The Unsung Heroes

 

If you have Rheumatoid Arthritis, osteoarthritis,  Ankylosing Spondylitis, or any critical illness your pain and stress can be off the charts. Truth time: You’re not the only one hurting. Another negative side effects of being diagnosed with Chronic Arthritis is the strain it can put on our families. Our diseases can wreak havoc on day to day life.

We need to talk about their struggles, too. They do so much for us, so it’s important to acknowledge and validate their feelings.

A BIG SALUTE TO;

To the parent of a child with juvenile arthritis who wakes up earlier than usual to prepare a warm bath, so their child can move his/her joints before heading off to school. It is the parent who has to prepare a good breakfast because their child will need to take morning medicines. It is the strength of a parent who cries in the shower alone, but puts on a brave face in front of their child as they prepare their biologic injection.

To the friend of a person with arthritis who learns to hold their hands differently because crossing their fingers is way too painful.

To the spouse/partner of a person with arthritis who quietly helps his loved one dress, put on their shoes, and get ready to face the world every day, while no one else has any idea of what it may have taken to get them out the door. It is the spouse who waits patiently after the clinic doors close, leaving them alone with their thoughts and prayers as their loved one undergoes yet another shot. Thank you my hubby!

To the child of a person with arthritis who grows up all too soon by taking care of their parent, reversing the traditional caretaker roles. These children, who mature before their time, learn to take on a myriad of adult-type responsibilities. Thank you my baby!

When someone with rheumatoid arthritis like me is surrounded by people determined to live above the illness, an interesting thing happens.

The person embraces this challenge. Connects more. Smiles more. Reaches for newer paths. Holds their care circle—family, friends, treatment team—tighter. Maybe even shares what they’ve learned with others taking their first steps along this journey…like what has been my mission!

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