Thursday, June 13, 2013

No more door knocking for me

As I approached the big black door at the front of my friend's house, I said to my son, "Go ahead and knock on the door for me, please."  Recently, I've given up knocking on doors.  It hurts. 


Earlier this year I noticed a small red lump appear on the middle knuckle of one of my fingers.  It was red and stung if I knocked it on anything.  More have followed.  A trip to the doctors confirmed what I already guessed.  I have my mother's hands.  Just like that, in less than six months, arthritis has joined my life.

Thankfully, it doesn't bother me much from day to day.  There's rarely any aching and as long as I don't knock my joints on anything I'm okay.  The only two tasks that are a problem are knocking on doors and handwriting for a long time (this one I am more sorry about).  I noticed last time I wrote my Compassion letters that my thumb knuckle was quite sore by the end from gripping the pen.  Which is as much to say that I don't have anything to complain about really.  I once taught a lovely 9 year-old girl who suffered so much from juvenile arthritis that she was often unable to come to school until after recess and even then appeared with dark circles under her eyes as testimony to the pain she was enduring.  So it's no biggie but it all reminds me that I'm not getting any younger, ladies and gentlemen.

But there's been several blessings to come out of the pesky bulges on my hands.  The first is the reminder that this life is not meant to be the be all and end all. When everything sails along smoothly and seems to be progressing upward, I am quick to want to find all my satisfaction in the things of this world.  Even this small bit of downhill reminds me that this life is fleeting and ultimately holds no lasting promise of joy.  That's a good incentive to think more on where my real hope lies which gives me a wonderful reason to sing and shout and wave my arthritic fingers all about.

The second blessing is the reminder to pray for those who do truly suffer day by day.  When I knock my hand as I try to whizz too fast through the kitchen cupboards, I am reminded that there are people I know who must put up with daily physical challenges that make ordinary life so hard.  I try to think of someone with just those challenges right then and pray for them that God will strengthen and aid them that day.

The third blessing is the reminder that I will not always be able to do the things I do now.  Not necessarily because of arthritis (my mother's condition is very mild and I have no reason to think it will be anything other than that in my case) but because, should I live long enough, I'll eventually face limitations.  And we never know when our physical bodies might start to let us down through disease or disaster.  So while I can - while I can still zip and zap and run - let me do so with thankfulness and energy.  Let me make those extra dinners for those in need, or plough through the washing with gusto, or vaccum the floor without moaning or offer to carry someone's extra load because I can and one day I probably won't.  May my knobbly fingers inspire me to enjoy my labours while the opportunity lasts!

So all of my dear friends need to install door bells or put up with me using my toe to knock at their doors now.  I'm hoping the grey hairs and arthritis is being accompanied by some kind of internal maturing as well but the signs aren't so good there.  I suspect I'll get to the nursing home and still be as silly as a six year-old at a fair.  Well, we can only hope.


Anonymous said...

Sounds ouchy Deb. Some great reflections too xx I think I should revel more in what I can do now J

Alison said...

Rheumatoid or osteo? I have inherited my mother's osteoarthritis - I have old lady hands too and have already lost some range of motion in them.

You're not the only one getting older!!!

Deb said...

Osteo here too. There go our cherished dreams of being international hand models! *Snort, snort*

Sarah said...

Sorry to hear that, Deb. I have arthritis in my lower back (was diagnosed two years ago). It scares me sometimes so thanks for the reminder that it can be used to point us to how good it will be when Jesus returns.

Deb said...

Oh, that's no good! Back ache is awful. Hope it's not playing up too much with a little fella to carry around.

Sarah said...

Yeah he's a little heffalump that's for sure. ;)