Having an RMD hurts. You can try to remedy physical pain with medication. But there is another kind of pain. I drive a three wheeled scooter and get comments about that on a regular bases. “How clever of you to get one of those, madam” or “That’s a usefull thing to get around in!”. These are meant to be positive remarks and I welcome those. I ignore the remark “Poor thing, and still so young”. It doesn’t hurt me any more, I have grown a thick skin after all those years of having reumatoid arthritis. But sometimes someone knows how to penetrate that armor, finds that one weak spot.

While visiting the care home where my mother lives, a helping volunteer asks me: I don’t know you, you don’t visit often?  Ouch, that hurt! No, I don’t visit often. My mother suffers from dementia, and lives quite some distance from my home. One Sunday a month I try visit her with my husband and sons. And sometimes, on a weekday I come on my own. But only on days my body lets me. Days I’m not in too much pain and have energy to spare. And invariably I need a few days after my visit to restore my energy. I’m happy my mother gets frequent visits by other family members and her faithfull friends.  One of my own friends from high school lives close to the care home and sort of ‘adopted’ my mother. She regularly pays her a visit and then sends me an email telling me how she is. I am very thankful for this.


On the one hand I know my mom, given her situation, is reasonably well taken care of. I know visiting her more often isn’t possible for me because of my failing ailing body. But on the other hand I so much want it to be otherwise. A complete stranger therefore can cut right through my thick skin with such a little but nasty question. I am working hard at repairing the hole that has appeared. Sadly there is no medication for these kind of remarks. If there were I would like to have a big jar of those pills. To give out freely and plentiful to anyone who utters such an unwanted and uninformed but hurtful remark.

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(written March 2014, translated April 2019)