I find myself sitting in a small, crowded Walmart McDonald’s, sipping a coffee, and tidying up my inbox. If I’m honest I’m feeling a bit irritated because my morning did not go as I had hoped it would. It started out with great momentum in the way I like my days off to go…list making and high-efficiency, task and errand completion in almost record time!! (but seriously how AMAZING does it feel to stroke things off a to-do list!!! Ya, ya…I’m getting older and the thrills are getting cheaper ).
However, now my day feels like it has come to a screeching and almost painful HAULT…let me explain. My friend’s mother recently had a TIA (or more commonly known as a “mini-stroke”) and has had her driver’s license revoked until she’s medically “cleared” to drive again. Neither my friend nor her sister drive so I offered to take their mom grocery shopping. I was feeling pretty good about myself…you know…all the good feels like, “Look at me being all helpful and kind and stuff,”…gold stars for me! But then! I didn’t take into consideration a) the pace at which this 70 year old woman moves b)how difficult it is for her to make decisions in this over-stimulated environment and c) how careful she has to be with her spending as she has very limited income – hence the driving around to several different grocery stores to get the “best price” and me now sitting here feeling a bit irritated that this good deed of mine is likely going to cut into my workout time this afternoon.
Ok. Where am I going with all of this???
As I’m tidying up my inbox, I came across Global RA Network’s Global RA Dashboard. So, I’m sitting here…trying to look all cool and collected with my small coffee, two cream while holding back tears as I realize this lovely 70-year-old woman I am slightly irritated with has arthritis…specifically…RA. She was not as fortunate as I was to have forward-thinking physicians, or to be honest physicians that took her “aches and pains” seriously before permanent joint damage occurred. She needs BIL knee replacements and her fine motor skills are limited by her grossly deformed hand and wrist joints. She doesn’t sleep well because of joint pain and in the past, struggled to hold down steady work because there weren’t accommodations for her changing and limited physical ability.
Thank you. Thank you for ALL the tireless work put into making the RA Dashboard a reality and for bringing to light what living with arthritis costs us personally, nationally, and globally. Thank you for being a voice for change and a voice of support.
I know without a DOUBT that the hard work done for this project will change the trajectory of so many lives. I’m certain that fewer people will be sitting drinking cheap (but let’s be honest, decent) coffee waiting as patiently as possible for someone who needs external supports…because they would have got the treatment they needed in a MUCH more timely manner.
Please. Please keep pressing forward and doing the incredible work you do Global RA Network and team! The world is a better place for it!!
person with rheumatoid arthritis