When Mom is Temporarily Broken

When Mom is Temporarily Broken

I have often joked that if I were a horse I would have been shot or put out to pasture years ago.  Luckily for me I’m not a horse.  I have rheumatoid arthriti.  I have had it for 22 years in fact. I have been fortunate to have good health insurance and receive the best treatments available.  Most of the time my disease is in remission, with just an occasional flair up.  Still, even when the inflammation and disease is under control often it is the other stuff that really takes its toll on me.

The chronic fatigue is the worst.  Sometimes no matter how much sleep I get it doesn’t matter.  Exercise helps, some, but there are times when doing exercise is really hard because even though my RA is well controlled, the osteoporosis in my feet and knees from two decades of disease is permanent and that pain almost never goes away.  I have had multiple surgeries on my foot trying to piece the bones back together.  This summer I will likely have my first knee surgery.  Sometimes I feel like Humpty Dumpty.

Then there are all those lovely side effects from the meds that allow me to live.  Most days I go about my life and I can almost be oblivious to what is happening inside my body.  You would be amazed what you can get used to and even learn to ignore when it becomes your daily version of normal.

Then there are days like today.  Today is not a good day.  Everything hurts just a little bit worse than usual.  My neck is stiff.  I can feel the heat of the inflammation on my upper back and in my shoulders.  Add to this a lovely headache with a topsy turvy stomach and it makes for a rather unpleasant day.

On a day like today I don’t want to cook.  On a day like today I don’t want to clean.  On a day like today I don’t want to play Uno with AJ when he asks me or read Jigsaw Jones to Casey when he asks.  On a day like today the children have learned that Mommy is temporarily broken and my body just needs some time to fix itself.  AJ is pretty understanding on days like today.  At thirteen he understands that sometimes I have limitations as well as good and bad days.  Its harder for Casey.  At six he doesn’t get why I was able to play with him yesterday but not today when I look just the same.  He doesn’t understand that sometimes a person can be sick on the inside and not look sick on the outside…but he is learning.

Luckily for me my husband picks up the slack and loves to play with the boys.  Still, it is a little sad to watch them all hop on bikes and go for a ride when I haven’t been able to ride a bike for at least a decade.  The boys will ask me to sled down the big hill and I would love to, but I don’t dare.  A wipe out for me isn’t just a laughing matter.  A wipe out for me can mean months of PT or some other serious injury.

Still, I know there are so many people in this world who are so much worse off than I am.  I try hard to focus on my blessings.  I am still able to walk and go about daily life most days, I’m not dying anytime soon (God willing), and they are always improving medical advancements that just might put this Humpty Dumpty back together again.

So today I will let the boys play a few extra video games to keep them busy, microwave a somewhat healthy lunch for them (they made their own cereal for breakfast), and try to take it easy so my body do whatever it is it needs to do to feel better.  But tomorrow?  Tomorrow I will play Uno with AJ and read the next couple of chapter of Jigsaw Jones to Casey. Tomorrow I will stand at the top of the hill and cheer my boys on as they slide down at break neck speeds, because life goes on.

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