Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Face Of RA - It Aint Pretty

There are a lot of things this disease has robbed me of.  You'll hear many say its an "invisible" disease.  And it a point.  Mine was invisible too for the first 9 years or so, then just as I hit the 10 year mark, it bared its teeth at me and then bit me.  Hard.  Now...its like the monster that has you captive, and you're in a cave, and it stands guard at the door, never letting you go.  Sometimes it will let you peak your head out for some fresh air.  but not for very long, and not very often.  Most times if you creak toward the light, its like that scene from Alien where the monster gets up close and personal with Sigourny Weaver.

I was never a "stunning beauty", not like my mom was.  But I was pretty enough I guess, I had my pick in high school and was second for "Most Beautiful" my Junior year (it was a very small school in a tiny little Texas town, so.....).  I always had great legs, so I've been told.  But I was never happy.  Even when I sported a 28 inch waist, I complained about how fat I was.  Are we ever really happy with what we see looking back at us in the mirror?  I don't know about anybody else, but I am my own worst critic.  I never fully appreciated who I was, until I was gone.  Oh I'm still basically the same on the inside, and that's what really truly matters.  But this thing is aging me.  Fast.  And the prednisone......

I guess what I'm saying is that one thing I've learned in the last year is that what we look like on the outside is not the most important thing, regardless of what Hollywood and rag-mags tell us, those pictures of models are all air-brushed anyway.  What's important is our character, our ideals, yes and even our values and morals (even though "morals" and "values" are relative for some).  Its what we do with our time here.  Did we spend it doing all that we were supposed to do, all that we could?  Or did we, read: *I*, never appreciate what I had when I had it, and always wished for more or better?  I've gained nearly 60 pounds just this last year since being on prednisone full time.  This disease is beginning to bend me over and I'm starting to look like a question mark.  This disease is no longer "invisible" for me.  It is what it is, and I'm lucky to still be alive.  I may look like John Merrick, the Elephant Man, by the time I'm done for, but that's ok too.  What's more important is to cherish every moment I have left, however many those are.  Take nothing for granted.  Don't waste my time worrying over things of which I have absolutely no control over.  Concentrate on doing good things for my body (working on it!), and stay open to what ever God has for me to do.  Looks good on paper huh?  Mostly.....I just have to get over myself.  It was a good ride while it lasted :)

Here it is, in all its horror.  My "Faces of RA"

2004 - About 10 months before the RA Diagnosis

Wait for it.....................

Last month in hospital ICU with
Pulmonary Embolism
Prednisone face - 11 years after diagnosis

I told aint pretty.

Ya'll be sweet.

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