This morning I took eight and a half pills with my green smoothie, and tonight before bed I will take three more. That’s par for the course; on Mondays I add nine extra to my morning meds. I am thankful for my drugs– because of all those pills I can walk without limping, open bottles and cans without calling on my husband, and even do squats, which I have never been able to do before.
But still. That’s a lot of medication for a 34-year-old woman to take. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and without treatment I am crippled. I take pills to slow the damage, pills to slow the pain and inflammation, pills to slow the side effects of the other pills. And most days I can forget that I am, in reality, not a healthy person. I am healthier than I was 30 pounds ago, and I am healthier than I was a year ago, before I started all the meds, but I’m completely dependent on those medications to feel good and function well.
Sometimes I hate that. Today I hate it because in spite of all the drugs I don’t feel well. I took a nap at 11:30 this morning because I felt so sick. It’s hard to even describe it– I feel shaky, weak, exhausted, and kind of nauseated (although that comes and goes). It’s called malaise, and it tends to strike when it’s the biggest pain– like a day when I have to go grocery shopping and do a week’s worth of laundry. It’s a sign of inflammation in my body. And I wonder– why in the world do I take all these pills if I’m going to have days when I’m basically useless?
The truth is that before the pills, I had days like this every week. Now I have them maybe once a month. And they’re not as bad. I can still walk faster and do more than I could a year ago.
Sometimes I think that God gives me days like this to force me to slow down a little bit, and to keep my opinion of myself realistic. Sometimes I think I can do everything, but the truth is that I have a very real, chronic disease that means I can’t do everything. Sometimes I can’t do much of anything.
I’m just so foolish, you know? So dependent on myself even though I know I’m pretty much helpless. And God keeps giving me these unavoidable reminders that I need medication, I need help from my husband and kids, I need rest, and I need Him more than anything. I am a needy individual.
I am so thankful for a God who meets every one of those needs. He is good, and I can continually praise Him even when my day isn’t how I planned. Even when the thoughts of what the future may hold scare me. Even when I feel like going to bed at 7pm. He is good. And I am held in His good hand.
Pain is no measure of His faithfulness; He withholds no good thing from us ~Sara Groves