Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Hate Stairs

I can almost see my parents smile when they reads the title of this post.

"I hate stairs" was one of the phrases that started my RA journey. I was 16 when I was diagnosed and I was in a high school with two floors and no elevator. When I was flaring it would take extra time to get to class, and usually I would wait for all of the kids to be in class before I started to one-step it up the stairs. I didn't want the attention. My teachers knew that I was recently diagnosed and gave me some latitude in getting to class on time.I remembered that my science teacher called my "creaky".

So, I'll stop denying it now - I am flaring. It hurts. I am in between Biologics and it's showing. I am returning to my full-flare tricks and habits. Shuffling after I get up from a chair, loathing stairs, looking for the elevator at work - even though it is at the opposite end of the building. Un-bending my fingers in the morning as they have curled up overnight.

I went for a walk with my four year old daughter in Gatineau Park , and we picked Pink Lake to walk around (she, of course, likes pink). The start of the trail is on a lookout and you walk down some stairs to get to the trail. I walked down fours steps and started to cry. I just couldn't do it. The ups and downs of the trail leading there had been enough and my knees were screaming. And Chelsea said "Momma, what's wrong?" I said that mommy's knees hurt like her shoulders hurt and I didn't think I could walk down the stairs. She said "That's OK. We can go back to the car. I love you."

I feel so bad. She's four and her life will be shaped by a mom that can't do stuff. Already, at four and six, my kids know that daddy can carry them and mommy can't and that mommy's shoulders hurt. And mommy is going to the hospital to have her other shoulder fixed.

And the positive voice in my head says that I have many other attributes and abilities. Kids are resilient. They will grow up to be more empathetic adults. They will see past disabilities.They will be more caring. This is what I hope for.

Probably a bad choice, but I'm wallowing a little and so I am listening to Adele's song "Someone Like You". Powerful song with only Adele and a piano. It's coming to terms with a breakup, about moving on. Bittersweet, like my day today.


Amy said...

un bending fingers, that is what I hate, because I know that when I have to do that, a flare is coming soon.

I was just diagnosed this past spring, having had two really bad flares I went to the doctor and found out what was going on. Before that I had been (and still am) battling a rare kidney disease that at times left me unable to do much of anything but lay in bed. It started when my son was 1. Your kids will grow up to be more empathetic, mine sure have. They love you for who you are, and what you are to them, not how long of a walk you can take. When I was practically bedridden with kidney pain, my daughter would sit next to me in my bed and do her homework. My son would build his wooden trains on the bed, and use my body as the "mountain". Kids adapt and accept so much easier than adults. They will both surprise you and make you proud.

Cooking with Arthur said...

I hate stairs too! ;)

I really understand what you mean about wanting to almost shelter your kids from arthritis. I'm just coming off my meds to try for children and we both want to have them asap because I'm scared of not being able to be able to do stuff with them because of PA. But then I try to remind myself that the important thing is being there - your positive voice is the one to listen to, really uplifted me and you know its right really!! Although with Someone Like You on I'd me wailing on the floor...gets me everytime


adrienne said...

I hate stairs three! :)

I get the pain in my knees, hips and just recently ankles. So far it is a different times but I can see the future and know it is only time until all three come at once. I apologize to my dogs for not being able to go down the stairs fast enough to let them outside. I hope you feel some reprieve soon.

DawnV said...

Stairs... the nemesis.
It's SO hard to understand the why (especially when it affects your children) but trust that this is the life journey they are supposed to be on (as opposed to letting the mommy guilt get to you- which i KNOW is easier said than done). We can't see it now, but one day it will all be clear when they grow into incredible people and do amazing things in their lives.
Sending love and support your way...

Kristen said...

I started getting symptoms of RA after my son was born, he is now eleven. I used to beat myself up that he so far all of his life he has had a Mom who has been very sick. What I found out from my kids is that even though I do not do the atheletic activities that Dad does with them, they appreciate that I am always 'there' for them. To them this is their norm and as long as it is supportive and loving, they are fine with it. Hugs to you!