Friday, February 22, 2013


In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. 
Albert Schweitzer
I've been reflecting on friendships and relationship lately. Who are your friends? Why are they your friends? What is the basis of your relationship? How do you categorize your friendships? How many best friends do you have? Close friends? Acquaintances? Who can you call at 3:00 am? Who rekindles your inner spirit?

Through the ups and downs of life with RA, it's the equitable support of friends and family that has helped me navigate the emotional roller coaster that RA can dish out. I don't have any family close by, and I rely on friends for support and care - they've taken on a pseudo-family role in my life. 

I'm grateful for all the friends who have brought joy, laughter, love, empathy, sympathy, insight, secrets, kindness, debate, good food, opinions, trust, support and scotch to me. Thank you.

Friends are the ones who agree that going downhill at an 8 degree decline on cross country skiis is terrifying, but agree to do it with you anyways.

Friends are the ones who offer to go to with you to your 8 week ultrasound when you think you're having a miscarriage.

Friends are the ones who mentor you, guide you and act like the big sister you never had.

Friends put on your socks and tie your shoes or put on your coat after you've had a shoulder replacement, and can't use the very necessary second arm to accomplish these tasks. 

Friends are the ones who endure hard-ass bosses and live to tell the tale and laugh about it for years to come.

Friends are the ones who ask "how are you" and are genuinely interested in the answer - like really interested.

Friends are can be found in drinking buddies from work - people you spend more time with than your family some weeks.

Friends are those who you find rest in their company - it's just easy. You can be silly, serious or scared and you are accepted all the same.

I recently had a fantastically off-key and very loud sing-a-long to Oasis' Wonderwall while driving with one of my friends. I'm still laughing at how horrific the singing was, and will remember with a smile every time I hear the song. "Wonderwall" could be interpreted as a love song, but I see it as a song of support and friendship - and sometimes our inability to express love to our friends and gratitude for having them in our lives. So, um, thank you.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bumps & Bruises

Oh, hello there. My name is Megan - part time blogger and full time mom, HR advisor, part-time hockey team manager and parent council rep.Since writing my last post, I ran another 5K race (note how casually I mention that - cause I'm a runner!), went to the Dominican for vacation and Petawawa,ON for a hockey tournament, had untold amounts of stress at work, coordinated 300 kids eating pancakes and failed to write one single word on my blog.

I keep thinking about the book, "Oh, the places you'll go" by Dr. Seuss. I've been a bit of everywhere, except sitting quietly thinking at my laptop. I've been sitting at my infusion centre with bad-ass needles in my wrist, and that spurred this posting.

I'm fairly tough, or so I think. Five surgeries and two children under my belt, I am no pushover to pain. But this particular month, with this particular needle, it hurt - a - lot. Twelve days later and I still have a bruise. But the point of this post is not to whine about a needle, but the aftermath. Usually I have my IV inserted into the antecubital region (aka - the crook of my elbow), but in recent and devastating news, there seems to be significant scarring on my favourite  and normally pain-free vein - likely due to overuse - and it is no longer a viable site for IV insertion. So, into the hand it goes.

Man, that hurts, and for a 1-hour IV infusion, the pain is highly disproportionate to the medical procedure required. Fast forward a few days, and my hand is blueish/purplish with residual trauma from the infusion. Insert one very curious 7-year-old son. So I fessed up, more than I have in the past. My children don't know anything about my disease other than my shoulders sometimes hurt, and I've have them "fixed" (read: replaced). So I told Patrick that mom goes for medication each month, and they use a needle to get the medication into mommy. I love kids - you can almost see the "processing" bar in their heads when they take in new information. I could almost see him formulate his next question - "why"? And because I didn't want to answer that one, I headed him off with: "Not all mommies need medication, but yours does". He seemed to accept that.

And then he hugged me and  kissed my hand, and hoped that I felt better soon. And I almost lost it. How is does my 7 year old channel more delight, kindness, goodness and empathy than most adults? He has such a good heart. I don't know how to talk to the kids about my arthritis - other than little bits at a time. I am trying to keep all kinds of communication open with them now, knowing that in a couple of years, I'll need all the help I can get. I've been listening to Imagine Dragons - It's Time. A song about moving on, and being yourself at the same time. I am trying to move on, but am clawed back by reminders of who I am - bumps and bruises and all.