Another Mile Marker

Sometime this month is when I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I don’t quite think of it as an anniversary, last year I used Mile Post 44.  I found a couple of things to use this year, as soon as iPhoto shows them, I can put them in the post.  Sometimes it takes a day or 3 for them to be visible – sometimes I feel defeated by technology, other times it works well for me.  So, I have decided to go with the flow and do this post a little later.

I never did find the sign posts in iPhoto, so I just did them again, only this time in Pictures – it might be easier to find them.



That worked so much easier – I will try it  on other photos and see how it works.

Now that I have been through all the  balderdash, it’s time to get to the meat of this post.   I haven’t really found any term for this yearly milestone that completely describes it.  I have admit to being amazed it has been 45 years since the diagnosis, seems such a long time.  I realize there has been quite a history with it, so much I can’t remember all of it.  That may be a good thing.  There are the experiences I written about in this blog; there are the volumes I have of my journal for quite a few years and my medical history.  It is harder to remember my medical history when I see a new doc and they want to know everything.  I realize now I would have been smart to copy the records I took with me each time I moved – I’d have a better history than my  memories.

As the years have gone by, I realize my questions have changed – sometimes 180.  In the beginning it was “Why me?”, “What did I do to deserve this?”; “If this is payback for a past life, I better have had one hell of a good time!”.  Because doctors are taught about drugs and surgery in med school, that is all they know.  I have had my share of drugs, 7 years looking for a drug to work, some that did nothing, others that help a little and some that really did help – for a time.  Let’s call it what it is – a victim mentality.  I was an innocent victim sideswiped by RA for no reason.  It has brought anger, resentment and hurt and I kept asking “Why?”.

I started asking “How?” after a  while – “How do I get rid of this crap?”.   I just wanted it to go away and leave me alone forever – enough already!  I have been in that negative territory for a long time, I couldn’t see any benefit to having RA, just all the pain and disadvantage.  I heard and read about “Embracing it”  which seemed counterintuitive to me, accepting it and loving it.

When I moved back to Seattle, I began to hear and read about other ways to see and think about RA.  Maybe I was so ready to fight my way out of the negativity.  When I started this blog, I started with the premise there is a gift in RA.  I wasn’t sure how that was possible but I was willing to entertain the idea.  I had to look at it and me from a different perspective.  I have found that is a difficult maneuver for me – maybe because I spent so many decades in the negative.  For the past few years my questions have changed – I will admit to having “Why” moments now and again.  Now I am concentrating on the gifts of RA.  As a matter of fact, I wrote a post about it in March 2011.  I went back to read it and found I had not really done such a good job in defining the gifts as I thought.

What I have noticed is my questions – they are different.  One is “What need is being met with RA?”.  I was reminded the other week about this – we create attitudes, ways of being, etc. to meet a need in that moment.  It works for a while but not in the long-term.  However, the program is still running because we forgot about it, yet it isn’t working any more.  I realized there is another question, “What do I believe about myself and RA?”.

Some other questions come to mind. “What will it take to create new positive and empowering thought patterns?”.  “What else is possible?”.  ‘What needs to happen to make the changes?”.  “What am I holding on to that no longer serves me?”.  “What does the Universe want me know?”.  “How much is my energy and how much is other people’s energy?”.  “What is the Universe doing for me, rather than to me?”.  “In what ways can I use my knowledge and experience to be of use and service to others?”.  “What can I learn from others, especially the ones that bug me the most?”.

So my questions have changed over the past few years.  I know some people have all the answers, I’m still working on the questions.  I know I will have more questions for the rest of my life, I want to be sure they are the questions that matter and help me create a positive, loving and empowering attitude and life.

As everyone else is, I am a work in progress.


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