You can choose, as long as it pleases me

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to get to you”, she said on the phone. “My husband has to push me in a wheelchair as my knees are very stiff and painful”, came the explanation.

“Please  come.  The  building  is  wheelchair-friendly.  In  this  way  I  might  be  able  to  help  you  better”,  I  asked.  A  few days later a booking was made, I noticed.

As  her  husband  deftly  rolled  the  wheelchair  into  my  office,  she  anxiously  clung  to  the  armrests,  calling  orders  to him in a shrill voice. I noticed that he preferred to leave as soon as he had parked her chair on her designated spot. He was obviously stretched thin by her demanding attitude. She started to talk, without introducing herself.

“I have rheumatoid arthritis. Very acute form. Look at my hands and feet. They have gone all ugly and deformed. I am in constant pain and I have to use painkillers and anti-inflammatories regularly for a little relief. You must know that  I  trust  my  doctor  and  I  will  continue  with  his  medicine  in  spite  of  being  here  today.  I’ve  got  to  get  relief”,  she said emphatically.

She was still relatively young to be afflicted to the degree that I was taking note of. Her joints were large and hot to the touch. The muscles were showing typical wasting around the thighs and calves due to no use. Her arms also looked weak, but were in a little better shape.

She  had  masses  of  curly  reddish  hair,  matched  by  a  typical  very  fair  skin  covered  in  freckles.  She  was  modestly dressed in comfortable home-sewn clothes.

“I can’t stand the fact that I can’t move!” she more or less shouted at me.

To get an idea of what I am dealing with, I asked my most favourite question. “When did your illness begin?” “Oh, about 4 years ago”, she answered without hesitation.

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