Friday, February 15, 2013
Bumps & Bruises
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.