Every morning , on my way to work, I drop B off at the high school. We stop on our way to school and pick up his best friend, Chris. B usually drives, since he's working towards a license in the spring.
This morning, Chris got into the back seat and said, "Dude! Where were you last night? Why weren't you at rehearsal?"
"Dude! Seriously? Rehearsal?" my mildly sleepy son repeated.
"Dude!" Chris admonished him, "Band practice! Seriously! For the concert tonight? Where were you?"
"Dude!" said B, "I thought that was next week. Oh crap! Mom, we seriously have a concert tonight!"
I sighed as I recalled the old Rosanne Barr bit about some animals eating their young. "What time do you need to be there tonight?" I asked them.
"I dunno, Dude," Chris said. "We'll check at school today. Prolly around 6:30."
"I hope Mr. P isn't too pissed off at me for missing rehearsal, Dude," said B.
"Dude, he was like asking me where you were and stuff, and I was like I dunno Dude."
As B pulled up to the school, I asked them, "Can either of you use a sentence without DUDE in it?"
"Have a good day, Dude," my son told me with a self-satisfied smirk. Apparently the answer to that question would be no, they can't.
(Please insert clever transition of subject here. I can't think of one.}
If you Google Rheumatoid Arthritis (go ahead, you know you want to), you will get all kinds of crap, some very helpful information (mostly from the Mayo Clinic), lots of great blogs, and then a lot of propaganda-like misinformation from people who want to sell you supplements. The whole goal is managing your RA. In fact, most of the articles you read are about how rheumatoid arthritis is managed.
I would like to know how one actually gets to the point of managing one's RA. Mine is currently managing me, and I don't have it nearly as rough as some of the RA bloggers I read. I can barely walk most of the time, and it hurts like hell when I do. I smile and pretend I'm fine because it's too hard to explain to the other 300 people in our office who look at me strangely as I limp away. But my hands, while stiff and swollen, still work. I am still able to type fairly well, talk on the phone, attend meetings, and generally work all day even though I'm thoroughly and completely crispy fried to a crackly crunch at the end of it. How long can I keep doing this? I feel quite out of control with the physical manifestations of this disease. RA decides how long it takes me to get ready in the morning. It decides how early I go to bed at night. It decides what's for dinner and even who is going to cook it. RA decides if I'm going to attend a meeting or cancel it and reschedule and do that again four times before my boss thinks I'm avoiding a project. RA stabs at me while in those meetings as it will jab me tonight at my son's band concert. It will also decide if I should sleep tonight and how well. When and how do I get to the point of managing it instead of the other way around?
I know, I know. It's a process. I hear that a lot. I'm just not enlightened enough for the "mindful journey" my lovely Buddhist daughter tells me this disease can be for me. Have you ever tried to sit still and meditate when you're in a great deal of pain? I know they say it can help, but it's hard for me to clear my mind of the "Ouch, oh crap, ouch," mantra that takes over the rest of my day. I don't want to be mindful of my pain, thank you. I'd rather have mindless oblivion, but I'm not going to get that while trying to function all day. Dude! Seriously? How does this get managed? My doc has been trying. The meds are supposed to be kicking in. But they aren't yet.
And my husband just let me know that he's going to leave work a couple of hours early and get a nap before the band concert. He's really tired. Dude! Seriously? I can't do that. I am resentful and jealous as hell that he can not only leave work merely because he feels like napping, but that he's healthy and doesn't need one anywhere near as badly as I do right now. See? Failing at marriage #2...