Transformation Tuesday with Kiri Weatherby
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis at 8 years old. Over the first few years I was wheelchair bound and I would get flare ups so bad, I was unable to lift a cup to my mouth, or sit up in bed on my own.
From third grade through 11th grade, these flare ups would come back like clockwork. My family found it best that I would be homeschooled during the second semester every year because I physically couldn’t get around and sometimes couldn’t get out of bed on my own.
During this time I lost friends, was bullied, and felt very alone. I wasn’t around other kids so my communication skills weren’t that great later in life, I didn’t have a good foundation in school, so when I went to college I didn’t know how to study, or prepare for assignments. All these little things you don’t think of, really affected my adult life.
I was told I’m going to have a hard life, I may not be able to work, I won’t be able to run a mile. There were so many things I remember the doctors telling me I can’t, I won’t, it’s not going to happen. I did have a very hard childhood. It took years to find medicine that would get the pain under control but I refused to think I couldn’t do what other people do from day to day, like work a “normal” job or walk a mile. I went to college and studied abroad for a semester. I was working 3 jobs at a time to prove to myself and what I was told my whole life, I can!
I’ve had both my hips replaced by the time I was 30 years old. I just had major foot surgery and next month I’ll be getting a shoulder replacement.
There is so much life to live and I don’t want to be stuck in a bed, or someone telling me I can’t live the life I want. There will still be more surgeries, more pain, but RA is just something extra I have to deal with. I may not be able to do things exactly like you, but I can modify and make it happen.
I am not a restaurant manager, but my future goal is to open a non-profit for kids aging out of the foster system to have a place they can go to, to learn life skills. I am not done with life so I will keep fighting and pursuing my passions and goals.