By Jes Sofia
I wake up everyday thinking of Something Positive. It has always helped me through it all. I can say that after Spine Surgeries, and spine injections, Hip Surgeries, a foot re-location, and knee, ankle, wrist issues, my body should have been shot down by now. But I’m not.
Winter is coming! Not only do I believe winter my favorite season, but It can be one of my hardest seasons to surpass. You see…I’m currently 38-years-old. I’ve known life with Arthritis and Neuropathy since I was 11. What does that tell you about me? Answer: She’s had arthritis for 27 years. 27 years! And there are two seasons that hit my body the worst, Summer and winter. These two seasons are when my bones become the weather report of when the next rain or snow is coming.
However, as I progress through life, I’ve come to a realization. I have been through my share of traumas. Just now you had this realization? No, but I had a reminder just recently. I’ve come to a point in my life where I’m paying a lot more attention to myself. Granted, I’ve had to pay attention to myself in the past, but I’m doing things a lot differently more recently.
Since age 11, I’ve been told: “you have the skeleton of a 65-year-old.” Most recently, a doctor told me, “you have a body of a 65-year-old.” My reply was, well, I guess I’ve kept up well since I’ve heard that since age 11. I’m going to be 39 this year. And the pain is still there.
I’m not as agile as I use to be. I use to be the girl that would jump up and make things happen. Now, I’m the girl that just makes things happen. I don’t jump up. I use to be the girl who jogged to her place in life; now, I just walk slowly to my life. I used to be a hot looking mama… wait, that hasn’t changed. 😀
I guess I am getting closer to what my skeleton has shown my doctors who I am all along. 65… So I thought. And then I started talking to my therapist. And I bought a treadmill because I couldn’t walk at the beach during the pandemic. I was sitting more. I had more pain because I wasn’t as active. And there were and are days where I just want to put on the air conditioner and snuggle in my very comfy bed, take naps and watch Hallmark Christmas Stories for a few days while answering phone calls, having Zoom meetings, and calls out of bed. And once the pain has subsided and I don’t have to take ibuprofen, I get up and ask my friends to take a road trip for the weekend and tell them they can work while we take turns driving. After all, I have WIFI in my car. And OnStar is amazing! The young me comes out. While we drive for an hour and do short stops at Starbucks to get up and walk, I feel young again. I’m only 38. with a body of 65. Sometimes I will just go alone with my dog. Regardless I’m motivated to move.
At come the point, my mentality had to change. I can’t accept that I’m 65 because I have 26 more years to begin to feel like I’m 65. But I have to make sure that I take care of myself a little more than someone with a 38-year-old skeleton. Oh, I can’t wait to be 65 and still be able to say, look, I’m hiking the sierras… when my body begins to look like it’s 79.
This is Arthritis for ya. It’s something we live with. We learn to work through something we continually have to surpass to get to our next level in life. It can be hard, but just like anything, keeping in motion and keeping at it helps move things forward. I’ve been very blessed to have people in my life, that don’t mind helping me get up from low couches, help me put on my left snow boots, and laugh with me when I’m limping away from some pain.
Let me a remind that not everyone who appears to look fine is always fine. We need to be kind. Be there for each other, and know that Life is more beautiful when we are kind.
I think of something positive each day because it helps me create something great.
I hope you continue to create something great too.
Founder of Sofia Valle Ventures
Some references to help you through the season: Arthritis Foundation