Life’s Sucker Punch

Have you ever been hopefully optimistic after a long line of difficult days? Some days aren’t easy in my home.

My youngest son has a rare and incurable disease. He is multi-disabled and suffers from a number of different issues because of his primary diagnosis. He has been having a number of good days lately. He has adjusted well to his first year of school and has been gaining ground developmentally. Two of his many diagnoses are Autism and intermittent explosive disorder. Needless to say, he is prone to meltdowns, sensitivity to everyday stimuli, hitting and screaming. Aside from having some neurological setbacks, he has been communicating more efficiently, interacting with his siblings and sleeping better. I have been quite optimistic. This is against my nature. I don’t call myself a pessimist, just a realist. Realistically, life for us will be a bit more difficult. Today snuffed out my recent optimism.

Since having my fourth child, I have been having increased problems with my joints. I have issues walking up and down my stairs and more recently, using my hands for simple tasks. I visited the doctor and my blood was taken. I got a call this afternoon that confirmed my suspicions. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is still sinking in. I keep thinking of a number of people I knew who suffered with RA. They had disfigured fingers and could not get around without some assistance. These people were twice my age. I know this is a progressive disease and I am still young, but I once again can’t imagine the future. How will it be in several years when I will be caring for my son and he will most likely be twice my size? I suppose I must continue to live for today and take steps to ensure a better future.

I tell myself frequently that life is about trade-offs. Some people seem to have it all but those people may suffer deep emotional stress. Others may live without life’s essentials but are full of joy. I sometimes feel envious of the seemingly perfect family pictures on social media. I really don’t know what their life is like at home. I imagine my family can also look seemingly perfect. In this instance, a picture may not say a thousand words, just hide them.

So I ask myself if I can live with my trade-off and if I can once again find joy in what I cannot control. Can I find the purpose in yet another disappointment? I am sure I will, it will take some time. It will take time to once again find optimism. This most likely will happen after adjusting to my new normal. Life will continue to hand out the sucker punches, it is a good thing past difficultly has me prepared.

*d*

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