I used to think RA only stood for resident assistant. You know the (in my case) annoying girl who tried to keep things under control on your hall in the dorms. Mine thought she was from England (she wasn't... she actually grew up in the same town as me) and would fake an english accident. It was kind of comical... moving on.
I now have a better understanding of what else RA can stand for. Turns out all those problems with my feet and pain in my joints weren't due to plantar fasciitis. I instead have rheumatoid arthritis. I have been going to the doctor more in the last few weeks. They ran some blood work and once the rheumatoid factor showed up positive in my blood, my family doctor set me up with a rheumatologist in town.
I went to see him yesterday morning. He told me he is 95% sure I have RA. They ran more blood work to rule out other things, took x-rays and had me fill out surveys to have a base-line to refer to down the road.
The doctor was nice and explained things fairly well. He told me of course that when questions come up to write them down and ask him at my appointments. He seems nice and like he really cares for his patients. I appreciate him being patient with me and explaining things and really just taking his time with me. I think he could tell I was overwhelmed.
I was overwhelmed. I was sitting in the waiting room of the lab area when a lady sat down across from me. I was holding all my packets about all the medication options. She made a comment about how much she loved the doctor. I responded that I was glad to hear that...this is my first time here. I asked her if she has RA and she responded that she does. We had a brief conversation and she was very kind in reassuring me that it would be okay and that the doctors are great and its good that I'm so young and they've caught it early... I got called back for blood work. She poked her head around the door while I was in there and made a motion to me letting me know she was praying for me. Just a few minutes later we were both in line making our next appointments and on her way out she handed me a little slip of paper with her name and number. She told me to call her if I needed anything. She seemed super sweet and I may just call her to thank her for being so kind to a stranger. It was nice to have a smile and know that someone I didn't even know would pray for me. The Lord was kind to place her across from me in the waiting room.
I cried a decent amount yesterday. I'm not really depressed about this. I know that the Lord is good and is faithful to His children. I am confident that in this suffering (which in the grand scheme of things is really mild) He is making me more like Christ. I know these things and they are super comforting but it has just been a hard couple weeks.
I have a tendency to hold tightly to this world. I have a hard time thinking about death. I don't want to loose my ability to live the life I want to live... I want to be pain free and with out any cares. The Lord really is kind in bringing this specific suffering into my life. He is teaching me that I need Him. Unfortunately this life is going to be full of suffering. Sin has brought sickness and evil into this life and the only hope for any of us is in Christ. Because of Christ's death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead there is hope. He took the consequence of sin upon himself in his death on the cross. In believing in Him for salvation I have been given the promise of a life without suffering and pain in the life to come. I am learning to cling less to this life and cling more to Christ.
I am constantly having to turn to Him and ask for patience and strength and joy. With out Him I can't have any of these.
This is sort of a babbling of all my thoughts today. I'm sure I'll be posting more about this in the future.