Written by Laura Hinkle for the RSDSA blog.
When I was told that I had RSD, I was in a failing marriage. It was not long before I was hit with needing a way to financially provide for two children and myself. I attempted to get a job, but because of my RSD pain, I could not hold on to one. It then became time to swallow my pride.
Grocery shopping was through food banks. Clothes shopping was a trip to the Salvation Army. Utilities were usually paid by my church. I even discovered the “Giving Tree” as a way to provide Christmas gifts to my kids. And when each of my children turned 14, they got an after-school job to help support us.
Flash forward 28 years, I still have RSD and I am still not able to be “gainfully employed.” I will never forget my early struggles with bills that others helped me muddle through. Now, I am richly blessed with my son taking care of my financial needs. Occasionally, I get my own money from such things as my birthday or Christmas. I have chosen to use that money to give back to others with RSD. My “gifts” aren’t “big” by others’ standards, but they have a note attached to them, to please go to a fellow Warrior with RSD.
I know firsthand that RSD is often financially debilitating as well as physically debilitating. This can create a life of extreme hopelessness. I give because it is my heart’s desire to lessen some of that despair for just one person at a time. I have even put RSDSA as my Smile donation with Amazon. I do not have to be financially rich to do any of this, because I know from my own life, that the littlest thing, can put a smile on someone’s face.