Daily Prompt: Helping Hands

I have always taken my hands for granted. They were always strong, and I prided myself on the fact that I could open just about any jar!

With the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis, even the simplest of tasks is often extremely painful. In the morning, I can no longer hold a pen or pencil, so writing is out (thank goodness for computers and light touch keyboards). Other tasks around my home like sorting laundry, vacuuming, and scrubbing the sink, are also difficult and I often have to ask my husband for help. And small detailed jobs (like trying to plug in my iPhone) are becoming increasingly more difficult if not impossible.

A "self" portrait. Although my hands are not visually deformed, the pain is debilitating enough to keep me from doing everything I once did.

A “self” portrait. Although my hands are not as visually deformed as some, the pain is debilitating enough to keep me from doing everything I once did.

Being a reporter, meeting new people has always been a joy, and I would be the first to extend my hand for a good old fashioned shake. Now, I find myself shying away from this customary introduction and cringe whenever someone extends a hand towards me. I still try to weakly take their hand and inwardly brace for the pain that will ensue. I haven’t figured out how to gracefully bow out from this customary sign of friendship and welcome.

People I am close to get a hug, but even that is beginning to hurt as other parts of my body become inflamed. But I’m pretty sure that a total stranger would think me strange if when they extended their hand in introduction, I instead embraced them in a warm hug!

I actually had an older doctor tell me the other day, that because my hands are not all deformed (yet) that I must not have RA very badly. Granted, his hands were a visual mess, but he does not know my pain. After all, isn’t that why I’m taking these controversial drugs, to keep the deformity and degeneration at bay?

Young hands are so full of wonder and possibilities

Young hands are so full of wonder and possibilities

Never take the hands of your youth for granted (or any other body part for that matter), you may never know exactly when they will decide to turn on you and betray you!



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. diannegray
    May 20, 2013 @ 21:52:45

    I’m not sure if I should be sprouting this, Darla, but magnetic bracelets certainly worked for me with my Rheumatoid Arthritis. My mother bought me one because she thought it was ‘pretty’ (it was actually quite ugly) and I felt I had to wear it when I was around her. After a few weeks I noticed the pain and inflammation was gone and now I wear one all the time. Some doctors say it’s all rubbish, but I find it really works 😉


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