Saturday, September 14, 2013


Damn arthritis.

Seriously. I hate it. It's obnoxiously annoying. Which is a pretty redundant phrase, but arthritis is pretty redundantly stupid, so it fits.

Or something.

Okay, it's not like I was super gung-ho on the writings of the blog posts, but I at least did more than one, and possibly even did more than one a month (I'm too lazy to even go verify that, however), so at least it was more than nothing. And actually, I was super gung-ho. In my head. But getting what's in my head to translate into reality can be a problem. Hence the lack of posts. See how neat that wraps up to be? You missed me, didn't you?


Thwarted. By the damn arthritis.

Osteoarthritis, to be exact. Mostly in the base joint of my thumbs, and more so in my right hand because, well, you know. I'm right-handed and all. It seems to be genetic, as my mama has the same issue, and it seems to be related to our double-jointedness. Bending my thumbs back ridiculously far at the first joint is my circus cred, for sure.

And that's obviously how I learned to use my thumbs, as that position is my strongest, most natural grip. My arthritis began flaring here and there in my mid-twenties when I would use the joint that way for prolonged periods or with a lot of force, such as when I would use chopsticks several times in a week (and yes, if you're imagining that, you're realizing I hold my chopsticks weird...I don't think it counts as circus cred, though). The pad at the base of my thumb would get super swollen and the joint would ache, but I would ice it and pop some vitamin I (a clue into how much ibuprofen I've taken on a regular basis over the years), and all would eventually be well.

But then I moved to Montreal and that next full winter, things got really, really bad. I was in so much pain and had lost so much strength in those joints, I could barely get through my day. Brushing my teeth, styling my hair (I used to do that back then), pulling up my freaking pants, doing the dishes. I broke so many dishes during that period because I literally didn't have the strength to hold onto them. I used to turn my hands palms facing out to the sides and grasp the waist of my pants with just my fingers that way to pull them up (yes, it's as awkward as it sounds). Buttons and zippers were my nemesis. And this was Montreal. IN WINTER. If you haven't been there, I'm not even going to describe it to you because the very thought of it would frighten you. True story.

Anyway. Using Canada's awesome communist socialized medical system, I was fitted with braces to wear while I slept and as often as possible while I was at home (you have not experienced the ultimate in comfort until you have slept in two hard braces extending from the base of your fingers halfway down your forearm, keeping your thumb immobile, every night for months, let me tell you), and one for writing at school that was molded while I held a pen and kept the joint stable while I wrote (it was not comfortable or helpful in terms of writing AT ALL). Basically, I was a mess. And not very stylish.

But when I moved back to California, voila. In very short order, I was rarely if ever dealing with the issue. I was dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome in a very bad way, of course, because you know, the more problems you have in one part of your body, the better, I always say. But arthritis? Nah. Not really at all.

That is, until my genius plan to type, type, type away on my phone while in bed with the beebs (who, I've been admonished, are now very much toddlers, so...can we still use that term? Hmmm...). Obviously the way I hold the phone and use my thumb to type is severely exacerbating my arthritis, which is, in turn, keeping me from writing. And that is, in turn, making me very fussy. Well, among other things. The Barbarian likes to describe me as "fussy" in general. It's his polite way of saying I'm a total bitch. These are the things that keep marriages thriving, right?

So, there you have it. The reason (excuse?) for why I have been ever so less than prolific with the posting. Of course it means I will have to come up with some other plan for finding time to write, but things are in the works. We are making headway with The Barbarian putting the babies to sleep (with the occasional assist from me) and them actually staying that way for sometimes a few glorious hours before waking to nurse or before we finally just come to bed. We actually WATCHED TV the other night. It was insanity. And after finishing the first show and convincing ourselves they were just asleep and not dead, we watched A SECOND SHOW. I know. I know. I could get used to this.

And I think I am finally ready to start having them get used to napping without me. Not falling asleep without me, of course, as I'll still nurse them down, but I'm working up the nerve to start sneaking away once they are out-out. And I say "working up the nerve" because this will, of course, mean their naps will most likely be depressingly short for a while, as they are used to half-waking and latching back on and falling back asleep several times over the course of a nap. But I'm hopeful and confident that with enough persistence on my part, we can come to an understanding, so to speak, and they'll get used to the idea that I'll be there when they fall asleep, but not when they wake up. We shall see, eh?

So expect more from me. But not too much. We must always endeavour to be realistic. Because being unrealistic makes me fussy.

And The Barbarian doesn't need any more validation in that department.

Trust me.