All posts filed under: Living with chronic disease

Knitting and RA

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 …

A celebration of Recovery 10,000Waves

About as high as you can go up into the mountains in Santa Fe on the road to the Ski Basin is tucked a high-class Japanese Spa specializing in bodywork and skin care. Ten Thousand Waves.  My destination. Just what I need. I desperately need. My treatment choice is NOSE TO TOES. A Mother’s Day gift certificate from Chris and Katie. I live in Albuquerque and this would be my first road trip in three years. I gassed my Tin Lizzy, my 5-year-old Mini Cooper Clubman. Pepper white. Turbo. Added bottled water, spa directions.  Put on my winter jacket. Ready to go. Finally!  This is November. I headed toward I-25. Sunny day. Cool. I am on the road.  I am also on the recovering end of a devastating year. The year was 2013. Almost three years ago. I had been diagnosed with a severe rheumatoid arthritis followed by two different diagnoses of cancer. Surgery. Radiation for each. Pills forever. No relief for the RA until this year with the start of Orencia. It is a …

Walking with Wisdom Woman

After an MRI of my lumbar spine. Seeing the bad news. Being sent to yet another specialist. Spine and Pain Clinic. I was totally discouraged. In the same small office complex, I visit my rheumatologist, my neurologist, my oncologist, my palliative care nurse and now a pain doc. And this is just one of the office buildings I visit. I was discouraged because I could see it as another proof that my body was falling apart. Am I on a steep slippery slope looking downwards? Scary. I was scared. Then, as if by magic, my Irish-French Canadian genes kick in. What to do? A long time ago I had come to the conclusion that I needed to keep my primary focus on the activities of my life.  My writing. My family. My friends. My Hobbit House Projects. I would not ignore my medical issues. I would care for them well. And then I would bring my focus back to the activities of my life. Sometimes I could do more and sometimes less. It worked for …