View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Arthritis? (A Mr. Potter Future?)

I'd enjoyed the acting of Lionel Barrymore in a number of movies - particularly one of my favorite films, It's a Wonderful Life.

He often seemed to be hobbled when he walked (You Can't Take it With You) or in wheelchairs (as in Life). I wondered if maybe he had some illness.

I also noticed his hands. They often seemed misshapened, and he held them in odd ways or sometimes awkwardly gripped things. Later, I discovered the poor fellow suffered from severe arthritis for the last 17 years of his life. He kept acting, but had to do so with crutches, and eventually from a wheelchair.

I thought of him the other day because of my own hands and knees. Increasingly my joints hurt. It's sometimes painful to walk. Some of my finger joints hurt pretty constantly. And I've noticed my fingers are curling slightly awkwardly.

Given that arthritis runs in my family, I would not be surprised if I am developing it.

I have a physical coming up: I'll bring it up then.

The finger part bothers me. I type a lot. I also play guitar (and ukulele). Sometimes it's uncomfortable to play. Not bad - and I have a high pain threshold! But will there come a day when I can't play anymore? I don't know. Like Barrymore, I suspect I'll just make the necessary adjustments and keep going. And maybe God will use that to open up new ways to serve Him and others.

Hey, maybe I can play Potter in a production of It's a Wonderful Life. I'm good at crotchety!


Blogger Barb, sfo said...

I hope that you don't discover you'll need to give up playing your guitar and other instruments. Recently I participated in a musical performance at church (not a Mass-related thing) and it involved 2 to 3 hours of continuous guitar playing, 3 nights a week for 2 weeks, as we rehearsed. I was in SUCH pain--my wrists just couldn't handle it. I'm sure it was tendonitis, but I despaired that I wouldn't be able to play. Fortunately once the show was over, I felt better in a week or so. Perhaps there are some treatments you can use to stave off the symptoms of arthritis!

8:36 PM  

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