November 26, 2013

Never a word...

I had an appointment with my Rheumy today.  It was a follow up of sorts to look at blood work, x-rays, and evaluate medications I have been taking.  The best news was that my medication has been working and my antibody levels are back in normal range.  Whatever the medication is doing is keeping my major organs functioning normally and keeping me off steroids so I will keep doing what I am doing.

The question came, "Does your mother have arthritis in her hands or knees?"  My response was no... not that I am aware of.

My question then became, "Why do you ask?"

His response was to tell me that I have the beginning stage of osteoarthritis which would be outside the realm of Lupus but can work in conjunction with it to some degree.

I then noted that my Meemaw had gnarled hands and toes for many years and he suspected she had it due to my description.

I told him, "She never complained about anything."

That started me thinking for the rest of the day.  It is absolutely true that I never once heard her complain that something hurt or that she was ever in pain.  I know she had to have been because she died of ovarian cancer and we did not know until a month before she died.  All that time, she was hurting and never said a word.

She had gnarled fingers... I remember how twisted and worn they were.  She amazed me how she continued to crochet and bake and cook up to the end of her life.  At one point she had cataracts and I vaguely remember some concern that she might not be able to see to crochet anymore and the relief she felt when she could resume that activity.  She loved to crochet.  If she had arthritis that makes it even more amazing. 

I have learned to crochet in recent years and find that it helps with the stiffness I experience in my fingers and hands and maybe it was like that for her.  Maybe it was therapeutic... 

She went to work in a hospital several shifts a week and tended to patients needs but I NEVER heard one word of complaint about having to do any of that.  She cooked and baked every single day for my grandfather and for our family when we visited. She just did it... 

She kept going... she kept moving forward... with never a word.

At her funeral there were hundreds of people there.  Many people at the funeral had worked with her or were patients under her care.  The words they used to describe her were thoughtful, loving, giving, attentive to their needs, she loved them, she never saw color or status, she was kind.  Not one of them saw her complain or heard her utter a negative word.

I know she was not perfect... I saw her get angry with my grandfather.  He may have really been the only one who could make her that angry.  

I want to be like her... I want to see life through the eyes of gratitude and love with no complaints.   

As we move into this time of Thanksgiving I think it is a good time to focus on gratitude and thanksgiving.  I have so much to be thankful for... family, friends, food, home/shelter, a medication that has been provided to keep me healthier (and I do believe God uses medicine and medical treatment for our good).  I am grateful for a doctor who is attentive to what I need.

How are you being thankful this season?

Do you have someone in your own life that exemplifies/exemplified gratitude for you?

Ultimately, I believe that our faith in a God who wants what is best for us in all things is what makes us truly grateful...

Psalm 100:4-5

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.

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