Rheumatoid Arthritis and moving house – after the hissy


Two days until moving day.  This house is an incredible mess. The garage is full of boxes.  The entry hall is full of boxes.  Every room is somewhere between half emptied, and completely emptied just waiting for me to clean to perfection.

In 2003 I packed up all of this stuff, and more, in two days to move from Perth to Canberra. (That is across the entire breadth of Australia, for those that aren’t Australian). I did it all on my own, while caring for a baby and a toddler.

Two days.  I just got into it, and got it done.

It has taken me weeks of pre-packing, planning, list making, and of course putting friends on standby in case I fall down and can’t get up.  I am only moving around the corner.

The difference between a healthy person and a chronically ill person.

This kind of sustained energy – pack a box, lift it, and move it out to the garage – it’s the hardest kind of physical stress on my body.

I need to rest after each box.  And then I need to get up and do another box before I get too comfortable.  When I get too sore from the repeated movement, I change to cleaning something.  To try and use different muscles, different body parts in a different motion…so that I can keep going longer.

I think on my best day, I did four hours of this in a row.  And packed six boxes.  And cleaned half of one bathroom.

Then I fell completely apart, had a panic attack (a real one) and had a complete hissy.

Then some wise friends on facebook reminded me that I can’t do this all on my own.  So I started calling friends.  Some even volunteered, without me needing to ask n.  Those are the people that know me, and know just how hard I find asking for help.

It is the very hardest thing about Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Accepting that I need help, and then asking for it.

So I have people ready to help.  People prepared to box, and unbox at the new house.  Friends with trailers prepared to take extra loads if it doesn’t all fit into the removalists truck.

But with two days to go, I am still doing it all myself at this point.  Emotionally, I need to.  I am moving to a new home that I love.  I am in control.

But I am leaving my old home behind.  The home I spent eight years living in with my husband and children.  The place where they have done the bulk of their growing up.  It is the end of a very big part of my life.  And it is very hard.  Again, just because I put a smile on my face, and focus on the positives, doesn’t mean that this is not hurting me.  It is.

So emotionally I am at feeling a lot of loss and reflecting on where I went wrong in my marriage.  Physically I am exhausted and hurting in all kinds of places.  (But at least that is improving, after I went to see rheumy. )

And still, I am calm.  I am strong in my heart.  But I am not afraid of letting the weakness show.  I have to feel these feelings, but not allow them to slow me, or cripple me.  I have to go through them, and not deny them.  But not hold onto them.  Holding on to them will only keep the sadness close. I will let them wash over me, and let them flow away.

You can’t choose your feelings, but you can choose how you react to them.

I will keep going.  And I will get there.  Because in amongst the sadness and reflection, I know that I am doing the right thing.  That my new home awaits.

And that I am nearly there.


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