Pot Head

30 Nov

That little, plastic airplane is pretty impressive (I hope to post a video soon). The way it flips, lands, and continues on. I need a dose of that right now.

I haven’t been writing a lot of new stuff lately. Sure, I participated in PiBoIdMo, but I haven’t done much with any of the ideas yet. That is pretty unlike me.

I’m determined. While it is one of those negative traits I can use during interviews because it can be turned into a positive, it isn’t always a good thing. I’m dedicated borderline obsessive. I have two binders just for my writing stuff. I frequently check out more kids’ books from the library than Mister does. I’ve promised Mister that I’d play just as soon as I finished reading a certain writing-related article. And I usually spend any “free time” I can get writing, reading, or revising something, even when my laundry pile is about to be able to get up and walk away on its own. I’m pretty serious about writing. So it has to take something equally, if not more, serious to stop me.

I may have met my match.

Writer’s block.

I’ve worked through some pretty blocked spots before. I’ve blogged about them before too (see my posts Stuck, Unstuck, and Work Through, for example). This one is different.

This, brand-new-to-me kind of writer’s block has a name. Rheumatoid arthritis. An auto-immune disease that includes pain and swelling in the joints, RA is unlike other forms of arthritis because it can start at any age. I’m only 28.

Some days, I physically can’t write. Or type. On Wednesday I had to stand at my computer because my shoulder hurt too badly to lift my arm to the keyboard. Some days I’m too tired or in too much pain to even try to write. While the doctor isn’t totally sure RA is what I have yet (more tests ordered just this morning), I’m pretty convinced. My symptoms seem to fit the disease. Now I have to figure out how the disease fits into my life.

Lots of people have RA, or other diseases or worse that prevent them from doing what they love. Lots more people don’t give their disease that chance. Like Peter Winkler, who wrote an entire biography of actor Dennis Hopper punching one key at a time with a plastic chopstick. Or this man with RA who ran a half-marathon and a 5k in March despite pain in his feet, ankles, and knees. Pitcher Sandy Koufax, Entertainer Lucille Ball, heart transplant surgeon Christaan Barnard, and painter Pierre-August Renoir all may have/have had RA and do/did what they love anyway. I read that Renoir’s was even so bad he had to have his bed covers tented over him and a paint brush wedged in his hand (this was before treatments were developed, of course).

There may be some things I have to give up if RA is my confirmed diagnosis (like Barnard, who had to retire from practicing surgery). I don’t plan to let writing become one of them. I’m determined (told ya) to find a way to write through this writer’s block. I think writing this post today was a step in the right direction.

Like all things, I’m trying to approach this with a little bit of humor. Here’s what I found today:

If the pain gets really bad and I can’t write, maybe I can move to a state where it is okay to be like another one of Husband’s childhood toys. Mister calls him “Pot Head.”

pot head

Related Links:

Understanding someone with chronic pain

Preventing non-RA-related writing cramps

Pretty awesome tools for people who can’t hold a writing utensil because of arthritis

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Writing As A Priority


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