One Quarter Inch

One of the most unexplainable things is hand pain. Undescribable and indescribable.

Another is the absence of hand pain.

You cannot know one without knowing the other. If you’ve never had hand pain, the kind that makes you want to chop them off, you cannot relate to hands that have stopped hurting.

The pain consumes you and sabotages every act you engage in, or try to engage in. It’s depressive and depressing. “I can see you’re not feeling well,” my doctor said a few moments after walking into the exam room on my last visit.

Body language. My body had spoken volumes without my saying more than hello to him. I smiled. No need to add words to what my body screamed out loud.

Later, when he went to bend my fingers one by one, as he always begins his exam, he noted that there was more tension. My fingers were harder to bend. More tension in fiction is great, in my fingers, not so much.

But, I refused to give in to it. During this flare-up, I made two quilts with those hurting hands. Hands that could, once again, barely touch forefinger to thumb.

So while making this last red and white quilt, I came to a decision. I would make a concession. I would no longer do hand-stitched bindings. Instead, I would machine stitch them. And that meant I would have to cut the binding strips wider, not 2 and 1/2 inches, but 2 and 3/4 inches wide.

These days I am feeling lots better, My fingers are much more pliable, and machine stitching the bindings will speed things up, making me far more productive as I head into the holiday season.  But now, I have an exact measure as to how much this latest skirmish has cost me. How much ground I concede to RA this time.  Exactly one quarter inch.

quilt

Inspired by this site.

quilt

A wall hanging I made for my granddaughter’s first birthday. How time flies.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Crafts, Dealing with disease, Health, Hope, Life and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to One Quarter Inch

  1. J.G. Chayko says:

    I am so glad you are feeling better; the hand pain is the worst of RA flares. I don’t have the talent you have for sewing, but I certainly feel the frustration on the days when my hand pain prevents me from typing. I hope your hands remain well and pliable for a good long time. Arthritis should not stop us from our joy.

    • Irma says:

      Typing helps me loosen up my fingers. The heat my laptop gives off is soothing. But, the pain does slow down the creative process. Regardless, I won’t let RA take everything from me! I hope you’re doing well.

  2. Wren says:

    Determined. Undaunted. Brave. Sometimes, quite mad. In Finnish, it’s called sisu–best translated as perseverence in the face of–or in defiance of–obstacles. All those words describe you, Irma.

    I know how frustrating and demoralizing hand-pain can be; I cope with it nearly all the time these days. And yet you’re still creating your art, only using shortcuts when you must. You inspire me!

    • Irma says:

      Sometimes quite mad describes me well, in both senses of the word! I like that, Sisu. Thank you, Wren. I’m sorry you are having so much hand pain. I’m surprised I’m doing so well so quickly with the Plaquenil, but maybe it’s more of a placebo effect! Whatever, I’ll take it.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s