What Rheumatoid Arthritis Has Taught Me

Hollybgroovin Health Guide
  • The other night, heavy rain fell over my hometown Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Four inches of rain fell while I was sleeping. This is the second time this week that my town has experienced serious weather. Why does this affect me, you ask? This affects me because my driveway runs over our pond. Let me rephrase -- the driveway usually runs over the pond. Today, the pond runs over the driveway.


    What’s the problem?

    My morning didn’t start out bad. I woke up feeling quite refreshed but a little more stiff than usual. For me, that is to be expected when the rain falls. However, after stepping out on my balcony, which overlooks my front yard and my pond, all I felt was pure terror.

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    My pond had flooded for the second time this week. To my shock, I also noticed that the pond had washed away half of the driveway. Which part, you ask? The pond washed away the half that runs over the pond. I was stuck! I was stuck without my medications and without food. Worse than that, I was stuck with two hyperactive boys who were begging to play in the rain.



    How rheumatoid arthritis has prepared me

    In the past, I have been known to have many little “freak outs” in my time. But this time it’s different. You see, I have learned to accept the things I cannot change.

    While I wish I could change what has happened to my driveway, I can’t. While I wish I could change the fact that I have severe rheumatoid arthritis, I can’t.

    I wouldn't go so far as to call rheumatoid arthritis a blessing. I would, however, call the things I have learned from it a blessing. I can’t change the fact that I have rheumatoid arthritis anymore than I can change the fact that my driveway washed away. But I can accept that these things have happened.

    Am I just going to lay here and take it lightly? No! I have a game plan. I will do what is necessary to go on with my life. I will move on. You see, life is too short to let things hold you back. I have too much to live for to be stuck.



    So I held my head up high and asked for help. My boys put on their “big boy” faces and grabbed shovels and helped me shovel about three to four inches of mud off the back porch. They then helped me move the dirt and mud to fill in the other holes in my driveway. I am so lucky to have such amazing helpers.


    What about my driveway, you ask? My driveway isn’t something that I can fix overnight. It’s something that is going to take a lot of time. We have to wait until the water drops drastically, because as long as the water in my pond is up, we can’t replace the drainage pipe. Yes, that’s right, we have to completely replace the part of my driveway that goes over my pond. I have to bring someone out with a backhoe to dig out the dirt underneath the cement. And I can’t do that until I have someone out to drill through the cement. Then I have to replace the massive drainage pipe that allows the water to flow freely under the driveway and prevents, or attempts to prevent, the flooding. It’s going to be a long stressful process for me. I even have to have an engineer come out before we start something to figure out the best way to keep this from happening again.


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    Being prepared

    I will need the help of a lot of people to fix my flooding and driveway problem. I wish I didn’t have this problem or the stress that it brings. I even spent all day crying and stressing about a situation that I couldn’t even change. But rheumatoid arthritis has taught me that I am strong enough to handle anything. It has taught me to appreciate what I have and what I can still do. It has shown me that there are some things that I can’t change, only prepare for. It has taught me how to move forward with my life even when there is a major set back. If rheumatoid arthritis can’t hold me back, then nothing can!

Published On: April 14, 2008