I started this blog a long time ago. At first, I wanted to record and to share how I dealt with RA. But then it hit me. It shouldn’t be about how to live with RA. It should be about how to live in spite of RA.
Every day I wake up and test the waters. I don’t dip my toe in, rather I grab air with my hands. These days I can easily grab a handful and make a fist. There were days when I could not.
On those days, it would take a couple of hours before my hands loosened up and my fingers became pliable, one of the markers of RA. This didn’t mean I couldn’t do anything during those hours. It just meant I could not, should not, do anything that required fine motor skills, like using my rotary cutter to cut quilt pieces.
Sometimes I look at my hands and remember all that they have done. From doing the simple, ordinary care for my own children to performing the intricate procedures required of me during my nursing life.
But RA cannot take away my interactions with others. It cannot stop me from giving to others. It cannot prevent me from helping others, in whatever way I can.
This blog allows me to give, and to take. It allows me to share and be part of a community. It gives me much satisfaction to learn from others and to share what works for me, what helps me. I wish I had a secret potion. But, alas, I do not.
All I know is that we must stay active, our bodies as well as our hands. We must beat this uninvited adversary at its own game. If it tries to take motion away from us, we must stay in motion, always. And so besides exercising, I crochet, I sew, I quilt, I write, and I blog about all those things. Perhaps at the risk of giving this blog a flight-of-ideas feel to it.
But all these activities not only help my body and my hands, they also help my spirit. Most days when I look at my hands, I see not only what they have done, but what they can still do.
*Updated January 12, 2017
**October 1, 2021
I brought up this page thinking I should update it. I read through it, and I’m amazed to find that I don’t want to change one word. Though my hands are truly much better, I still flex my fingers first thing out of long habit. And I give thanks every day that I can.
I love your resolve and resilience. Good on you!
Thanks Oliana! By the way, I just bought the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. And I made sure to check that it was definitely in English. Thanks for the tip!