I went for my six-month post-op check in today. I had shoulder surgery in November and another piece of metal now calls my right shoulder home. As per usual, I spoke with a resident first, who ran me through the usual questions and range of motion.Up, down, behind your back, in, out, around and round.
What struck me about this visit and this resident, is that in the middle of my range of motion, I think the resident caught a glimpse of my life. He was talking about people like me who have had RA for 20+ years, and the shape of our joints and surrounding tendons. He looked at me straight in the eye, paused, and said "it must be hard" in reference to living with RA. Yeah, you bet your ass it's hard. This is not a disease for the weak. No chronic illness is.
As usual, I deflected the comment - but he persisted and asked if I worked, was married and had a family. He seemed satisfied that my life was full in spite of my RA, but the presence of these things. In 20+ years of my revolving door of medical appointments, this is the first time that a doctor, surgeon no less, took the time to look in eyes and stand in my shoes.
I don't think about my RA on a day to day basis on it being hard or easy. It just is. And that's the way it goes. I'm back on Methotrexate, and it is taking no prisoners. I am exhausted. Oh yeah, I'm also going to Disney. Great combination. As I said before, this is not a disease for the weak. I am who I am, because of this disease.
Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of your Life)" is about choices, decisions, life - the good with the bad. Just like life with RA.