As some of you may know, I have suffered from an unusual and degenerative version of arthritis in my knees (and other joints) for many years. For those who didn’t…well, now you know. I’ve never really allowed it to stop me from living a normal life, though there has been a level of pain I’ve had to deal with. However, in some ways it’s been a good thing. It has led me to where I am today, and that’s a place I like to be. I’ll explain in due time….but first, current events…
I have recently begun seeing my rheumotologist again after many years. It appears that osteoarthritis has decided to join the party, and my family doctor believes that without some additional intervention my mobility will decrease further. I met him at the Southlake Regional Centre’s Arthitis clinic on Thursday, Melanie in tow, and he suggested we try Cortisone injections in my knees to see if that helps. These injections require one to stay off their feet for a couple days to allow for the full effect, so I was hesitant to proceed – mostly due to the proximity of Thanksgiving. I knew there was stuff we needed to get done to prepare for a fabulous feast at my mothers house and the idea of being laid up wasn’t really appealing. However Melanie insisted that I do it; that she would take care of me and handle everything with the kids for the couple of days. So, we went ahead with it.
Other than for some external issues that affected my stress levels (which I won’t go into here) it was a productive couple of days. Being confined to a couch for the day allowed me to do some writing amd to research my next steps for writing goals. Most particular it allowed me to reflect.
I remembered the last time this happened. It ended up being a pivotal moment in my life. It was around ten years ago. I was dealing with intense pain and a level of depression from nobody in the medical field having any idea what the hell was wrong with me. I was willing to try anything to get answers.
I had recently returned to the GTA from a failed venture in Cambridge, almost pennyless and ready to start my career again with a company called Utility Reading & Billing as their IT Manager. My father and stepmother were kind enough to give me a transition point while I found a place to stay and closed up details on my rental in Cambridge. Then a couple of my friends invited me over to their house one evening and introduced me to their friend Melanie who was also just starting to rebuild again. They recommended we share a rental townhouse together…strictly plutonic, of course (I had eyes in a different direction at that time)…that together the financial strain would be lestened. She seemed nice enough of a person and after only a small bit of hesitation (perhaps more on her part than mine) we went to see a place and very quickly made it a done deal.
Everything went fine. We got along together and respected each others space, so there was never a time of acrimony. Then my doctor at the time recommended I start seeing a rheumotologist as she suspected I had some kind of arthritis, though I was asympomatic to any she had ever seen, especially for being in my late twenties. So, I went. After a couple visits, he decided to try this thing called Cortisone injections. Being single and fairly self-reliant I wondered how I would handle the almost complete immobility aspect of the treatment. I was allowed to do normal things like calls of nature of course, but other than that I was supposed to confine myself to a couch. Our townhouse had seven flights of stairs (!), including one from the living room to the kitchen, never mind the additional one to my bedroom.
Then Melanie suggested she take care of me. It took me by surprise. I knew she was a good person from my conversations with her, but the idea that she would go out of her way like that for me was not something I had thought possible. Very thankful to her, I accepted.
She made a meal on the first night that I still find myself salivating over. Her chicken schnitzel was to die for. This is when I not only discovered that she was a graduate of the George Brown culinary school but also that she had been making meals for her family since she was a teenager. Most of all though, I could see from our conversations that she had a good heart, and my opinion of her raised quite a few levels. I found feelings for her. However, my eyes were still in a different direction then so I didn’t act on them. Too much honour in this brain.
It wasn’t too long afterwards that the other person and I decided there was no future between us. I found solice in talking to Melanie, and I think she took some solice talking to me. This mutual solice eventually grew into a relationship…and here we are, ten years later with eight years of marriage under our belts.
Those cortisone shots, they lasted only a week. But they assisted in creating an entirely new direction for myself. One that has had some incredible highs and even some lows. However, I’ve stuck to that path and where I am now is where I need to be. I’m a stronger person now than I have ever been. I have a great wife and wonderful children to thank for that. But it could be said that my rheumotologist had a hand in this too, if not completely inadvertantly.
One day, I may tell him that.
October 6, 2012 – 11:50pm