Thursday, October 26, 2006
Introducing my first born son, Joshua Lee Rios,
Josh was only 3 in this photo. This is how he looked when I was diagnosed with R.A. He is now a very handsome 19 year old! More photos will post soon.
I know it has been a few days since I have posted, but can I blame it on pain? Bad news first! I have had a difficult week, suffering with lots of inflammation in my wrists. My right ring finger won't bend, and left pinky won't either. My right shoulder feels as though it is out of socket and both my feet hurt in so many places. It seems my rheumatoid arthritis is in a very active mode at present. Years ago, when I was first diagnosed, I would lie in bed and cry on days like I had yesterday. I would feel so guilty for not being able to perform my "duties" around the house. My Rheumatologist once told me I would develop more tolerance to the different levels of pain. I was a hard case to diagnose to begin with. First, tests for thyroid malfunctions, then Lyme Disease, finally after several tests, it was settled - Rheumatiod Arthritis.
Now the good news! I don't cry near as much as I did in those early days of pain, frustration, and flat out embarrassment. It used to kill me when I would have to call in to the school where I taught first grade to tell them I would be late or not in at all. My husband would help me undress, get in the shower, and shampoo my hair for me because I couldn't lift my arms. Many mornings, I simply couldn't drive to work. My oldest son was three when I was first diagnosed. (Notice adorable child in photo above!)Because it took awhile to find what was truly wrong with me and then even longer to find the best medicine for me, my husband had to be both mommy and daddy for our Josh. I thank God for the wonderful friends he had by my side during those first months of this illness. I would like to say THANK YOU to a few of them. To Liz Bostick, a special "GOD BLESS YOU" for the Saturday you came and took Josh and I to lunch, then drove us to the Kapok Tree Inn in Clearwater. I really needed that day out. I know you had millions of other things you could have been doing. Another thank you to Todd and Patti Byrd who dropped everything and rushed over to my house one night when I was so swollen and red and sick, but my three year old, Josh, needed some help. His daddy was at work at his second job and wasn't due to be home until 11:00 p.m. Josh had diarrhea all day and was raw because he nor I could clean his little behind well enough. You all picked up his toys, the sofa cushions he had pulled onto the floor to play with, and you gave him a nice, warm bath! How special that was. I have tears in my eyes now just remembering it. I know my mom or sister would have been right there had they lived near, but my loving heavenly Father supplied me with the right friends with the right hearts!
I have grown to realize the world doesn't stop because I am in bed or because I am moving slowly. My husband survives it and my boys do as well. Dare I say my home survives when I take a day off? Yes! Unfortunately, my job didn't. I had to quit teaching early that year. But after having April through the summer off, and being on my meds, I was able to return to work part time that fall.
It is the Lord Jesus Christ who gets me through these tough days. His Word grows especially sweet to me when all I seem to be able to do is to think and meditate. I like to read in Psalms during these times. Many of them are so comforting.
Well, enough of this! However, it is therapeutic for me to write about it. Maybe you could find the time to say a prayer for me huh? Thanks! Until next time - Psalm 121.
(Thanks Pat H.)