For the Religion Page, Resolutions, Rheumatoid Arthritis


Tofutsies I wrote a column for the Press Herald that was in the paper today, and I'll admit it's basically the same thing I wrote for the church newsletter's January edition, too. 

It deals with New Years, and resolutions. In it, I'm taking on one thing. But since writing it, I've chosen a few other things as resolutions for 2011, so I might as well record them here.

1) Pray first. Read about it here.

2) Knit from the stash. I have a ridiculous amount of yarn, even after giving some away, and I'm committed to stash-knitting in 2011. Not that I would turn down gifts of yarn. That's different. In fact, I got some for Christmas, and I'm very appreciative!!! (It's the kind pictured here, in a different colorway, and I am excited to knit with it.) But given the pace of my knitting these days, buying more yarn is just silly.

3) Read more fiction, especially classics. I feel better when I do. I've got a good selection of books on hand and on my Kindle. I read a paltry 34 books in 2010. That won't be hard to beat in 2011.

4) Eat more fruit. I don't belong to Weight Watchers anymore (one of many little economies required by the change in circumstances), but I hear fruit is "free" now. I realize there are other complexities to the new system, but I also know that when I eat a good amount of fruit, I eat less of other things. Thus, eat more fruit.

5) Be brave. Rheumatoid Arthritis has been kicking my — ahem — recently. I'm on new medication, Humira, which requires bravery, because it requires injecting myself. I did it once with the nurse and have now done it once all by myself. It can take as long as three months to see if the new med helps. I am committed to remaining brave about the whole thing and dialing down worry if it occurs. Worry can't help me. 

6) Cultivate patience. I need it while waiting to see about whether Humira works. I also need it because I'm in a frustrating vicious circle where exercise is concerned. Apparently walking an older dog was perfect exercise for me. Without it, I got worse. Now I'm worse enough that I can't exercise. (Unless you can help me think of a form of exercise that doesn't involve my right ankle.) So I need to get better, so that I can stay better not only via meds but via exercise. Which is mildly frustrating, which is why I am resolved to cultivate patience. 

7) Give thanks. I wrote a number of times in December about how great my kids and friends and church members have been in the midst of all the upheaval of the past several months. I am thankful for them. And I'm going to keep letting them, and God, know about it. 

8) Write more, tweet less. I don't mean to say I'm giving up Twitter, but I want to be writing long thoughts, not just 140 character bursts. I'm still using 750 Words, and at least for January, I'm going to try to write every day.

11 thoughts on “Resolved”

  1. How.about swimming, or at least using a pool to do deep water aerobic work? Or there’s always the ‘hop on your left foot’ thing.

  2. Good resolutions! My version of knitting from the stash would be reading the books already on my shelves….

  3. I loved your column.
    Regarding #6: may I suggest water aerobics? It was what kept me able to function during a VERY painful pregnancy. In fact, my 3 hours in the water each week were my only totally pain-free waking hours. But I did find that when I got out of the pool, I could walk MUCH more easily. The best part is that if you are physically unable to do a certain exercise, you can easily modify it or make one up that works for you. The only tough part for me was the swimsuit, but once I got there I saw women of all shapes and sizes having FUN.

  4. I have a wild suggestion that I think would help you in many ways: Boxing. I googled boxing gyms in your area and there are some. I think that if you went to one of them, told them some of your story over the past year and what physical limitations you may have at the moment….they could show you some pound the bag moves that would be good physical exercise.
    And, who knows….it might also be cathartic.

  5. Oh my dear friend. This is lovely. and, regarding #5… you are one of the bravest people I know. Praying for you in all these challenges, and sending much love.

  6. We could all learn from your resolutions my friend, though I’d say you’ve about kicked bravery’s… ahem… in the past months. XOXO

  7. Continue to be brave and patient. I’m looking forward to seeing what you knit from your stash this year!
    When I could not bear weight on my ankle and was not cleared for the pool, one of the things they had me do was ride the exercise bike. I thought it was strange, but it was cleared by the doctor and Physical Therapists. I don’t know the details of why it was OK, but if you have access, it may be worth a try.

  8. Several folks have already suggested a pool or water aerobics. We belong to a hospital based wellness center with a pool. They offer exercise classes for folks with RA and other types of arthritis in a warm therapy pool. When I wrecked my knee I found that deep-water water aerobics was very helpful because there was no stress on my knee at all. I could stretch and exercise it without putting weight on it.
    I had just resolved to do some praying while waiting for web pages to load (since I am on dial up, that could be a ton of praying!)

  9. Sherry’s idea of boxing is hilarious – in a good way. May not be your cup of exercise tea…swimming is a good idea too! But that usually requires a gym membership…?
    Blessings on 2011, may it be filled with grace and peace.

  10. Pray first, in that in between time between the alarm and checking the emails. Thank you, I now have my resolution for 2011.

  11. Definitely check out exercises classes at your local pool.
    If your arms and shoulders are relatively free of pain, I suggest Shiva Nata. You can do just the arm part, standing or sitting. It totally scrambles your brain and, if you let it be fun rather than frustrating, is really quite neat. Havi Brooks has the best information on it at Her Shiva Nata website: Her introductory kit is terrific, and the blog is informative, too, though you’ll definitely need Andrey Lappa’s DVD to get started.

Comments are closed.