Up Yours Arthritis!!! You are my worst enemy. You are a nasty, evil being. You are a slow, insidious predator, seeping into my joints, painstakingly slowly cementing them shut. You are the quicksand – or “slowsand” of aging. You are worse than a hormonal junior high girl – on a downswing. And I should know – I am one of 7 sisters. Trust me, there’s nothing meaner than junior high girl.
I hate you for what you are doing to my country. You are robbing our healthcare system, sweeping in with a tsunami of need from us aging boomers as we seek help to outwit you. You are forcing a legacy of debt to our children, who will eventually have to pay the bill for our care. They will struggle to cope with you, but like our grandparents and parents, they will survive too. They will fight and fight and maybe even defeat you. If not them, then their children will find treatments that work, cures that last, and lifestyle changes that will keep you at bay.
I hate you for what you have done to my family. My husband’s knee – being eaten by you. My father’s joy in walking and biking – being ebbed away by you. My sister – crippled from your non-stop presence. My mother. You have robbed her of her physical balance and strength. You have even taken her body parts. But you are cunning. You crept so slowly that by the time she needed a new joint, she was deemed too old. So now she spends every minute in agony. Her movements are slow and guarded, her sleep is disrupted, and her mind is clouded by pain and painkillers.
You will eventually defeat her physically, but you can’t take away her soul. She wins there. Even at age 88, her body racked with non-stop pain, she won’t give in to you. You can’t beat her spirit. She still volunteers, she still cooks for her neighbours, she still makes treks up and down her stairs, no matter how long it takes her. She won’t give into you. No way will you win. She is going down fighting you. In that respect, she will win. Why wouldn’t she? She raised 7 teenage girls. Now that’s a survivor.
Mostly, I hate you for what you are doing to me. You are my OCD nightmare – the one that won’t go away – and step by step becomes reality. I feel you creeping in while I sleep, coaxing my joints into immobility, cementing them shut while I rest. I feel you trying to take all of me. You have taken some of my mobility, and causing me to move differently, taking away some of the activities I so loved to do. You will eventually defeat me physically. But like my mother, I won’t let you defeat me. I will keep trying to purge you from my system. I will try natural cures, medicines, and quack cures. I will try alternative therapies, physical therapy, massage therapy, and any other kind of therapy. I won’t quit. I am giving you warning – I won’t let you rob me of my soul.
So up yours arthritis!