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What A Difference A Year Makes

Do you remember
the 21st night of September?

If you do, then you know it’s my annual guest blogging day here at Carole Knits and it’s time for me to celebrate Carole’s birthday by giving her the day off from writing a blog post.

This year, Carole’s birthday doesn’t fall into one of those special landmark years like Sweet 16, Twenty One and Legal or 30, 40, 50, 60 . . . 100! It was, however, a year of challenges health wise for Carole. There was pain and discomfort, aches and swelling of joints, and anxiety over the fear of the unknown.

As you all know, we had a wonderful trip to Iceland a little over a year ago for Hannah and Mikey’s wedding. All was fine . . . and then it wasn’t. Carole had a hint of trouble during the trip, which included a lot of hiking, and she just thought maybe she had overdone it and hoped all would be well once we returned to our normal routine. Wrong. It just got worse . . . she couldn’t wear her rings, walking was terribly uncomfortable, in fact most movement made her miserable, and she was scared. She knew she needed more than a few Advil and so the search for answers began. Through her doctor, who recommended different specialists, and friends, who shared similar conditions with her and gave good advice and comfort, a road to recovery was established. It wasn’t always easy and there were tears and frustration, but just starting the process of figuring out what was wrong shed some light in the darkness.

She’s written about it some here and basically she discovered she has an autoimmune disorder of inflammatory arthritis. Possibly psoriatic arthritis but there’s no specific diagnosis . . . which is weird but we’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter yet since the initial treatments are all the same. Is the road to recovery complete? No, this is something that will be around for the foreseeable future. But it’s certainly much better than it was on her birthday last year and the discomfort she feels now doesn’t overwhelm her the way it did a year ago.

I think when birthdays come along that it’s nice to look back on the past year. Most are good, some are great, and some are challenging. We’ve been dealing with challenging ones lately, that’s for sure, with the passing of my brother, me getting hit by a car, struggling (along with the whole world) through a pandemic, and then Carole getting sick. But, you know, resilience is a gift and Carole has shown that she has plenty of that. She fought hard to stay positive and maintain our lifestyle and routines all through this past year, even when she was the one with the pain.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m very proud of my wife and how she has handled her diagnosis and the challenges that have come along with it. In fact, I think she’s pretty remarkable and I hope you all take a minute to wish her a happy, happy birthday. I hope when we meet again on the next 21st of September that we’ll be looking back at a year of smooth sailing!


This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Thank you for this lovely tribute, Dale – y’all are a special couple and I’m delighted to join in wishing Carole the very best for this next year and many more years to come!

  2. Happy, Happy Birthday Carole! And Dale, what a lovely post. You two are fortunate to have each other. Wishing you both a fabulous year ahead!!

  3. Happy birthday, Carole! Having had about two years of a similar path of challenge and mystery, I wish you as many answers as possible and the grace and optimism to handle the rest. What a treasure to have Dale by your side. Here’s to smoother sailing.

  4. Happy Birthday, Carole! What a lovely post, Dale! Challenges are never fun… but having someone with you in the challenge makes all the difference.

    May this next journey around the sun have less challenges and way more joys! XO

  5. Happy Birthday to Carole and the love you two share can overcome anything! And with Huck in the mix now the next year will be remarkable!

  6. Thank you, Dale, and Happy Birthday, Carole! There were indeed plenty of challenges during the last few years, but it’s nice to look back and see how well you’ve both dealt with them. I hope you have a great day today and a wonderful year ahead!

  7. Happy Birthday Carole. I hope the year ahead brings you much happiness and more dahlias! Happy birthday.

  8. What a nice gift you give Carole every year, Dale! Happy, happy birthday, Carole. It is so difficult to live with chronic pain, it’s exhausting! I will send only good thoughts your way for a much better year coming up for you and yours.

  9. I’m really proud of your wife, too, Dale! Tough years are made easier by the people who love us, and Carole is One Lucky Duck for having you in her corner. What a beautiful post and tribute to celebrate one of my very favorite people in the world. Thanks, Dale — and happiest of all birthday wishes for you, Carole. XOXO

  10. Happy Birthday Carole. I love hearing about your life including Dale, work life, kitties, and all your gorgeous flowers. PS- I think Dale’s definitely a keeper.

  11. What a lovely post and a peek into some of what helps Carole to be such a strong woman. Happy birthday Carole. Your grace and generosity are a gift.

  12. Happy Birthday, Carole. May this next year bring you happiness, and expand your family’s love and abundance!

  13. Happy Birthday, Carole, I hope you have a wonderful day and wish you all the best for the coming year!

  14. Happiest of birthdays to you, Carole! You are lucky to have a family that loves and supports you so much — especially that amazing husband of yours who always writes such nice guest posts! Here’s hoping the year ahead has more celebrations and fewer challenges.

  15. I love reading your posts on Carole’s blog … you always do a great job, and today’s was no different. Wishing my bestie a happy birthday, and cheers to another trip around the sun! Good job, Dale!

  16. Happy birthday Carole! I’ve had some years like this one for you, but they are all different! How wonderful you have a great partner to share the load with! Every wish for a fantastic year!

  17. Carole,
    Happy Birthday to the blogger I read every single day first thing! I am sorry for your recent health issues, but Dale’s description sounds exactly like me. It is giving me hope that when I see a Rheumatologist in October, I might find some answers. I was doing well until yesterday and I tried to go for a walk (a mile and a half) and I was in so much pain last night. I am encouraged by your positive attitude.

  18. Dale, you know Carole better than anyone and it is so wonderful to hear from you once a year. Carole is a great person and you two make a great team. May this year be a quieter one for you both and the challenges stay controlable and easier to manage. Sending love to you both!

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