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.
In 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.
2012 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.
Canning 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!