I just want to say a word about the last column before we begin. There was such an overwhelming response to the post about my engagement to Allison that I was truly moved. All of my readers, sent me messages, posted about it, and responded to the story I told with such warm, caring, comments, that both Allison and I were almost moved to tears. It is such a wonderful feeling to know that not only are you supporting our decision, but celebrating it as well. When I began writing this column years ago, it was more of a therapeutic exercise for me alone; to help combat some of the demons I was facing at the time. Now, though, I see just how much these posts affect people, and it is astounding to think that thousands of you who I have never met take the time every two weeks to read the things that I write. Sometimes I think, “Who am I? Why would anyone care about what I’m feeling and experiencing?” All I have to do during those moments of doubt is look at how much you all truly care about the life I lead, and it erases all signs of doubt.
Battling this horrible disease, as most of you know, can be trying at times. It is no small task to get up, each and every day, and face whatever lies ahead – there are so many unknowns! Might I dislocate my hip again? Maybe. Could I fall and wind up in the emergency room? Possibly. Will my implanted defibrillator shock me today? Unsure. The one thing I can always be sure of, though, is that I can pour my heart out to all of you here at CreakyJoints without fear of derision, pity, repulsion, or plain old ridicule. I cannot express to you just how much that means to me, and to Allison as well. All I can say, as cliché as it sounds, is that without you, my devoted and wonderful readers, this column wouldn’t be worth the bytes of data it takes up. Thank you all so much, and I will never forget where I came from – even if I become the official health writer of the White House! Oh, and, for those of you who wanted to hear more about how Allison and I got to this point in our relationship – don’t worry – the story isn’t finished just yet. This week, though, I figured it would be best to get back to something that has at least a passing relation to autoimmune disease.