Sunday, May 15, 2011

The R.A. Roller Coaster

Ah, the roller coaster of life, full of twists and turns, ups and downs...If that is just life, what is life with Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Imagine the biggest most frightening roller coaster you have ever seen, only with the shortest line!  Hmmmm, why is that? ;)  This roller coaster is not the kind of roller coaster that anyone would volunteer to get on.  I didn't choose this coaster, this coaster chose me.  The R.A. roller coaster has ups and downs, that's for sure.  But, my roller coaster has seen fewer ups that it has downs.  Though exhilarating to some, the downs on the R.A. coaster can be steeper and more unexpected than most.  Just when things seem to be at an even keel, you can plummet to what appears to be an endless depth.

Like a regular roller coaster, the R.A. monster coaster has its share of twists and turns.  What's the difference?  Perhaps it's the frequency and severity of those twists and nauseating turns that make life with R.A. difficult to handle at times.  The twists and turns of the pain and exhaustion, popping out of nowhere, gripping you at the most inopportune time, make it feel like a never ending battle. 

What about the dark tunnels?  For a person with R.A., the dark tunnels can be feared the most.  I don't know many people with Rheumatoid Arthritis who will deny having bouts of depression to fight through, along with the pain and fatigue.  Even when focusing on the "ups", one can find themselves so physically and mentally exhausted, that emotionally it becomes very difficult to cope with.  Going through those dark tunnels can seem like the scariest part because this is the moment when my roller coaster appears to go in slow motion.  I can look in every direction and all I can do is embrace the darkness and move forward.  There is no going back and there is no looking back. 

Moving forward-the motion of life, the momentum of a roller coaster.  Moving forward-no matter how scary the roller coaster, no matter how terrifying the ups and downs, no matter how dark the tunnels get-is the key to moving through it.  It's not the key to getting off the roller coaster!  Only the Lord knows when the car of our roller coaster will come to a complete stop!  All we can do is go with the flow, enjoy the ride (no matter the ride), and keep moving forward through it!  (Oh, and please keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times!)

Whether you are in an Up or a Down, look to SUN!  When you enter that dark tunnel, look to the SON! 

Many Blessings!


  1. Sue,
    Was doing my daily Bible reading a came across these verses: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
    Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    I have these verses written on an index card at work in my office to remind me that RA is temporary when viewed from an eternal perspective. It is that perspective that helps me survive those dark tunnels. Also finding other believers who struggle with RA is wonderful as well which why I'm glad I found you through your Facebook page! Blessings to you for your blog and for your encouragement!

    Bernadine Grooms

  2. Donna LaForgia writes: very nice Sue.

  3. I'm love that I get to be holding your hand as we go up and down the roller coaster together!!! No matter how scary it is I am here for you my BRIDE!! Love you TIG!