Mary's RA Journal, RA journal
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Gardening, RA and mangled hands

This is a good time of year in Albuquerque. Nights are starting to move out of the thirties. Days are either bright blue or grey. We have a few months of mild weather before the heat hits us late in May. I have several large pots of hosta watered, tidied, fed. I watch the pots. I remember that they won’t be poking through the soil until the first week in April. I should put a net over them until they are up. The squirrels like to munch on the new shoots.

If you are a gardener, this is an exciting time of year. Full of expectation. Full of routine spring jobs. I love seeing plants grow. I grew eggplant one year. It is truly amazing to see the plant grow dark purple vegetables. Eggplant likes growing in New Mexico.

Last year I had swollen legs and open wounds. I spent nine weeks going to the wound clinic. I stopped working in my garden. No watering. No care.  I didn’t so much close down my little, indoor greenhouse I just did nothing with it. Sad.

Here we are again at the open door of spring. I couldn’t resist. I have planted snow peas in a large pot near the door. Easy enough. Good snow peas are hard to find in the market. We enjoy them in stir-fry.

With RA it is hard to decide where to cut back when the super busy life is no longer sustainable. My hands are deformed. I am lucky that I am not a young girl or that my hands are my pride. My hands have always been worker bees.

It was the right hand first. Gradually and over time. The left changed last summer. It blew up like a balloon. Sudden. When all was done, the left looked like the right. At first, I couldn’t use my left pointer finger. I was typing with my right finger. One finger typing. Not easy to do. The use of my left pointer came back so I have two fingers again.  Gone is my ability to type the regular keyboard with ten fingers. So much for typing class.

Another strange thing happened. I spilled coffee, water, milk. My fingers seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I knocked things over. Fortunately for me that has passed also.

Back to considering how much time to spend in garden work. I will maintain what I have and keep plant choices simple. No more zucchini as it needs too much watering, and we are a dry state.

The squirrels love tomatoes. I share with them and net the rest. I would miss the whole silly part of growing tomatoes if I didn’t plant them.

I spent the last week rewriting my article on how to read the ACR 20 etc. drug trials. Word press published it but didn’t send it out. I wish you would take a look. Might be helpful. https://marysarthritis.com/2022/03/20/what-does-acr20-mean/

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