Harder to mend myself. I suffer from two kinds of rheumatoid arthritis: ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Much of the time I'm feeling a bit broken. I can't move the way I'd like and I have pain that wears me out.
I struggle to find the ways to mend myself. Too much rest is not good, but over exercising the inflamed areas merely exacerbates the inflammation. The recommendations for diet and alternative treatments are myriad and often conflicting. One by one, I test the recommendations that make the most sense, that seem possible.
While mending, I struggle also to remain cheerful and polite to the suggestions that come. Struggle to remain cheerful within reason, to remain authentic without whining or asking too much of those who offer help. Struggle to know when to ask for help with the mending.
I look for new doctors when old ones prove unsatisfactory. It's a tough to discern which is my dissatisfaction due to the reality of a disease, and what is the doctor not listening. Knowing the difference is a delicate balance. Always I am testing myself, as I try to mend. My initial perceptions are sometimes clouded by false hope, misinformation, lack of patience, and other human follies.
Often my perceptions are sometimes spot on. I love to mend and I want to heal to the extent I can, to use the wisdom and parts of this disease to build something of my life. There have been limitations, perhaps too many to share. Some are temporary losses of range of motion, others life-changing, grief-inducing: permanent body changes.
Part of the way to mend myself is to go inward and listen to the teacher there. It requires silence, self-acceptance and at the same time a modicum of self-discipline. Just when I want to cosset myself, I need to stretch the fabric of my being taut, to pull the needle through and begin the sewing that will mend me.
Though I may be acting reserved and inward, it is not that I'm sad. I'm happy because I'm working on mending. It requires all the strength I have.