Time is racing for me lately and it’s hard to believe that I will be boarding the big one (plane) on Sunday. High above the clouds I will find myself en route to Germany and already I can picture it in my mind. I hope that time slows a bit once I’m there and that it won’t pass in the blink of an eye. I’m taking a little journal to record the days, to use it for entries, pictures and special moments. I might even be able to convince my little nieces to write something in it for me. It will become one of a kind, a special keepsake. Kind of like a poetry book I once had in school. It was meant to be passed around form every schoolmate to every teacher and two pages were dedicated to the person you had given it too. One page would hold a picture or drawing of some sort while the opposite page was filled with a handwritten poem and well wishes for your future. I still have mine tucked away in a special place in Germany and I’m sure I will dig it out once I’m home. I have done so each time and for the most part it is my Dad’s poem that I revisit. I know it by heart but I have to touch the pages and the writing of the pen that once was gliding across the paper to leave these beautiful heartfelt markings. To this day his words touch my heart and I never swayed from his advice. Today was pretty much my last day off and my vacation starts on Saturday. These last days are filled with work and errands, notes and reminders scratched on paper. Here and there one might get scratched out, and I manage to steal time for this blog and staying connected somewhat. I had my appointment with the rheumatologist last week. It was a wake up call to sit in the waiting room. Most people were older than me, but in bad shape. Walking on crutches, all I had to do is look at their swollen knuckles and I could relate to their pain without a word being necessary. Some were hunched over and unable to stand up straight, others needed help, each one with the same pain in their eyes. My heart sank, for them and the pain that must be endured with such an ugly disease. Was this my future I wondered, already there in some respects but still feeling strong to fight and not letting it become my destiny. How foolish to think that I had any choice in this matter. I’m sure that the people in the waiting room weren’t happy about their circumstances either. Perhaps they once felt the same as I did, putting up the best fight possible and the ugly disease still won. Once again the oracle card came to mind and I remembered. Rock Bottom – surrender and let go of all control. Don’t fight it, but be prepared for a new start. It was in that moment that I let go. I surrendered and let myself fall, unafraid and I just knew that my faith would catch me. Later on that day I sent the email and declined the chance of promoting.
The doctor was a nurse practitioner and I liked her. She listened to all my symptoms, carefully noting them and ordering a barrage of tests. She wasn’t going to prescribe anything until the test results were in and I already like her. She listened to my vantage points about pharmaceuticals and I told her about my fear of the long trip to Germany. In the end she asked me and prescribed steroids just in case things got worse and to hold the disease at bay until I get back. I have not started taking them and I should to let them kick in, but I have also started to take something natural and I guess I’m still hoping to see a difference there. Since my rheumatologist visit, I’ve been running around to get my hands and wrists x-rayed and for a moment I feared that she would tell me that I can’t write anymore. Today I finally managed to to get my blood work done. It took two attempts, (who know these tests are only performed Monday through Thursday and have to be done before 11 AM…further wasted time) 11 different tests, and 7 vials of blood. Plus an arm and a leg as far as the cost. Now it’s time to wait and see if there will be answers and what comes next.
I have been talking about the seriousness of my trip to Germany, but I also believe that it will be a lot different this time. I feel I have grown in many ways, but mostly in my spiritual journey and feeling firsthand that things can change in an instance. I feel that there is an even deeper appreciation and sense of wonder, something unlike anything I felt before. Good has come from the RA, even though it’s been painful, but it has stretched me even further. It helped me listen to myself, to put myself first and to finally find the courage to follow through. To take a stand for myself and to say that this is not how I see my future. To make whatever time is left count, for we never know how much time is left. It helped me become more appreciative, to pause even more, and to truly try to live life vs. existing. I want more these days than just to exist, and I have a hunger that is being redirected towards what should have always mattered the most. The difference now is that I CAN DO IT and I’m not tied down with financial responsibilities. So in going home, I know that I will breath deeper than I ever have before. And so it is that although some things are daunting and downright scary, my soul will nourish as it returns back home.
And while I would tell you to never say never, I painted this one during a time when I believed that certain things don’t need to be repeated. Do not be taken a fool, ever again, to not allow being taken advantage of or taken for granted. It comes full circle even more so and the meaning of it continues to grow. It is sealed with my fingerprint in the flower petals, vowing to be strong and to…. Never again. 🦋💙