I'm 38 years old.
By the time my mom was my age, she used a scooter regularly, and had very limited mobility. She dreaded having to take medication for her arthritis because she knew there were risky side effects. Eventually, she broke down and started on meds. Within 5 years, she was gone. Pulmonary Fibrosis, induced by the medication she took for her arthritis.
Mom's arthritis started when she was 29. So did mine.
I have always been very thankful that mine hadn't developed into anything more than the occasional 1 day flare up every few months. That is, until about 3 months ago.
I woke up one morning and my tailbone hurt so much I could barely walk. It hurt for three days, and then subsided. About a week later, my knees started really hurting. And it never stopped.
I have new pains every few days, but he old ones don't subside. First it was the knees, then the ring finger on my left hand. Then the wrists. Then the toes. Then the ring finger on the right hand. Then the right shoulder. Then the left thumb.
My daughter is afraid to touch me. And when I hold her hand, and she squeezes it even ever so slightly, it hurts. She tries to climb on me, and hurts my knees, she tries to put something funny on my feet and they hurt. She lies in my bed, and I can't snuggle because my shoulder hurts too much.
I drink a lot of water, but I can only drink it cold (I know, I know, room temperature water is better for you-but I won't get the benefit if it's not cold because I won't drink any at all!). A few days ago, I hurt my hands twisting an ice cube tray. Today, the button to my pants made my hands feel like they're on fire, and I couldn't do up my daughter's lunchbox zipper either.
The only way to make it all feel better is to move. Walking helps my knees, playing with a stress ball helps my hands. But if I do too much, I feel it twice as much the next day, and can't make it feel better (same thing happens if I didn't do enough the day before). So I am learning where the balance lies.
This is all happening so fast. I never imagined I would go from "zip, zip, zoom" one day (I've always been very active) to "Holy moly, how slow can I go?" in such a short time.
But I'm trying to keep an upbeat attitude. I am strong, I am a good mother, and I am a wonderful wife. My mom may not have had the ability to carry very much in her arms, but her shoulders were the widest I've ever seen. Maybe God knew that I needed my physical strength for my daughter's first few years, so He delayed this as long as He could. A good mom doesn't necessarily need to play tennis and volleyball with her children. That's not what they'll remember. They'll remember that their mom was there for them when they needed her. They'll remember that she gave good advice, established appropriate boundaries, and allowed them (and motivated them) to be the best they could be. Mine sure did. :-)