Wednesday, June 9, 2010

RA In Public

   A funny thing happened while Bruce and I were having a delightful lunch at White River Fish House in Branson, MO. We had a great table; we were looking out watching the boats, ducks, and people fishing in the river. Our meal was yummy! We could not have asked for a better situation.

   Half way through our meal, they showed a man to a booth. I couldn’t help but overhear him tell the server, “No, this won’t work. She has rheumatoid arthritis and can’t sit in booths.” I actually was startled to hear that term out loud and looked around to see who said it. (I prefer booths) The man looked to be about my age, maybe younger, the typical Branson tourist type. He was seated at the table next to us. A couple of minutes later his wife joined him, talking about her restroom stop. Her husband explained to her how he made sure they had a table because she had rheumatoid arthritis. I was amused and watched her try 3 different chairs, none of which was comfortable.
   By now, I wanted to go over and talk RA with her. Poor dear! OK, I was being nosy, kept listening, and observing her closer, actually reminded me of myself 10-15 years ago. She walked slowly and fingers showed some visible signs of disfigurement. I made a mental note to tell Bruce about what I was thinking, which was “why did the guy have to mention her RA out loud” Also, why did the woman have to complain aloud, and so much.
   However, not five minutes later I was not only complaining too loud, I was almost in tears. I hadn’t bothered with my walker. When we got outside, I couldn’t stand, much less walk with pain, muscle spasms, and panic all at once. I leaned on a railing until it let up and slowly made my way to the car.
I told Bruce that watching the woman at the next table made me realize I shouldn’t make a scene. Yet, I went right outside and did the very same time.
   Now why did I do that? Not for attention, heavens know I get plenty of TLC. Guess I need to practice what I preach and stop whining. One thing about going to Branson, there are people walking with canes or walkers all over the place. I wonder if anyone else complains in public and are embarrassed. 


  1. Hmmm. Maybe I missed something as I read your post, Miss Dazey, but it doesn't seem to me that you were "making a scene" when you left the restaurant, but that you were genuinely in awful pain, thanks to your RA. With painful muscle spasms and the panic that comes when you realize, suddenly, that you cannot walk, that you could easily collapse and fall, what else could you do but what you did? And of course you cried! It HURTS!

    So many of my blogger friends, like you, are embarrassed by the disability that RA sometimes causes in public. Maybe I'm nuts, or insensitive, but unless I make a fool of myself, I'm not embarrassed when my RA causes trouble for me where people can see me. I can't HELP having RA; I can't HELP being unable to do some things, sometimes. I just do the best I can, and get help from others if I need it.

    Likewise, I'm not embarrassed to use my cane when I need to in order to walk with more stability and less pain. If my hands are bad, I wear my Thermagloves, which provide warmth and support. Sure, it looks a bit funny to walk around in black, fingerless gloves, but so what? If someone thinks badly of me, so be it. That's their problem, not mine. These things are merely tools that allow me to do the things I want to do, as well as I'm able to do them.

    My heart just aches for you, feeling so humiliated by your RA. But Miss Dazey, as you know, this disease is no picnic. Wimps need not apply. That you're up and about and doing things you love to do, like eating out at a favorite restaurant, and going to casinos and touring places that interest you -- and that you do all of it in SPITE of the danged RA, means that you're an extraordinarily strong person. Be proud of what you accomplish in the face of this mierable disease.

    Finally, as far as I'm concerned, making it clear to others what your needs are (like sitting in a booth rather than at a table, and vice versa) doesn't make you a complainer. It makes you strong and assertive, and assures that you'll be reasonably comfortable.

    What could possibly be wrong with that?

    I hope this finds you feeling better and ready to get out there and have the fun you deserve. Enjoy the day. Look for the gifts. And please, don't be embarrassed anymore!


  2. Oh - by the way. I LOVE your new blog design. It's pretty and so cheerful!
    -Wren, again.


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