With the peaceful passing away of my Iron Mom this week..I had a flashback of memories related to my diagnosis phase and the journey till date, which I felt like sharing…and could be an inspiration to all!

I clearly remember the day I was diagnosed with RA the first thought was how I am going to disclose it to my Mum! I knew she would be disturbed and never be able to accept it.

I remember when it was the day of her weekly visits to my place, I ensured that if I had my pain on that day I would take extra pain killers so that I am her “normal daughter”.. super active and healthy! There were times she would sense my lethargy but I would camouflage it by watching a serial with her and siting put…so she does not see me in pain.

Yes this went on for some months but I guess, the truth had to be told and after a few months Mum was made aware that I have RA…not really that she understood the intensity of the disease and her first reaction was no one in the family has Arthritis how come you? One of the main reasons was because she thought Rheumatoid Arthritis is thought to be an ‘old person’s disease’ and usually asked questions or comments like ‘but you look so healthy’ or ‘you are so young, you couldn’t possible have it’.

I continued going to office only to find out one fine day that she opted to come to my house and do the basic cooking and tidying my place and gone back to her home. This continued daily and it went for months, she only stopped the daily visits once she saw me much better after the medications set their results in me. That’s the unflinching support she surrounded me with in my difficult days! And all this was without much ado…it was her sheer unflinching support that took me through this journey! She continuously introduced me to naturopathy and other modalities of home-made medications, as she felt the side effects would be less as any mother would experience. Thank you mama..

Yes, I do remember there were days when I had to try to hide the full symptoms and problems it was causing and ‘put on an act’ until Mom got out my own front door.  It hurt but I felt good that my mum is not disturbed. This went on for years and it was funny but when she experienced a little bit of body pain she used to just blurt out and say….Hey just pass me your Voltaren !!!

As years passed and she spent some time with me did she realize what impact the disease was having on me. But I will always appreciate the encouragement and support from Mom that helped me get over my own shock at the diagnosis. Her weekly visits were full of activity like shopping my groceries, cutting and chopping my veggies for the week, doing the laundry and lots of other chores. She was a super active person.

She would always say celebrate the strength of this illness what it has given you and shaped you into today. Don’t focus on what you can’t do, but what you can.

She was one of my unsung hero in my RA journey  ..Mom was a part of my Patient Advocacy entourage…she always attended my Arthritis Awareness Sessions , Walk for Arthritis , World Arthritis Day and so on… Thank you Mom for being there for me in all phases of my life…

I pray that all Arthritic Warriors are blessed to have a Mom like you ..will miss you Mom

C.S. Lewis said it well. A loved one’s “absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

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