Thursday, February 17, 2011

You Can't Handle the Truth...

The past few weeks I've been talking with my therapist about separating a bit from my parents and doing things on my own. As a side item, one thing my shrink wanted me to do was to let my friends know "how sick I am."

I tend to tell my friends a lot about my health but I don't really tell them when I'm wearing a boot, or using a cane or that my foot hurts so much lately that by the end of the evening I'm crawling around the house on my hands and knees.

As you can imagine the need for ankle surgery has again been brought to the forefront. I scheduled it for March 17th. I casually mentioned to my neighbor that things were getting difficult and that I had added the boot and cane back into the mix and then threw in the crawling around the house. She took it well and it just didn't seem like a big deal. So I just thought,'s no big deal. This is just all part of the disease of RA...this is my life, this is my normal, I can do this.

So I've made changes, I'm doing PT to strengthen my upper body and shoulders, I'm wearing a bone stimulator for my back and I'm taking B Complex vitamins to bring up my iron levels (even though it tastes like sucking on rusty nails), I'm even eating meat several times a week...and I'm in control.

I even went to my back surgeon to get a shot in my hand for trigger finger from my cane (yes, I know it's weird to go to a back surgeon for a hand but I am going somewhere with this so hang with me.) So imagine my surprise when Dr. NiceGuy sticks the needle in my hand and I mumble that I'm having surgery and he asks why? And I tell him because I have to crawl around on the floor every night, like it's no big deal, and he hits the roof.

We all know that I have a tendency to become attached to my doctors and the flashing lights went up immediately. I couldn't tell if he was angry with me for going ahead with the surgery when I said I wouldn't or if he was afraid I was going to mess my back up...then I heard him mutter something about he helped this situation along by my having to have the second surgery on my back and that he is still angry about that.

It was the crawling on the floor that upset him and I'm walking around thinking that crawling is ok, because in my head I need to think I can do this. And I finally realize it's not about being attached to a doctor it's about being attached to how sick that doctor thinks I am. And right now, I need this doctor to tell me that I am ok...and he's not....

If the people around me tell me I'm ok, then I believe them...even if I am crawling up the steps. If the people around me tell me I'm in really bad shape, I lay down on the bed and feel sorry for myself and die.

I took a break from writting this and just came back and read it...and from everything I've written above I feel like I'm just overreacting and feeling sorry for myself. Could it be the person I've always wanted to be, the person that handles illness with grace is finally me?

Or could it be that my perception is so sku'd that I don't even realize that crawling on the floor is not normal and I should be more freaked out about it?

This disease and the emotions that go along with it is hard. Just about the time I feel like I've got a handle on things then someone else comes along with their baggage and its like slogging through it all over again and finding the happy medium.

My doctors appointment ended with him leaving the room, walking into his office and slamming the door. I'm not sure if he's angry with me, himself, or a little of both. Unfortunately, tonight as I crawl along the floor or up the steps I will realize how not ok this situation is...somehow I'm not sure he did me a favor....

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