Thursday, November 02, 2006

Renoir and RA

I have had Rhuematoid Arthritis most of my life. I was diagnosed at 15 months. So I get to take some really expensive medicine along with some moderately priced medicine and some really cheap medicine, too. I am convinced that the "healing" miracle for me is that I am very functional and most of the time no one would guess I have this debilitating disease.

I avoid using a cane on Sunday morning. I just hate it when I need the cane for worship. Right now the pain it pretty well controlled so there are no obvious signs. But I am really struggling against the fatigue. It's the kind of fatigue that is like when your kid is sick and you haven't sleep more than two hours in a row for three days. Except the fatigue is there even when there has been 12 hours of sleep in the last 24. I hate waking up thinking about the next time I can go to sleep. I hadn't looked far enough down the calendar to realize I was "running out" of my IV medicine that costs thousands of dollars. I got my 2 hour dose today. I slept through most of it. The nurse said, "You've never slept through all of the infusion before." Yeah. So in a couple of days, I'll have more energy again and I won't be calculating sleep opportunities at every turn.

With all of that, I am quite thankful for the medical options available to me. And I am so impressed with Renoir who continued to paint (including this picture) after he had to have someone strap the brush to his arm because his hands were too crippled and too full of pain to grip the brush. What a gift to say:
"The pain passes, but the beauty remains" and "Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world."

I'm looking for a Renoir calendar to help me remember the beauty.

Maybe I'll dream about it.


revabi said...

Oh Vicar, I have no words, they all come out meaninglessly. I cannot relate. I have a young friend who has it too. It is difficult at times for her.

Prayers for you with the pain and the tiredness and all you go through.
Ah Renoir. Love him. Hope you find the calendar.

LutheranChik said...

My significant other has rheumatoid arthritis, as does my pastor. My S.O. had ostomy surgery that significantly helped her symptoms, and she's on meds that help, although she'll still get bouts where it's hard for her to use her hands, and she anticipates getting a new thumb joint soon. My pastor, though, has a more severe case, and has been in an experimental chemotherapy trial -- he had to go to "the big city" weekly for his treatments, after which he'd feel terrible to the point of near-incapacitation...but then the rest of the week he'd be fine; it was the price he had to pay for feeling good six days a week. All of which is to say...strength, hope and good humor to you as you live with this.

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