Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nice Things

Warning: I'm going to be super cheesy. Deal with it :)

I'm all about nice things - heck, I pretty much exude niceness (or try to, at least). The newest edition of PFAM is centered around niceness too - what is the nicest thing (or things) someone has done for you since you became ill?

Now, being someone who has been sick over 80% of my life, I have several options.

I could talk about how grateful I am that my mom figured out my real diagnosis instead of believing the doctors and sending me off for chemo. That's kind of a huge thing right? I think about every once in a while what would've happened had she not been such an advocate for me in the beginning... What would the chemo have done to an already frail and sickly six year old girl's body?

I could talk about how grateful I am to my entire family, for putting up with how grumpy and frustrated I get - and for everything they do to help me, from rubbing my legs to tucking me in (more recently than you'd think) to babying me (especially my equally sick baby sister - go figure).

But I think that, to a certain degree, those kinds of things are expected from a family, especially if they also suffer from the same condition. They are supposed to be there and do whatever it takes to help you out. So maybe I should think about a newer addition to my life.

I often talk about my boyfriend on here - things we go and do together, conversations we have, etc. During the past (almost) three years, he's done far too many nice things for me to keep track of. I think there are definitely a few that stand out though.

He's always been someone that I can go to and rant about whatever is irking me - whether it's inside or outside of my body.

He is very understanding and tries to make sure I'm okay, no matter what we're out and about doing... which is important since I'm stubborn and often seem to refuse to believe that I am any different than anyone else.

He doesn't let my RA limit him. If I'm too tired or hurting too much to go do something that he wanted us to do together, he'll do it anyways... which might sound weird... until you realize that it limits the possibilities for him to feel limited by my condition and resent both it and myself in the future... which, I'll be honest, is something that I worry about for anyone in my life, but especially a significant other.

Above everything else though, the nicest thing he's ever done is to suggest that I start this blog. He wanted to know more about my RA, and I wanted to tell him more, but there was a level of awkwardness surrounding things. Now, the blog gives me a way to show him - and others - how this disease does and can affect me. It's also helped me to learn more about my disease, my body, and myself in general. I've grown as a person and have become more of an activist for people with disabilities (more on that coming soon). I've also gotten to speak to a few people who have been helped in some way by my blog. It's an amazing feeling to know that I've helped to contribute to their lives.

Basically, the boyfriend is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I understand myself more, and am more able to understand others - and help them understand RA. He also has renewed my faith in other people to understand my condition, and that it isn't something that I should be shy about discussing with others. He's there to support me, but also there to help me realize when I need to take it easy.

So then, Mr. Schultz, thank you for everything that you do for me. Even if I don't say it often, I hope you know that I very much appreciate having you in my life and that I'm lucky to be a part of yours.

:)

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