, all of ours about using the "d" word. We are afraid that we will use the "disabled" word, and someone will look us square in the face and laugh their heads off.

And it happened.

To me.

This week.

I started tanning. It is something I do about this time every year. I find that I can no longer wait for Spring to start, so around the end of Februrary, I attempt to jumpstart my Spring by lying under some lamps for 10 minutes every other day. I only go for a few weeks, and in that time, Spring starts, and I blend seamlessly from taking in my sun indoors to taking it in outdoors. Try it sometime. I bet you'll find the Vitamin D boosts your mood AND BONUS: I ALWAYS feel like my RA pain is lessened. No lie!!! There is something to the whole boosting of our Vitamin D levels!

But I digress.

Anyway, anyone knows that the only problem with indoor tanning is the dreaded "Prom Season." Which is now. Right now. All those high school girls lining up daily for days upon end trying to, in effect, change the DNA of their skin-tone from some sort of Euro-ancestry to that of the Latin descendant type. That is how dark these girls get!!!

Anyway, as a tanner, you know that in the prom season you MUST book your days a week in advance if you hope to steal 10 minutes from these prom queen hopefuls. And God forbid you arrive late one day to your appointment because your husband gets caught late in a meeting, and you almost break down in tears at the thought of NOT getting your 10 minutes of sunlight because you have come to depend on that little bit of sunshine in your day to break up the gray drudgery of these winter months hanging on way too long.

So you approach the nineteen year old, gum popping, orange streaked desk clerk and you BEG...you BEG for her to fit you in anywhere!!!

But she says the thing we all fear, "All we have is the stand-up."

Ugh. The dreaded stand up. No one can say why, but standing in a tiny bright room full of lamps feels way too much like actual work, while lying down surrounded by those same bright lamps feels like a mini-vacation. And why do those tanning salons even CARRY the stand up beds??? Everyone I know hates HATES the stand-ups, and they are NEVER booked.

So, like you, I said what you might when confronted with the fact that I would have to stand, STAND, for a full-ten minutes on very bad knees (did I mention that my knees are VERY bad right now), and I wouldn't have ANYthing to lean on in that hell-hole hall of light to take the weight off of those very swollen knees.

I said, rather quietly, "I cannot use the stand-up. I'm disabled."

And that is when it happened.

This 19 year old, going on 49 due to her year round exposure to sun lamps, literally cackles, CACKLES in my face!!! She laughs wickedly as if I just told the funniest joke she ever heard.

Evidently, the fact that she has witnessed me WALKING into the tanning salon on several occasions means that she cannot rationalize the word disabled as it applies to me.

I stood there, blinking. Stunned.

As I said, we have all feared this day, but not one of us ever mentioned how we would react if it actually happened.

So I did the only thing I could think to do in the face of such a nightmare, I took the cowardly way out. I silently took the keys to the stand-up room, knowing that I'm tiny enough to actually sit on that lamp-lit room's floor without touching the walls. I sat Indian Style, not really getting a great tan that day, but at least not torturing my knees.

I sat inside the bright room contemplating what it meant to be me, having joints damaged to the point that drs. are telling me I will not return to work, and yet walking into a place looking to the whole world as if my abilities are no different than their own.

As I sat, I formed an idea. I knew it was going to take courage to pull it off, but I also knew that if I could do it, I could make a statement that would be far mor effective than my wimpy, "I'm disabled" explanation, which I see now lacked the power of my own conviction.

I returned the next day to the salon and did something I have NEVER done before in m life. EVER. I wore, in public, my very UGLY, EMBARASSING TO ME, NO WAY TO GET AROUND 'EM KNEE-BRACES, the ones the dr. ordered with the bars on either side, that on football players look tough, but on my small frame, dwarf me and make me feel about as sexy as a young Forrest Gump. Even my husband has not seen me wearing these things.

I wore them to the salon, and before the girl even registered my face, she was holding doors for me and asking if I needed help. And she looked so lost as to what to do with me and my braces, that I took pity on her and said simply, "I need a bed, but I cannot use the stand-up because my knees are bad."

She said, "Of course."

And it was then I realized that I never needed the knee braces, I only needed to find my voice, my ability to explain in the face of the ugly laughter.

Honestly. None of us are EVER going to be able to control how others act, so all we can do is control how we react.

I know this now.

And I have a killer tan.

Watch out, world!