Tuesday, December 11, 2007


On days like today, when my joints really hurt to the point where I see myself contorting my hands in response, I get very frightened. So much of who I am is based on my ability to use my hands-- painting, drawing, weaving, writing, knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, cooking, playing my violin... I need my hands to do these things. Being honest with myself and others, the prospect of being crippled by joint pain makes me pray that my time on this earth will be over before such a horrendous thing should occur. Without my hands I am not me.

What of my dreams for the future? How could I care for my children? What about my hopes of owning a stud farm and start competing in dressage. How can I do that if I can't close my fingers?

And I feel that, at 26, I should not be worrying about this sort of thing, but I have had joint pain since I was 17 years old and every year it gets worse.

I am trying to see how this kind of experience might make me stronger, but I can't see it yet. I'll just have to keep looking.

In the meantime, there's no chance this side of heaven that I'm going to let this pain limit me. I'll just set my teeth and keep doing my crafts and not let it get to me.

And I'll not think about it. If I don't think, I can't be afraid.

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