RA & Rebellion: Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help!

Vanessa Collins Health Guide

    I was so eager to clean out my baking cabinet today.  It had not been cleaned out in two years.  The cabinet chaos was disrupting my mind.  I just could not stand it anymore. 


    My elderly folks live with me, which means I was able to enlist the help of my step-mother.  She is quite spry and loves to organize.  We are not blood related, and it is so evident.  She is an organizer.  I am a “fit-it-in-the-cabinet-any-way-you can” type person.  What can I say?  I am an old hippie!


    Mom seemed to be pleased that I finally asked for help.  She had those three cabinets emptied and wiped down in no time!  I was impressed.  Mom is almost 80.  I am almost 60. Age isn’t everything.

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    I was so encouraged, that I jumped right in and began sorting through my baking items. I threw away things that were too old to be good.  I sorted things to put in the pantry in our “hoarding” room! 


    When I had the items down to a manageable number, I started filling my cabinets in an organized manner.  I was happy and humming as I worked.


    I love to bake.  I have all purpose flour, rye flour, wheat flour, bread flour and cake flour.  They look so nice on the bottom shelf sitting next to each other.  Now I will be able to get what I need without pulling a young ton of “stuff” out of the cabinet first.


    With my step-mom’s help, this chore was actually fun.  I was so pleased with the end result, that I moved on to cleaning off the “snack” counter.


    My husband is a “snack monster”.  We have quite an assortment of junk food. It wasn’t long before I had sorted, discarded, and finally organized my snack collection.


    I stood there for a few moments, and looked at my newly organized cabinets and snack counter.  I smiled. My mission was accomplished, and it was only a little after nine in the morning.


    This is a story of accomplishment.  I felt so good about my clean cabinets.  Of course, me being me, I couldn’t let that be enough.


    I had quite a trash bag full of old spices, old baking soda, old corn starch, and things I barely recognized.  I’m not sure where they came from.  Did I buy them?

    Were they gifts?  Who knows!


    I looked at that trash bag, and decided I could carry it out to the garage where it is stored until trash day. I was fairly certain it did not weigh more than 10 lbs.


    I hesitated for a moment.  My step mom had said not to pick it up myself.  She said my dad could carry it out.  Still, I thought I could do it, and so I did.


    A few minutes later, I was shuffling my feet across the floor.  My back hurt, and I could barely lift my legs.


    When will I learn?  Why must I always test my limits?


    I decided a muscle relaxant was in order, and so I am here sitting on my comfy couch waiting for the medication to “kick in”.


    I don’t know if I will ever learn to not push past my limits. I have always been a bit of a rebel. 


    My “get it done” attitude has served me well in many instances.  It just doesn’t seem to work so well when pushing myself past the limits my RA has imposed on my body.


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    I have finally learned one thing.  It is okay to ask for help.  My mother seemed eager to work with me on this project.  We had some laughs.  We had some fun.


    I wonder how many other RA folks have the same issue I have about asking for help.  Are any of you rebels who push past your limits?


    If you are like me, please learn from my experience.  Ask for help when you need it.  Oh, and think twice about lifting something that is heavier than the restrictions your doctor gave to you.  They are there for a reason!









Published On: March 11, 2014