Monday, June 7, 2010

My Favorite Things About RA

Yeah, it doesn't seem like a possibility right? I hate this disease with everything I am, every fiber of my being. It's ruined days, caused sleepless nights, and forced me to miss out on so much. It wasn't until reading this post by RA Guy that I really started thinking about the positive sides of my RA.

Stubbornness
I really try to push through everything. I don't like when things hold me back. Clearly, I've had enough experience with pain doing that. This could be seen as a downside, especially when it comes to resting and such...

Slowing down
l am really not good at this. I pretend like I am, but I'm not. Often, when we're out and about, I don't even think about sitting down or resting until my boyfriend suggests it - and then I'm really happy that he did.

My RA has also helped me to want to experience the most precious moments in life more. It's important to me to be there for the people I love and care about. It's important to spend time with them, because you might not know when you won't get to anymore. You can take that as morbidly as you like, but I mean more in the flare-ups-causing-problems sense.

Empathy and understanding
I really try very hard to understand the problems that other people face. I can empathize with people who can't go out and do much, because I am that person sometimes. When I was eight, I was really worried that I would quickly end up in a wheelchair. A few of the places we'd done research about RA at suggested that most children end up in a wheelchair well before eight years. As a result, I always try to help people who are in wheelchairs when I see them.

Medical knowledge
At an early age, I had to learn big words and complicated terms. I may not be a doctor, but thanks to all the reading I've done on RA, I've been able to learn a lot of medical terminology and the symptoms of different ailments.

Alternative lifestyle
I'm not really a religious person. The one religion that I really just love, and do follow to a degree, is Buddhism. It's more of a philosophy than a religion. Meditation and other techniques stemming from this and other Eastern religions have aided me in dealing with pain - and given me a career path. I recently graduated with my BA in religious studies, with a double minor in history and politics. I wouldn't have changed to that major without taking a class on Asian religions to learn more about the meditation techniques practiced in Buddhism.

So as much as I don't want to admit it, I'd be lost without my RA.

It could totally go away though, and I could just be grateful for all that it's done for me up to this point. But that won't happen. And I'll continue to complain about my RA, but you and I can just remember this post and think about all the good that comes out of a bad thing.

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