Gallbladder Disease? Pancreatitis? An ulcer? Which would you rather? 

These are the options the Universe has handed me in the past few weeks, as possible explanations for the searing stomach pain that has come and gone every day. Why don’t I get to say, “Uh…none of the above?” 

When you live with these arthritic diseases you never get a break! In fact, there are times when you think you are taking all the pain and sickness you can handle and then life just tightens the screws a bit more. I wish I could tell you what it all means. How strong I am, perhaps? That I truly understand the meaning of life? That waiting for a pain and sick free moment like a little kid waiting for presents under the Christmas tree is somehow character building? 

I got nuthin’, folks. 

All I can do is remember that I’ve gotten through these trials before—by biting down hard, selectively ignoring my to do list and taking extra naps. 

I can remember the adage, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results,” and prod myself to try something new in my state of weakness—call a friend to complain, not just ask for support; schedule two massages in one month; go to bed at 8 pm (sacré bleu!)

I will remember to hate on my disease, but not hate on my body or my mind. I’m all I’ve got, so I have to continue to nurture myself and surround myself with all of my favorite things. 

I will make plans for when I feel better, because I WILL feel better. 

I will allow myself to be pissed off, say “it’s not fair” a few times, and let a few tears roll down my cheek.