Saturday, April 26, 2008


Nearly two months ago I knocked my hand awkwardly against the car. A minor irritation, not especially painful at the time. Now that hand is almost useless. My old bugbear of arthritis has set into the virgin joints with the grip of a terrier. After twelve years free of the crippling pains that ruined my thirties when walking was often too painful to contemplate, the nightmare returns with a vengeance. It is my left hand and I am left-handed: writing, cooking, any normal everyday action is now an ordeal. Perhaps I should be thankful that the savage pain in one finger that kept me awake night after night has at least faded to a constant dull ache - but the slightest pressure on the hand brings out that blast of agony only too quickly. My world has shrunk swiftly into limited actions and strategic movement, a way of living I thought was well buried in my past. Funny how quickly the old patterns return - I find myself instinctively guarding my knees and feet from potential trauma and moving with the gait of a cripple that once came so naturally. And yet there is nothing wrong with those joints. Yet.