I was digging through some old boxes a few weeks ago in an effort to de-clutter my storage (read: junk) room and came across a small, brown paper bag that brought me to tears. It was from my first stay at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto from 1991 - July 19th to be specific. And I read the label and I just sobbed. Has it really been that long? I wrote a post about how long - but somehow that little paper bag with a hospital label just knocked me flat - emotionally.
The other discovery was the contents of the bag. It was blessed oil that my grandfather had given to me when I was first diagnosed, and a hand-written prayer to go with it. My grandpa passed away 12 years ago, and I really only have memories of him - great memories. He had a rock-solid Catholic faith and I'm sure he prayed for me and my health. I miss him.
The grandpa memories combined with the totality of my RA hit me hard. Has it really been that long? I think I could write that question 100 times in this post with different inflections and never fully have the answer.
Has it been that long? Yes. Has is really been that long? No. Has it been that long? Really? Has it been that long? Seriously? Has it been that long? OMG. Has it been that long? @#!*. Has it been that long? Ouch. Has it been that long? (resigned sigh). Has it really been that long? (tears). And all those answers are followed by a sadness, emptiness, and a bit of defeat.
I can't help but reflect that the glass being a bit half empty - at least today it seems that way. I've had RA for more of my life than I haven't. I guess it really has been that long.