It’s been more than a month since I’ve done more than simply contemplate a post. In the past four weeks, I’ve been a pincushion for various medical professionals as I’ve completed a litany of tests – and they’re not over yet. I have a definite diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, and while not exactly what I was expecting, it’s not quite a surprise either. Autoimmune diseases like to travel in packs. I guess the CEBV was getting lonely.
Like my original diagnosis of EBV, this most recent naming doesn’t really change much. I already know my joints are painful. That I’m stiff and crone-like in the mornings. That I don’t need a weather report to tell me rain is on the way. Now it’s simply a matter of deciding on a treatment that I would like to keep as natural as possible.
So there’s one reason I didn’t post.
Then there’s the bigger life change: my father died. Those three words took me about five minutes to type. But there it is. He was a great man, an extremely smart man, and a terribly funny man. That’s about as personal as I’m going to get on the topic. He’s loved; he’s missed.
But here is my overall Lesson Learned This Month: Fall seven times, get up eight.
I have setbacks and I take the time to process them. For me, processing typically means my bed, lots of tea, re-reading Practical Magic and To Kill A Mockingbird, and zoning out with Buffy The Vampire Slayer marathons. This lazing period is then followed by a burst of physical activity (in this case, I spent a muddy morning with my sorority sisters at the Dirty Girl Mud Run in Scranton). Now, it’s time for the next phase: extreme badassery.
This week, it’s back to karate and diving into roller derby. I’ve been on an ASAH-hiatus for too long and I’m itching to get my gloves back on for some serious punching bag time. Plus I signed up with Two Rivers Roller Derby. While I am still “fresh meat” I love the two-hour-long practices and the focus required to learn new skating techniques. Whether I’m learning self defense moves, katas, or skating transitions, my mind is honed in for that 1-2 hours with no room to contemplate physical or emotional turmoil. In short, it’s a much-needed break, a release from my standard overthinking mode. And I’m so very grateful.
Because here’s the deal: I will be in pain and tired and all that jazz whether I lie in bed or lace up and skate. I could pull the covers up to my chin or spend an evening practicing a roundhouse kick. On weekends, I could get facetime with my pillows or, as I will this Saturday, I could carouse with my fellow rowdy mamas on a bus trip for shopping and day drinks (our Mother’s Day present to ourselves). I could allow RA and CEBV and grief to run my life…or I could run it myself.
I am always better as the boss. Just ask my kids. Does it mean my diseases are gone? Unfortunately not. I can do mind-over-matter all freakin’ day, but my fingers will still freeze up when I least expect it. Fatigue will creep up and kick me down without warning. And the tears will pop up at the oddest moments, with complete disregard for my embarrassment. So I could take the excuses and cave, but I don’t see how that would serve anybody, let alone me.
I am an unlikely warrior, but that’s the term my Reiki master used in my first session. At the time, I didn’t fully grasp it, but my attitude has changed. Not every warrior carries a weapon. Some of us are quiet when we fight.