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.