Chances are you received some cool gifts over the holiday season. I received many gifts, mostly in the form of time with my children, grandchildren and wife. But also a few material items, a great book about John Lennon and one of the coolest sweatshirts I have. (Side note: my cool sweatshirt has an awesome Indiana University Logo, of course it is the greatest university in the world J )
Aside from the family gifts, I also received some other non-material gifts. The first one was the gift of time from a dedicated nurse who postponed her holiday vacation so she could administer a much needed Rituxan infusion. Because of my surgery in October the Rituxan had been delayed for three months. I was hurting and when I was finally cleared by my doctor I tried to get on the infusion schedule. Because of the year end rush there was no time available. My regular infusion nurse, Jill, at Community North Infusion Center in Indianapolis, offered to delay her vacation so she could administer the infusion on Christmas Eve. What a terrific gift, she gave me. I was in bad shape and when she stepped up to help, I was really overwhelmed. Yes it was a tough Christmas Eve, these infusions make me ill, but the fact that she gave me her time was awesome.
The reason I was ill is that the Rituxan solution makes my blood sugar soar for about 24 hours after the infusion. On Christmas Eve when my blood sugar topped 400 (despite double insulin doses) I had to rely on my wife for support. Having this high blood sugar meant that my wife and I did not attend church or have our traditional dinner on Christmas Eve. Instead my wife Sheryl (my Super Type 3) gave me the gift of tolerance and concern on those two days and I will be forever grateful.
If you do not have diabetes, I doubt you are familiar with the term Type 3. In the Diabetic community these are the people who do not have diabetes, but who help those of us with diabetes, day in and day out. They live with the disease, without having it. I could not find a similar term for these important people who help those of us with RA so I will term Sheryl a Super Type 3. Anyone who can live with a man (yes I am whiny little boy when my blood sugar soars) with two chronic diseases deserves to be called super. At any rate, Sheryl stuck with and helped me on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. What Sheryl does every day for and with me is a great gift and I cannot thank her enough. She is a super Type 3, and so much more.
I also received the gift of community this year and for that I am also eternally grateful. I hope you recognize that if you are reading this note you also have received the gift of community. That came in the form of the community here on CreakyJoints. I did not know about you, and for 15 years I fought RA on my own. Everything I knew about RA I learned from websites, my doctor and the magazine Arthritis Today. These are fine sources, but they do not often tell me what really works and what does not in the real world.
The real world, experiential view was what I was seeking when I found CreakyJoints. If you are reading this note, that means you likely found this site or are seeking such a community. This space, this community is a gift that we all share. I am so happy to be here, and so happy to have found such a robust community dedicated to RA issues. So as a new member I need to say thank you for those of you who are part of this community. Thank you for your contributions, support, and the concern you show each other. This concern is a great gift, one I really needed after 15 years of fighting RA alone. In addition to my super type 3, this community is very important to my struggle with RA.
Speaking of this site, have you seen the new video about CreakyJoints? I’ve included the video here so if you have not seen it you will have the chance to see it (and if you have seen it, perhaps you will watch it again). Our site has much to be proud of and this video that tells our story; it is well worth watching.