Today is our 36th wedding anniversary, or our 22nd, if you count our Vegas one.  (But that’s a story for another day, haha.)  We got married right out of college and two weeks later, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. If not for our ignorance about the disease, we probably would have lost our minds.  We had only heard the term arthritis on television commercials.  Two women playing tennis and one rubs her hand and says her arthritis is bothering her…Her partner says she should consider rubbing Ben-Gay on it and it would be fine.  That’s what we thought we were up against.  And five years later, I had my first knee replaced, and two years after that, the other knee, and on and on…

I chose very early in my disease to ignore it, and I hoped that if I did, others would too.  When I ultimately took disability from banking, customers would see me in stores or restaurants and ask where I’d been.  When I’d say I was taking disability, they didn’t understand.  You probably think that’s odd, but it was the greatest accomplishment of my career.  I personally think my arthritis is really visible, from my hands, to my limp…the fact that others don’t see it, means my decision to ignore it did help others to ignore it too.

What’s that have to do with our anniversary?  It’s how we made it through.  We ignore it as much as we can and live our lives.  It’s the best advice I can give anyone with arthritis.  Choose to ignore it and find joy in the things you can and ignore the rest.  If people ask me how I am, I say I’m fine, no matter if I am or not.

Our great niece whose 17, just asked me the secret to staying married for so long, and I told her to find someone you have fun with, that’s your best friend.  And that even now, if Rich has been away for a couple of days, when I see him, my heart still skips a beat.  He’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and if there’s a reason for things, I’ll take arthritis if I get to have Rich.  It’s more than worth the trade-off.

4 thoughts on “10/23/2018

  1. I didn’t realize our anniversaries were a day apart (or if I knew, I didn’t remember, which happens a lot nowadays). Your words brought tears to my eyes. I love being around you two. And I agree with what you said about being with someone you can have fun with who makes you laugh. Your approach to your disease inspires me. Much love to you and Rich. I hope I can see you soon.


  2. I didn’t know your anniversary was a day apart from mine…Is it the 22nd? That was my mom’s birthday…Oh, you probably already know that since you read the blog. Was I too truthful about how our relationship broke down? Sometimes I think I share too much…


  3. No, I really appreciate your honesty. I think it makes others relate to what you are saying so they feel better knowing they aren’t alone in their struggles with real life relative relationships. Our anniversary is the 24th, so maybe we are more than a day apart. Anyway, it’s obviously a great month to get married because between the four of us, we’ve got 52 years of marriage under our belts.


  4. This is really bizarre. I went to “edit” my response to “62 years of marriage” (obviously my math is not as good as my ability to stay married), and it says I left it at 3:12 a.m. on October 27th. It’s actually 11:15 p.m. on October 26th. Oh well, much love to you!


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