So, part of the baggage I brought with me to Maryland is my hands* – and their persistent propensity to annoy me. I enjoy some relief, and then live with a flare up – two steps forward and one back. WebMD and a handy hefty volume of medical symptoms keep me occupied – but cautious. As Mark Twain warned:
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
The bottom line is something in my environment – or in me – is generating an annoying, persistent problem. (Dr. Barb's current diagnosis)
Yes, I am seeing a dermatologist. During the last visit, I saw three -- my treating physician, and two residents in dermatology who listened and observed my predicament. One asked what I do with my hands. Well, I said, I keep house, and tend a garden; but I also paint, knit, needlepoint, and play in clay. And I write -- using a computer – whose component, nickel, has been associated with skin problems.
He then asked, could I stop doing these things?
Stop housework? Yes, I could easily stop that, given a gardener, maid and butler; but Stop painting or, using the computer . . .?
I choked back Are You Nuts, and instead said calmly, I am not sure how I could manage that.
What raced through my brain was the question:
How could I live without pursuing simple creative pleasures?
Seriously, I did. I can be that self-absorbed!
Those with disabilities have to answer that very question. How does my friend Barbara Black, an artist and writer with MS, live? Or, those gifted friends who battle cancer; or those who are recovering from strokes? I bet that’s a question our Wounded Warriors and their families also ask.
Those fleeing for their very lives in Nigeria, Iraq, Gaza, Israel, the Sudan or Ukraine may not have the luxury to ponder that question.
· In a declining society we need more men and women to rise above normal Christianity (R. Garrigou-Lagrange, in A Book of Days for Christians by Richardson Wright)
· We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails. ~Author Unknown