It's funny (peculiar, not ha-ha) how a disease can initially just take over your life, then your life becomes the disease, then you hammer out a more-or-less comfortable truce with said disease. I am SO fortunate that I got immediate help and that the drug therapy is working. Directions in my life changed drastically, but I have found new niches that actually harken back to my childhood and young adulthood. I can no longer racewalk, but I still hike whenever possible, although I am a slow old mountain goat. I had been studying Iaido, but was forced to let it go as my neck and shoulders couldn't handle the wear and tear. I did, however, find other ways to celebrate the culture of swordsmanship, as can be seen at one of my other blogs, http://chrysmoon.blogspot.ca/ (I really like the concept of beauty in everyday objects). I had to give up playing harp as my shoulders and hands couldn't handle that. However, I've plunged into an old love, puppetry and film-making, using a lot of the harp music I composed and recorded years ago. You can check out my most recent stop-motion comedy (don't worry - it's only 10 minutes long) here: http://rustybolttheatre.blogspot.ca/ [I guess I should warn you ahead of time that I have a rather "unique" sense of humour...it's been suggested that I will always be ten years old.]
I won't lie to you - I was pretty depressed each time a door closed on something I loved to do, but I guess the takeaway message here is that you may have to dig pretty darned deep sometimes but there often is a way to bring out the joy in doing things by taking new or revised paths. Believe it or not, without being struck down with RA I may not have found my way back to other joyful aspects of my being that had been put on the back burner years ago. Life's kind of strange sometimes, no?
I want to thank everyone who has been following my journey and just wanted to let y'all know that I'm still around, alive and vigorously kicking! It's unlikely that this blog will get updated again for quite a long time (as is probably evident), but I intend to leave it up in case others are going through the same whitewater that I navigated.