Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Life Goes On

I'm dropping in to say an enormous and heartfelt thank you for the many words of encouragement and love I have received in the last couple weeks. Things have been really tough, but I appreciate knowing I have support.

The tough stuff...
I am not a crier--I can count on a single hand the number of times I usually cry over the course of a year. But there has not been a single day since early January when I haven't found myself in tears. The pain never goes entirely away and there are moments throughout the day when the intensity and unrelenting nature of it is just a little too much. I wear arthritis gloves 24 hours a day to help with the swelling. I wear "accommodative" shoes (think orthopedic, but one level closer to regular-people shoes) to make walking less agonizing. There have been so many changes so quickly. I'm adjusting but it's been tough.

The good stuff...
I have a great family. No, a really great family. We had a family meeting a few weeks ago to discuss our new situation and how to make it work. The whole clan has really stepped up. They cook meals and haul laundry around. My husband has learned to instantly recognize my "I can't get this jar/box/door/bottle of medicine open" face and jumps in to help without needing to be asked. The kids go grocery shopping with me so they can push the cart and get things off shelves and carry the heavy bags to and from the car. My son even conceded defeat in an impromptu "awkward dance" competition we had recently. Let's face it, when your joints stick and pop and generally don't cooperate, "awkward" is the name of the game. We're finding our new normal as a family and it's gonna be fine. In fact, it's gonna be better than fine.


A few things I feel like I should mention...
  • I do know that RA gets better once the right treatments are found. I promise I know that. The fact that I am struggling right now with the constant, unrelenting pain I am in should in no way be seen as proof that I don't see a light at the end of the tunnel. A person can feel discouraged and overwhelmed and exhausted in the moment and still have a very optimistic and hopeful eye on the future. That's me. That's where I am. I look forward to the better days and am getting through the hard ones a day at a time.
  • I have had a few people ask how I type when I am dealing with debilitating stiffness, inflammation, and pain in my hands. The short answer: I don't. My computer has a built-in dictation program that I use to type emails, tweets, facebook updates, etc. I have a fancier, more accurate, more dynamic dictation program (one I researched quite extensively) to use for drafting manuscripts, doing edits, etc.
  • The support I've felt from everyone has been amazing. I can't thank you enough for the very tangible reminder that I am cared about and thought about. I appreciate that so many of you were respectful of my request to not be sent miracle cures or easy fixes or "if you'll only do this, you'll get better." I promise you that a heartfelt "I care about you" does more to help than anything else.
  • I debated including this on the list, but I'm gonna. I guess I'm just in that kind of mood. So here goes... Contrary to what a few people have written to tell me, bad things can and do happen to good people. Struggles and difficulties in life are not an inarguable sign that a person has done something to deserve the difficulties. If a person is plagued with illness all their life, if they aren't cured or the illness taken away, that doesn't mean they lack the willpower or the faith or the "goodness" to be cured. And that is all I mean to say about that.
So, thank you again. Thanks for enduring yet another long and rambling blog post all about me! I likely won't post again until my annual Holiday of Coolness post on March 17th. So... until then!

18 comments:

Paul D. Eden said...

I just have to say, you're awesome.

Jenny Moore said...

You're amazing. And bad things happen to good people all the time. But they happen to people that God knows are tough enough to handle them. And you have such a beautiful outlook and positive attitude. Hope you get the meds and everything figured out. Anyway, I'm thinking about you!

Julie Wright said...

I agree with Paul. You are awesome and my hero for being brave and optimistic. Optimism is sometimes hard for me to find when things get tough. You're a shining example. You have been, and remain, in my prayers.

Nancy Campbell Allen said...

You're awesome, and inspiring. And people need to remember that President Kimball was in near constant pain for many years of his life. No, he wasn't perfect, but geez, I doubt his afflictions were a result of his sinful nature. :-) Hugs, hugs. Gentle ones, that won't hurt. <3

Karen Adair said...

You. Are. Awesome. As fans my girls love your books (as do I), but as friends they are very concerned for your well-being right now. The positive attitude you express online (and that I am sharing with them) are teaching them how to deal with adversity. You can cry or you can laugh. And sometimes, both. :) Hugs, loves and many prayers for your well-being, Sarah. :)

Jennifer said...

Sarah, you are so great! I hope you know that Jeff and I adore you, and we both pray that you'll find treatment options to make your life easier very soon. Please let us know when you're up to going out for dinner. We so need to go on a double date!

Wendy said...

Thank you for your wise words and excellent example. You're beyond great!

Kari Pike said...

Thank you for your example of beautiful example of grace and steadfastness. I am thrilled to hear about the cool technology available to help you cope. You always say it like it is...and I love that about you.

Kimberly VanderHorst said...

Can I be lazy and just say ditto to all the awesome comments about your awesomeness?

Cause you totally are. Awesome, that is. :)

Z said...

Dear Sarah,

You are wonderful. I admire your attitude. Your family rocks.

I also love your books. Especially the random chicken references in Persephone.

Might I ask which dictation program you use for drafting? I've been looking into one for myself and would love the input.

Please know that you are loved. And thought about often. And prayed for. And read - as in, your books are read. Often, repeatedly, and while laughing.

Love,

One of your "gentle readers"

Oh, and God never gives us things we can't handle...even if we think we can't or would much rather not.

Jalaire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm glad you're finding you balance in this new challenge. You continue to be in our prayers. Here's to finding that "right" treatment.

When my husband was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (totally changed his personality as well as devastated him physically) the kids tried to be understanding. But that gets old after a while and our younger children had a hard time remembering what he'd been like before. When they'd get tired or frustrated with his health I'd have to remind them that this wasn't just "his" challenge--it was "our" challenge as a family.

About that last bit in your post. It's always interesting to me the views some people have.

Hall of Halls said...

love you

Rebecca H. Jamison said...

So sorry you're going through this, Sarah. I'm so glad you found a dictation program. What a hard adjustment, though. Your family sounds so supportive.

Jewel said...

Sarah,
I love you. And I love your family. And I'm proud of you for winning the "awkward dance" contest--although had I been there, I probably would've given you a run for your money. :)
Ditto to all of the lovely things your fans and friends have already posted, and thank you for your sweet, positive example.

Annette Lyon said...

Read this on my phone yesterday, which wouldn't let me comment.

Everyone else has said everything so well, so I'll go ditto on that.

And then add: President Kimball was plagued with health problems for most of his life. I think you're in pretty awesome company as far as goodness goes there.

Love you to pieces--hope you know that I'm always here.

Julie Daines said...

I'm not gonna lie. This sound miserable. Just know that I think about you every day. Especially when I blow dry my hair, because every time I turn on my blow dryer I'm reminded of the time yours caught on fire! I hope they're not related. :)

Anyway... Way to keep your chin up! It just doesn't seem fair that some people seem to get more than their fair share of troubles. So sorry.

Terry W. Ervin II said...

I've been thinking about you and your struggle. Prayers continue your way. You are right in that illness and struggles do afflict good people. Hang in there!

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