What Happened in a Year
If you don't know anything about me, I am a red-headed brown-eyed girl who grew up in Japan. I have had arthritis since birth in multiple joints and am extremely stubborn. I have always viewed arthritis as an inconvenience that had to be ignored. Throughout my life when the pain was worst I gritted my teeth and pushed on. I adopted the Japanese mindset to "gammanshite," or persevere. That worked until last October.
It was just a year ago, October 2014, that my knee started giving way while I was walking, causing me to fall. I was a manager in a call center with close to 100 licensed health insurance agents looking to me for guidance. Falling at work was not part of the image I wanted to portray. More than once did fellow managers have to lift me off the floor and help me to a chair. I had to delegate agents to be my legs for me and walk around assisting other agents. If a message had to be delivered by management I had an agent push me around in my desk chair. That worked for a little while, but as call volume increased the chances of pulling agents off the phones to be my assistant became slim. It was a high demand job that required me to work 50 to 60 hour work weeks, most of which was spent on my feet. I was exhausted, but the pain in my joints prevented restful sleep.
Then in December, after our peak season at work had ended, I had mornings where I would get out of bed and crumble to the floor because my legs wouldn't support me. I had no choice but to stay home from work. In January I finally relented to my fiance's urgings to stop ignoring the pain and go to the doctor. I won't bore you with medical details. I filed for Social Security Disability and felt like my arthritis had finally won. I was angry with my job for speeding up the joint damage.
By the time I found WA I had decided to steer my perseverance towards a different goal. If I was going to stay home for good I wanted to find a way to contribute and not be a lump on the couch. It was frustrating seeing things that needed to be done around the apartment and being unable to do them. After a few months my medications started working and I am now able to complete one task or chore per day, such as washing dishes. I had to swallow my pride and ride electric carts in grocery stores and wear a knee brace whenever I leave the house. We got married in July and although it took days to recover I was able to walk down the aisle without my brace and danced with my new husband.
I am no longer angry or feeling jilted. I actually got over that quickly. I decided instead to be grateful for the fantastic life I have led so far. I don't even regret working hard at my last job. I can't be angry with them for the level of service I chose to provide. Life is good, God is great, and it's been a humbling year!