According to “The Hallow Men” by T.S. Elliott, the world ends with a whimper, not a bang. Considering how much of an impact the last three months have had on my life, I find this idea very comforting. The changes happening to me and around me may be going off like a series of grenades, but at least I have some reassurance that I will find a way to get through them. It may not be easy to find a way through the smoke and rubble, but I will eventually find a way to maneuver within the debris, if not escape it (mostly) intact.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Who am I? What’s happened in the last three months? And why so much freakin’ drama? I guess I’d better start from the beginning.
I was born in a little town in Ontario, Canada to my wonderful parents…
Oh, wait. Not -that- beginning!
Hi there! My name is Kathy Coleman and if you’ve managed to find your way here you likely are someone living with cerebral palsy and / or arthritis, or you know someone with one of these conditions. No? Well you might also be here because of a review or opinion about music, gaming, books, movies or anything else I become obsessed with during the time I spend writing this blog. No matter what has sucked your mouse into clicking the link for my blog like some devious black hole, welcome! Thanks so much for dropping by!
Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand… (I hate introductions–especially blog introductions!)
Everything went nuts on September 16th, 2014. I had spent the past two weeks going over to my grandma’s for a steady TV diet of Steve Wilkos, Judge Mathis, Jerry Spring, Maurrry Povitch and Family Feud. She has Multiple Myeloma (more on that in the future) and my mother hoped that me being there would encourage grandma to eat and drink more. And it seemed to be working…
Then I just had to open my big mouth…
My dad and I were in the kitchen the weekend before that fateful day, and we were talking about the possibility of putting a TV signal into my room.
“Gee, that’s a great idea,” I said, feeling oh so clever as I set up the punch line to a three year and counting ‘joke’. “If we do that I’ll be able to sit and watch TV for hours. We all know my hands are going to do ‘their thing’ in the next few weeks. I might as well be prepared.”
For the record, my hands ‘thing’ is to swell up like a pair of hot air balloons. It ‘never’ fails. Damp weather hits and my hands become mitts. I felt so, so, so smug thinking I had them outsmarted for once. Like what happened to them was a chess game and I was calling check before we had even put the pieces on the board.
Is it any wonder that under such hubris that life decided to bend a few rules of its own? I can’t prove it, but I do believe there is something out there and I believe it has a sense of humor… So, I’ll play the “yes” card there.
By the end of that fateful weekend, my left knee was “a little” sore. No big deal–it had done that a few times before. A week or two and my “grumpy” knee would get over itself and everything would return to ‘normal’. (Or as normal as 5 day a week talk-show binges with grandma could be.)
I’m really glad ‘grumpy knee’ is not a horse I was bettin’ on at the races, ’cause I would have lost a lot of money. Mind you, maybe it would have been better to bet on a crappy horse then to put up with what actually went down.
By Tuesday September 16th, the pain in “grumpy” knee was also in my right knee, both my ankles, both my shoulders, both my hands and both my elbows. I ended up being unable to keep going over and watching grandma. Her bedroom is at the top of a flight of 8 stairs, and with cerebral palsy, if I can’t grab a railing stairs are a big fat no.
“Give it a few days. It’ll be fine.” My mother reassured me–and no doubt herself since no one else could really do what I had been doing.
Oh no. By the following weekend we were at emergency showing a nice doctor what was happening to me. She advised me to use Tylenol Arthritis and Advil Arthritis Pain and to make an appointment with my GP. She told me that it was vital that I find out exactly what type of arthritis I’m dealing with.
I’m terrified of going to the doctor. I endured -horrors- as a child getting procedures done to my body which I did not understand. But this woman won my respect and I promised her that I would make an appointment with my GP as soon as I could.
I kept my word. I made and went to that appointment. In this blog, I will talk about my experiences since that fateful trip to the ER, as well as some of my hobbies and passions–the things that I’m fighting to be able to keep doing, that give me the courage to keep moving forward.
I hope that you will choose to come along for the ride. There is much that I can tell you…