Last summer I had a strong urge to take up knitting again. I hadn’t knitted in many years and wasn’t sure I remembered how. I bought a book for teaching children how to knit and learned quickly that knitting was like riding a bike, once learned not to be forgotten. I enjoyed the projects. Easy. Big needles. Satisfying. The basket in the picture was one of the projects. Circular needles.
A few years ago I was sent to a hand clinic for my RA. I learned a series of exercises to strengthen my fingers, hands and wrists. It was the most helpful process I had had for my RA. I still do the exercises. I have added knitting as another way to exercise my hands. I enjoy projects simple and repetitive and I enjoy projects with complicated precise instructions. I usually knit a bit every day.
There are times when I can’t knit. My hands are too inflamed. Sometimes my shoulder is too inflamed. So I just stop for a bit and carry on when I can.
RA is debilitating. All the RA drugs are palliative only. Yet they are important in that they can slow the destructive process. Recently I had a severe episode of hip and shoulder pain. It was scary on many levels. Pain. Mobility. And it was new. Medrol saved the day for me. I have hydrocodone. But I don’t take it for this. Medrol is the miracle drug and it is at 8 mg over my normal of 4 mg a day. Remember 4 mg Medrol is equal to 5 mg prednisone.
With a disease that is a permanent part of life learning to manage is very hard to do. Yet it is an important part of surviving the ups and downs of a painful and debilitating disease. As time passes and my experiences with RA increase in number, I see that I am managing and I am happy that I can.
I am currently making Easter baskets for my family. They are small, colorful and charming. The bottoms are detailed and artistic. Satisfying and productive.