Rheumatoid Arthritis Support Group

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory, multisystem, autoimmune disorder. It is a disabling and painful condition which can lead to substantial loss of mobility due to pain and joint destruction. The disease is also systemic in that it often also affects many extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles... The symptoms that distinguish rheumatoid arthritis from other forms of arthritis are inflammation and soft-tissue swelling of many joints at the same time (polyarthritis). The joints are usually affected initially asymmetrically and then in a symmetrical fashion as the disease progresses. The pain generally improves with use of the affected joints, and there is...

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mowing the grass

I want to mow my grass but I am just not sure how far I will get before things act up. I paid my neighbor to do it. My parents were surprised I did't do it. For me to cough up money to pay someone is a sign to them I am for real about the hurt. They now plan on mowing my grass for me. I think that is great but I don't feel so good about it. I am suppose to help them. I love not having to pay someone but this just doesn't seem ok. My dad is going to put his extra mower in my shed so that both my mom and dad will have one so they can do the yard faster. I think I partly feel defeated because I should be able to mow my own yard. I am happy they are willing to help. I am unsure about me getting help frm them for this task and not me giving them help. I mean I should be mowing their grass. I don't know.

Replies

lycesq
lycesq

Mgidget:

I completely understand. I have always been very independent so it totally killed me to have to accept help. But I need it. I have a part-time housekeeper and some great friends who will go the store for me or get my car washed or watch me if I am sick. They know I will do the same for them as I am physically able.

At my office, my staff lifts boxes for me and carries stuff up (which is usually food for them - lol).

Your parents may be older but they don't have RA and that makes a world of difference.

Accept the help and thank them graciously for helping you.

Warm hugs,

Lynne
NJCAT13
NJCAT13

Hey Mgidget! I know exactly how you feel. I ALWAYS did my own lawn work, snow shoveling, etc. I also tried to do those things for my parents. However, that was how I first found out I had RA. I was mowing their lawn, and when I got done, within about an hour, I would be in excruciating pain (my legs).
As the disease progressed, I became able to do less and less. I tried everything...even bought a riding lawn tractor.
I now pay people to do it.
My parents are now very elderly and both are in very poor health, and I can no longer help them physically, so I pay their neighbor's kids to help them.
If your family is able and willing, let them help you. I know its hard because you feel you should be doing it and you will be tempted to try to help.
That's what families (& friends) do. They help when they can.
I know it is extremely hard for me to ask for help. But there comes a point where you have to.
You're right, sometimes it takes having to ask for help before people get what this disease does to us.
You have limitations that you didn't have before. The hardest part is accepting those limitations and learning how to cope with them.
Maybe you could do something nice for them - like cook (or bring in) dinner for them!
Warm Hugs to hopefully cheer you!
deleted_user
deleted_user

Mgidget: What you do not need is to 'should' all over yourself! That leads down the rocky path to harmful attitudes and depression.

I play a trick with myself: I try to think how I would want my daughter (or my mom) to let me help them if they needed me...and I know that to do so always is or has been an honor. It was very humbling for my mom when I went to care for her after her two back surgeries, but it was my extreme pleasure to be able to help.

Your family knows and loves you, I presume anyway! Let them show you and let them care for you.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I was in the same boat a few years back. I now pay someone to do it, because I dont have anyone nearby to help out. If your folks are feeling well, then don't feel bad. When you start to feel better, all 3 of you can get the work done that much more quickly and easily. Hugs, Lisa
Bistro
Bistro

I don't have a response. I just wanted to say these responses helped me too. Last year I got to that point too, and I know how it feels.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Mgidget:
I have always done my own yardwork but this year, am hiring a local boy to do it for me. So, don't feel bad. Perhaps you can help them with tasks that don't require a lot of physical work. I think it's great that they are willing to help you.
cindy50
cindy50

I too use to enjoy mowing, told my husband wouldnt be able to do it this year. I get so exhausted and i pay for it the next couple of days
purplekitty
purplekitty

Here is a different perspective on the situation: it may actually help your parents for you to let them help you. Sometimes our families feel helpless about our illness, so they have something they can actually "do" for you and that may give them a little peace and satisfaction. Tessie's suggestion is a good one, too. Maybe you can look for opportunities to give back to them in other ways that don't compromise your health. I have been having to accept help from my parents recently, and I am seeing that it has been good for them, because they were not really good parents when I was young. It has been their chance to make up for past mistakes. I have had to work on accepting the help, but it makes it easier when I see that they are in a way helping themselves feel better.
deleted_user
deleted_user

mgidget, I agree with everyone. Don't beat yourself up though, you are not incapable, it's just that mowing is a task you are not able to do right now. Your mum and dad would loathe to think you feel badly about them doing your lawns and when the times right you'll come up with a task that you can do to repay their time and effort too. Most of us just hate feeling endebted to someone else! It will work out a fine arrangement.
Cheers
deleted_user
deleted_user

Don't be too hard on yourself. I am also learning that I may not be able to do everything I did before. It is hard to let go. Some days may be better than others. I have had my kids step up to the plate and they are becoming more independent. Is is especially hard when you are used to doing everything! I wish you luck and let them help you . In my family, dinner was an issue. Now that I went back to work full time, such a simple thing had to be changed. We are coming up with simpler food to make so I can rest after work and not over do it. Good luck to you.