Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The other night..........

I had an epiphany about my one little word - "think."
I realized that one of the reasons why I am a "surface thinker" is because of my arthritis. This month is my 20 year anniversary of having Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and I'm only 35! Yep, 20 long years. 10 joint replacements, many, many, many different types of anti-inflammatory drugs and....lots of pain, daily pain, hourly pain. This is the reason I am a surface thinker. This is my epiphany. I have trained my brain to block out the pain. If I don't think about it, I don't feel it. I'm not sure when this all took place and I'm not sure how I realized it. But that's the reason. Don't think - No pain.

Here's an example: Have you ever been to the doctor for lab work or a shot? What do you do? Do you sit there and watch the Doctor give you the shot? Do you think about the shot piercing your skin and the sharp sting that follows? No! You most likely look away and think of something else, sing a song, picture yourself lying on a tropical island drinking a cold fruity drink. Am I right? I look up at the ceiling and count the square tiles to take my mind off of the shot. I don't look at it, I don't think about it. Again - if I don't think it - I don't feel it!

So, in the process of my mind blocking out pain on a daily basis, it's also blocked out emotion. If I don't think about my parents death I don't have any feelings about it. I just live. I guess one of the benefits of not thinking or feeling is my "don't worry about a thing" attitude. Have you heard that song from SheDaisy? It's one of my favorites.

Here's a little diddy:

Life is funny, life's a mess, sometimes a curse, sometimes a blessing,
Don't worry 'bout a thing, don't worry 'bout it
Life gets sticky, life can bruise, sometimes you win,
sometimes you're loose'n,
No matter what it brings, don't worry 'bout a thing.

Now don't get me wrong. I have bad days - just ask Tom. I can get very grouchy and moody (Sunday was no peach!). In the past I haven't known why but now that I look back I'm sure it has to do with my pain levels being high. I'm thankful they don't happen often. I don't think Tom would appreciate that!

When I was at Lelands office on Friday he suggested I should write a book. I had never thought about that (go figure). Would writing a book help others that have chronic pain? I always love to meet new people who have arthritis. I love comparing stories, what drugs they take, how they cope. It's a life line. A connection. Someone else who shares my life struggle. I almost get giddy! That is terrible. I told Kurt a few months ago that I wouldn't wish this disease on my worst enemy. It broke my heart and made my stomach hurt for weeks thinking he might be getting it. (So far so good, the test results are negative).

So a book, probably not but this blog has been such a blessing. I am learning about myself everyday! I am defiantly thinking more. And I like what I'm learning. I like who I am. I'm almost thankful for this dreaded disease because it has made me stronger - yet at the same time humble.
Maybe I'll write a book about my life with arthritis someday. Right now I have some more thinking to do first.

learn more about Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis here

1 comment:

Crystal Star said...

Cara,
I'm proud of you. Life is such a journey. You have learned some great coping skills, but have missed getting to know the real you. I know she is wonderful and can't wait to get to know her more as the years go by. I'll put up with any grouchiness if you need to vent. I do think you should write a book. I would help you how ever I can.
Crystal