RA has forced me to learn to be patient. I have had to be patient with my medication and with my body. Patience in doctor’s offices, waiting for test results, and for prescriptions to be filled has been a difficult lesson. I wish I could say that I readily accepted the fact that my life was changing and that I would need to become a patient person to deal with all that lay ahead. That was not the case. I spent a lot of time just being aggravated that things took me so long to finish, or that the meds I am on were taking forever to start to work.
Some lessons come easy and some don’t. Becoming a patient person has not been easy for me. RA has given me no choice. It took almost 2 months before the methotrexate started giving me some relief from the pain and stiffness. The very last thing I wanted to hear from my rheumatologist was to be patient and that many RA medications can take from several weeks to several months to take the full effect. I wanted to take a pill and be better. Wasn’t that why I was going to the doctor in the first place? I wanted him to make me better NOW not 2 months from now. I don’t know why I was so dense about the whole process. I have watched my mother for years deal with these issues. I guess I thought I would be different.
I spent a lot of time feeling frustrated because I could not control the basics in my life. I could no longer just finish a project in what I felt was a timely fashion. Each project needed to be done gradually so that I would not over do things and be out of commission for several days recovering. At some point I had to accept that my body has limitations now. I have to do things differently and that means I have to be patient. Things take longer now. Because repetitive motions can be painful, I can do some and then I need to rest a bit. Because staying in one postition too long can be painful, I need to sit for a while and then get up and move around.
I have chosen to be patient now and accept that my life is going on a slower path than I had planned. I do not want to waste any more energy on something that is completely futile. I think that somewhere along the way I had to give up trying to control things and just trust that there is a reason for all things and with patience I will understand what that is.
I think that Brian Adams put it beautifully…
“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.” -Brian Adams