A few weeks ago, Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy wrote a post about Arthritis Friendly Packaging. In this post, I described my personal experiences with Universal Design – which is the idea that all types of design should incorporate the needs of a wide range of users. I also went on to describe many of the difficulties that I now encounter when opening different types of packaging, due to the rheumatoid arthritis in my hands.
I asked my readers to share their own personal experiences with different types of packaging, and many of them did.
Just last night, a blog post which references what I wrote was published on PackagingDigest.com. This post describes how discussion (i.e. complaints) of clamshell packaging increases during the holiday season, and goes on to talk about how this type of packaging, which is difficult if not impossible for most people to open, is even more so in the hands of a person living with rheumatoid arthritis.
Please, let’s keep speaking out in this issue. It is nice to know that people are listening.
Clamshell rage…with a twist
But, as challenging as all this can be for simpletons like me, most of us have it relatively easy. Or at least not as difficult as it could be with clamshells. While starting to write this post, I came across a post from Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy’s blog.
The site has a very interesting post on arthritis-friendly packaging, which offers a unique perspective on the gamut of consumer-products packaging. Imagine some of the marginally openable packaging out there … in the hands of someone with severe joint inflammation, reduced strength, and limited range of motion.
Sleep, rest of things, O pleasing Deity,
Peace of the soul, which cares dost crucify,
Weary bodies refresh and mollify.
Yesterday at a little before 4:00 p.m., Rhuematoid Arthritis Guy woke of from a long afternoon nap. The reason I write about this nap is because I had spent most of the morning sleeping in. I started to calculate in my mind how long I had been awake: there was some time in the morning when I woke up to write my blog post and take a bath, there was some time during the middle of the day when I woke up to eat lunch, and there was the time that I had just been awake since waking up from my nap. I figured that I had been awake no more than 2-1/2 hours during the entire day.
In the months right around the time when I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I spent a lot of time in bed. The reasons were many. The pain was extreme, and the stiffness in my joints was causing a lot of mobility problems. It was in the middle of winter, and I was dealing with the shock of my diagnosis. (“I am going to have this for life?”) On top of all of this, I was downright depressed. (Coping with the first death of one of my dogs did not make things any easier.) Sleep – and lots of it – seemed to be the answer to all of my problems.
The sleep that I encountered yesterday, however, was none of the above. It was a sleep that I really had no say in. Yes, the pain was bad (which I have experienced many times before), but on top of it I had absolutely no energy – no even enough to stay awake.
Many years into my journey with rheumatoid arthritis, I continued to think of the time I dedicated to sleep and rest as lost time. I was still operating on my pre-RA schedule, which was to squeeze as many activities as possible into my day. I used to feel guilty about needing so much rest.
But not any more. I now know that all of the sleep and rest that I had yesterday was indeed some of the most productive time that I have probably had in a long time. Sure, I was not sitting at my desk working on items on my to-do list, nor was I running errands around town. I was, however, giving my body the rest that it needed in order to deal with the inflammatory process that was taking place. And come to think of it, is there any better definition of productive time?
(Thank you mlwt_lupus, for the following message that you sent me on Twitter: “There are just some things you have to do for yourself – rest is one of them.”)
So at a time of year when most people are starting with the holiday rush that will last for the next five weeks, I too will be joining the madness. I will be busy. Busy resting, that is!
Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!
Update: Mallen from Making Lemonade also shares her thoughts about Sleep in her blog post today.
I’m a 45-year old massage therapist with a busy solo private practice. I’ve been married for nearly 15 years to a fabulous guy who I adore. Through the miracle of stepfamilies, I have four sons and four daughters-in-law or significant others. Between them all, we have five darling grandchildren. It’s way too much fun – and I only wish we weren’t adding chronic illness into the mix!
I am so happy to see your new blog! The stage that you are in with your recent RA diagnosis is a critical one on the journey with RA, and sharing your experiences will no doubt help others who have just been diagnosed themselves. Thanks you, and welcome to the RA blogosphere!