An unexpected surprise


I was stuck on a conference  call the other day at work.  It was supposed to be an in depth discussion of part of what I sell and ended up being the reiteration of a presentation I’ve seen twice.  Yawn.  So, I was doodling on a notepad and on a bored whim, did one of those hand sketches we used to do when we were little.  You know,  the ones you did mainly for Thanksgiving that you would turn into turkey tail feathers and then add big googly eyes. Thrown in some paint in varying shades of reds and oranges and take it home to adorn the frig. 

It seemed like a good way to pass the time. (For the record, my manager was playing on Facebook.)

And when I was done, I was a more than a little intrigued.  


What intrigued me was that my RA is evident.  But it doesn’t look that bad.  In fact, my worst spot being my left pointer finger, really isn’t that much bigger than the other fingers and could be a whole heck of a lot more misshapen.  And you can’t even pick up on the spots on my thumb and wrist that are troublesome.  

And then I was extremely taken aback by all of this.  Am I marginalizing this whole experience?  Never- it’s had an impact on me so tremendous that I have yet to grasp it.  But I found myself thinking lots of things I hadn’t ever thought about before.  So this RA thing that has invaded my joints and my life….it isn’t all that bad?  This thing that has the ability to make my joints feel like they’re in a vise grip…is barely noticeable at times?   This disease that has in a lot of ways completely changed certain aspects of my life….I’m starting to feel a certain condescension or scoffing towards?  

With a few minor flaws, the big picture is still the same old me.  Same fingernails, same scar on my wrist from that screen door ages ago, same knuckles.  Only big difference is that some of them are swollen. And haven’t I always thought that it’s the flaws that make us interesting? 

I’m used to feeling anger and dislike towards RA.  But feeling condescension and realizing that I am in most ways still the same person, even physically, makes me feel like I have the upper hand.  And I guess I’ve never thought about it from that perspective before.

Who would’ve thought that sketching the outline of my hand would confuse me so much?

3 responses »

  1. I love this piece. I’m going to trace my hand when I get off the computer 🙂
    I’ve had RA since April and am still in denial a little bit…but this was great to read…inspiring.
    I hope your days are going well.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. I have been thinking about starting to take pictures of my hands & feet every month or so. The idea would be to track changes and make something that seems so subjective into something more objective.

    And maybe I wouldn’t really keep all the pictures, or maybe I should do these outlines instead! What do you think?

    Thanks for sharing your “goofing off” revelation!

    • I take pictures of my hands. I will tell you that it’s hard to hold the camera that steady that close and a lot of them are really washed out looking. I’m terrified that someone will grab my camera at some point though and think I have some weird hand fetish. 🙂 But it’s a good way to track changes. I’ve only done the outline that one time but may do it again in the future.

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