Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Shifting Sand of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Life With RA Is Shifting Sand

The other day, I took my kids to the beach. Well, they kinda take me now, really. I just drive.

It’s always good for a perspective boost. Look out at that horizon and realize that your problems are small – and that the world is a beautiful gift to us. Maybe it even makes us more aware of a Creator who is powerful like the waves which can’t be controlled.

These are good things. But this time, it was something less subtle that spoke to me. It was the way the ground kept disappearing beneath my feet while I stood at the shore.

We were trying to scoop up handfuls of wet sand to find shells. The waves made it hard to stand up to begin with. But, on top of that, they kept carrying away the sand beneath my feet. Hey, wait! Where am I supposed to stand?

I thought it was a lot like Rheumatoid Arthritis. It keeps taking away the place where you are used to standing. And you are left with the holes. If you don’t do something immediately, you will fall right into that beautiful ocean. You have to actually pick up each foot and replace it on the new ground.

My four year old is still figuring this all out. So he does go down, of course. Onto his backside.

When RA takes away ground, we are left tottering until we find a new place to stand. We have to literally adjust. Life is like that for every one – the need to adjust. It’s just that with Rheumatoid Arthritis, it’s more like trying to stand on the shoreline: you have to adjust again as soon as you are stabilized.

So, you adjust… and adjust… and adjust… and adjust…

How long can you stand there on the shifting sand? After a while, it was too much. I was exhausted and gave up my spot to shell hunters with healthier knees. Of course, the Rheumatoid Arthritis will not do me the courtesy of letting me walk away. So, there has to be another remedy.

As RA continues to remove and change the landscape beneath us, we must find ways to adjust repeatedly. We learn that is our reality now. For survival, we adjust: We change our medications. We look for a new doctor. We replace the doorknobs. We learn to ask for help. We learn ways to treat a new symptom…

We adjust…and adjust… and adjust…

It’s never stagnant or dull. We are not stuck in the status quo. We are always on our toes – except for when we fall on our behinds.

At least there is a great view of the horizon from the shoreline.


Lene Andersen said...

That was brilliant. Loved the metaphor with the shifting sand.

And the photo is lovely, too. I miss the ocean...

harmony said...

Well said RA Warrior...we adjust for sure. I love this post.

Kelly said...

Coming from you, that means a lot. Thanks!

Kelly said...

Thank you. All of us together - we shall be heard. ;D