Sunday, May 3, 2015


When you live with a chronic illness, as much as you try not to let it define you, it does. Because I have RA, I build my days based upon how much energy I think I will have, how I'm feeling. If I do x, will that completely wipe me out or will I have energy for smaller things later? Can I rest in between major tasks? I try not to be defined by my RA, but the reality is that every major event and even some minor ones, call up these questions.

The guy who has mowed my lawn for the last, at least, 8 years, maybe longer, is moving out of the neighborhood. His leaving is the reason I searched for a company to mow the lawn and, when that didn't work, bought a lawn mower to do it myself. You need to understand how important this is. I get tired. I have to pace myself. I have to plan for rests. Last year, and going back to 2010, I would never have considered mowing my own lawn. My doctor's advice and care combined with switching me to Humira made the prospect of lawn work not frighten me.

I started with the back, since that's where the shed is.

I should have taken a before photo. I mowed around the side and then realized I needed a break. An hour later, I went back out and mowed the front. Here is the before photo.

Here it is after. 

The mower is now stored away in the shed.
The next time I do this, I will need to wear tennis shoes. I wore my sandals, which are sturdy and lightweight, but they felt too light on my feet. The yard is rough in places and I could feel all the rough, kind of like "The Princess and the Pea" story. 
The mower was wonderful. It started on the first pull and it's not a strained yanking. It was easy to maneuver and I felt, very much, as if I was just walking along. The self-propelled feature with the wide wheels made the back and forth across the lawn easy. It was a bit of a chore to pull up and fold down the handle, but that will come as I get used to the mower. There are different settings for the handle, too, so I need to experiment with which one is the most comfortable. The grass wasn't very long so I don't know how it will deal with longer grass. We need rain. 
You have no idea how empowering this is for me. I've been having some problems with pain in my right hip and down my right leg. X-rays show severe arthritis in my lower back. I was stiff. I was sore, but I did it. I mowed my own lawn. Chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream to celebrate? Don't mind if I do.
Beverage:  Water

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