Recently I have been thinking back to 2004 when I started waking up in January with stiff achy fingers and by April, struggled to walk down the stairs. I felt PANIC. I remember it was hard to breathe. I was frightened over what was to come of my body and my future. I have also been thinking about my body as a child, teen, and young adult. Nervous thoughts were never something I could hide. They always showed up in a rash on my chest.
This last week I have been experiencing two things that haven’t haunted me in a long time. I can’t breathe and I am covered in a chest and arm rash that intensifies as I think about the current election. Once I know the verdict, I will be able to calm myself either way. It was the same when receiving my diagnosis. Once I knew, then I was able to move forward in learning how to care for my body. It is not knowing that drives me crazy. This election is important for so many reasons and whichever way it goes, there will be much healing as a country that we will have to do. This election I am calling on the life lessons given to me by rheumatoid arthritis. When the results come in, I will treat it like I do my RA. If my candidate loses, I will cry horribly, just I do with each awful flare. I will wonder “why”? But then I will pick myself up and start asking myself what I can do to make the situation better, just as I do with each flare. If my candidate wins, I will pause and feel gratitude, something I do each day that my body is pain free. But I will also remind myself that I have to continue to do small everyday things to make this world a better place for all just as I have to treat myself nicely each and every day to keep my body going strong. And, after Tuesday, I am hoping this rash is gone and breathing becomes a natural occurrence once again.