Farewell to 2012

2012 was an interesting year.  Instead of focussing on doing everything I could possibly do to beat my diagnosis, I did my best to ignore it and pretend that it doesn’t exist.  Mentally, it made for a much more relaxing year.


SwimmingIn 2012, I learned that I love teaching little kids how to swim.  One of the first things I had to give up after my RA diagnosis was working with kids.  I missed it terribly, but too many shared germs led to too many illnesses.  What a delight to discover that parents don’t take sick kids to swimming lessons!  Even when kids are well enough to attend PE class and share their colds with everyone, parents don’t think their children can function well in the pool if they might be getting sick – some silly little detail about being able to breathe.  This means I can volunteer all the time I want in the pool without the high risk of illness associated with other types of interaction with kids.  I’m going to continue teaching in 2013, and last month took a swim-instructors course to improve my skills.  I’m also working on the endurance needed to (hopefully) pass my lifeguard certification in the spring.

DormRoom2012 brought a change in family dynamics since my oldest child left for his freshman year of college.  Because I’ve homeschooled my children, I was a bit apprehensive about how college classes would be handled.  I’m happy to report that my son got a 4.0 gpa for his first semester (calculus, chemistry, engineering intro, Eng 101, manufacturing processes).  I can breathe sigh of relief, and know that continuing on the path I’ve set should have the other kids well-prepared for college when their turns come.

CanningCanning in 2012 was different because my oldest helper was gone (to college).  With less help, I took a different approach and found a few ways to modify activities to make things easier.  Next year I’ll lose helper #2, and the following year helper #3, so I have to figure out how to do this all on my own!  One good aspect of 2012 is that I discovered a few ways to adapt my old system to do some RA-friendly canning.

In 2012, my body seemed more determined than ever to decimate my bank account, and I’m to the point that I need to see a better return on investment before sinking even more money into improvement options.  Consequently, I dropped a couple meds that didn’t seem to be helping, and did my best to limit appointments with my doctors.  Two-month follow-ups were stretched to three, three-month follow-ups were stretched to four.  Six-week labs were stretched to eight.  Rheumy suggestions to return to derm were declined.  No more trips to PT when I can do the exercises just as well at home for free.  I tried to just live my life as normally as possible, replacing as many doctor’s appointments as possible with normal activities.  It was nice.

Yes, 2012 was a nice year.  I had fun with my family.  I can walk, despite having a limited number of medical appointments.  Life is pretty good.

May you have a wonderful 2013!


7 thoughts on “Farewell to 2012

  1. Good on you Girl,

    It is definitely true we have to take a major part in our own health, whether or not one has a chronic illness. One thing I find myself doing is referring to it as the RA rather than as my RA. A small thing I know, but I have given it control for much too long. Since I have looked into Alternative Medicine and come to know many different practitioners, I have learned a lot about myself and how much body, mind and Spirit are intertwined. Each of us will find our own pathway to what works for us – keep on going because you are doing so well.

      • I realized I had had my identity wrapped in RA for several decades – I didn’t know who I was except someone with RA. I have been working on understanding who I really am, that RA is something I have but doesn’t define me now. It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but I am open, allowing and willing to see myself as I truly am.

        Keep writing your blog, it is always great to see how others are dealing with it and it is also a wonderful support.

  2. WarmSocks, Sounds like the 2012 transformations are working out for you. Congratulations on the great homeschooling feedback via the 4.0 GPA of your child/student. It seems that you are getting pretty good homeschooling from yourself and others about how to coordinate your life with consideration for the RA while not giving it control. A great role model for this era. With diminishing medical support per capita, many others will also have to re-evaluate and re-prioritize life vs budget. Thanks for posting about your decision processes. apj.

    • Thank you for your comments. I’m pretty proud of my son (and relieved that homeschooling worked as well as I was led to believe). As for education about life with RA, I’m extremely thankful for the internet! Life vs budget is huge; I’ve been debating whether to write more about that topic.

  3. Happy New Year Warmsocks! Here’s to a wonderful 2013. Congrats on your kid’s transition into a successful college career. That has to make you feel proud.

    • Thank you, Andrew. Yep, I’m pretty proud of the kid. He’s always been smart. At 4 years old, one day he was sitting at the table and suddenly exclaimed, “An even number plus and even number is an even number.” He figured that out on his own. I asked, “Is that always true?” and we had a great discussion and I wrote a short proof on the board for him (we had a dry erase board mounted on the kitchen wall). We then talked about odd+odd and odd+even, and I knew that if he could have those kinds of discussions at that age, I had my work cut out for me.

      Hope your 2013 is bursitis-free and painless. Have a great year!

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