Metal and Plastic

picture of me

“I am the real bionic woman.” At least that’s what my family calls me. As a result of my rheumatoid arthritis, every major joint in my body, and a couple not so major, is now made up of metal and plastic. In fact, in 1982 four of them were replaced. The first two, my knees were done in January, 7 days apart. I tell everyone my many surgeries paid a large portion of the cost to build the hospital’s parking garage. And, as the years pass, I continue to pay for the maintenance costs.

The longest I went without major surgery since my diagnosis was between the years 1990 and 1996. I graduated from Concordia College (1991) and started tutoring at Mt Hood Community College during this time. It was relatively peaceful, health-wise. I guess the hospital didn’t need my money right then. 🙂

As I look back, the years from when I was first told, ‟You have rheumatoid arthritis.” until today seems so short; how can it have been 40 years ago? Yet, I’ve traveled many paths and turned many corners since then. I wonder where the next 40 years will take me?

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