Sunday, April 1, 2007

Paul at the Wild Animal Park, May 2004

My son Paul in May of 2004. This photo was taken three month after his diagnosis of Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)--seven months after his first syptom hich was a sore right knee.

In the photo he is at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. He aways loved Cheetahs as a child. We were able to purchase tickets for a special behind the scene tour at the Wild Animal Park for his mother and him. The tour allows for a much closer interaction with the animals including cheetahs.

He is wearing the Anaheim Angels hat that he purchased at a Angel's game a couple of weeks before this outing. His best friends drove him to the game. It was a kind of farewell. A year before, he and his friends seem to be always out, almost every night. At the time I thought he was out too much, it might affect his grades. It never did. He was nearly a straight A college student at the University of California, San Diego. His friends had already seen a dramatic decline in his physical abilities after just a few months with PsA. They wanted to give him a fun outing. He did enjoy himself. It was the last time he was physically able to go anywhere with his friends. The Wild Animal Park and the Angel's game were his last major outings. Now he is a prisoner of his body.

Currently he no longer can do major activities as the pain in his neck and back is too great.

In the last two years, his only outings are for medical appointments.

The appointments are terrible ordeals that take hours to get ready for and days to recover from. His physicians show little understanding of his difficulties. He is not allowed to have online camera appointments wth them. They insist he come to their office. For each appointment, he must be laboriously and painfully washed and dressed and then suffer great disomfort no matter how slowly the car is driven. He has pain as the car goes over each bump and around each corner to get there. I wish a doctor could live one hour in his body. Maybe then they would have a little compassion.

Sorry to complain. The photo above was taken when Paul was at the beginning of his now devstating disabilities.It was taken before the full extent of the coming physical problems were known or even anticiapted. Weird at the time we were so depressed that he had to sit down in order to put on his shoes and that he had to be pushed in a wheel chair. It is a good thing we did not know how bad "The Horror" would become. Today if Paul could put on shoes by himself or even better tie them by himself, we would have such a huge celebration. Back then I was angry that the disease made him have to sit. How could I imagine he would lose all use of his hands and fingers. Perspective changes. The Horror never stops.

Never wish to see the future, the pain it holds is too much to bear.

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