Rheumatoid Arthritis, Writing

Accepting Help

I was separated from my husband in 1987 and we were divorced in 1991. I never remarried. Needless to say, I got somewhat used to doing things for myself. Independence runs deep within me. The idea that I can do it myself without help from anyone.

My brother moved in with me 14 years ago and he was a jack-of-all-trades, able to fix, repair or create just about anything needed around a house. His presence delayed the idea that my independence was slipping away as rapidly as my body’s ability to perform everyday tasks. I could lie to myself and convince myself that I didn’t need any help for ordinary things.

Then, my brother died and left me alone with my disabilities. My body has violently betrayed me in so many ways recently. That betrayal is rheumatoid arthritis, which is uncontrolled. I cannot walk very far, and I have trouble getting dressed, doing laundry, dishes, dusting, or vacuuming. Any big things, like mowing the grass, fixing the broken dryer, or replacing the kitchen faucet doesn’t happen unless I ask for help.

Photo by Rémi Walle on Unsplash

I cannot turn to my family because no one lives near me, so I have to rely on friends. Fortunately, I have some excellent friends who help me. One mows my grass and trims my trees. One drives me to doctor’s appointments and to grocery stores. All that is required is for me to ask.

And that is the hard part. Maybe this will get easier with practice because my arthritis will not go away.