I remember when Sam learned that he had arthritis.
He had been struggling with shoulder pain and gone for treatment for tendonitis, a common problem for swimmers. He couldn’t lift his arms over his head and the physical therapist commented that he was like an old man.
Fortunately, someone recognized that Sam had a bigger issue than tendonitis — a “more global problem” is how they put it.
After running a bunch of tests, they gave him the life sentence — psoriatic arthritis.
“What am I going to do?” he asked. “I won’t be able to do the things I love.”
By that he meant climbing, paddling, skiing and all sorts of other outdoor activities. Sam was tempted to throw in the towel.
His rheumatologist looked him in the eye and said, “It doesn’t mean that at all.” He encouraged Sam to pursue his dreams.
And Sam did.
That was ten years ago.
Honestly, I wasn’t surprised when he wanted to make it his home.
And found a lovely Canadian woman to marry.
When Sam was home at Christmas, he mentioned going to “physio” — that’s Canadian for physical therapy. He works at a canoe and kayak store, and has recently been having trouble lifting boats over his head.
Instead of giving up, he’s working (again) at strengthening those shoulders.
Professional golfer Phil Mickelson is the poster boy for psoriatic arthritis.
I think Sam should be — his story is more inspiring.
To me, anyway.
But I may be biased.