Medieval Times

Medieval ManuscriptRheumatoid Arthritis Guy loves everything Medieval. (Please note, however, that I have never participated in a Medieval Times or a Renaissance Fair!)

This probably has something to do with the fact that during high school and right before college, I spent a year a half living in an Italian city that was really well known for it’s well-preserved medieval town. Sitting on top of a hill that hovered right below the Alps and surrounded by a huge defensive stone wall, the towns four entrances are clearly marked with carvings of the winged St. Mark’s lion, the symbol of Venice.

It was a wonderful experience. Every afternoon, I walked through the narrow cobblestone streets as sounds from the nearby music conservatory passed by me.

While I was in college, I had to take an extensive set of courses (known as “the Core”) in many different subjects, including Music Humanities. Studying about music in any which way was completely new to me. I loved the entire course, but memories from the section on medieval music remain in my head to this day. (My current music collection includes a pretty large collection of medieval music.)

And while I did not take advantage of them at the time, whenever I am back in New York City one of my favorite places to visit is the Cloisters and it’s collection of unicorn tapestries. The past couple of times that I was in Paris, the Musee National de Moyen Age – with it’s unicorn tapestries – was also on my list of visited places.

In one of my graduate seminars, I even did a spatial analysis of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. When I finally had an opportunity to walk through the streets and corridors of Mont Saint-Michel (okay, this was a French monastery and the one in the book was an Italian monastery, but still!), it was as if all of the architectonic connections that I had shared in that course were actually coming alive.

And at the moment, a huge coffee-table book on medieval illuminated manuscripts is currently on my to-do list. (It’s actually be on that list for quite a while – maybe I can change this soon!) The graphic designer side of me loves to just flip through this book and take in all of the amazing samples.

I had another medieval image earlier this afternoon, but it wasn’t necessarily a good one. As I struggled to wake up from my nap, I could have sworn that I was attached to four ropes and was being drawn and quartered by strong horses. My shoulders felt like they were being pulled from their sockets. My elbows were next to useless. The internal anatomy of my hand could clearly be distinguished by the (seemingly hundred) points of pain.

Eventually, the worst passed. I chuckled at my thoughts of medieval torture, and immediately begin to fill my head with the more pleasant aspects of medieval culture.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

Walk To Fight Arthritis

The Arthritis SocietyFor millions of Canadians, arthritis is a debilitating and life-changing disease.  And most of the over four million Canadians currently living with the disease are under the age of 65.

On Sunday, May 30, The Arthritis Society will bring the Walk to Fight Arthritis to 17 communities across Canada. There is no cost to participate in the walk, but participants are encouraged to raise a minimum of $100 in pledges. To participate in the walk, please, choose a walk location and complete an online registration form.

Over the last few weeks, walk participants have been visiting the website and sharing their stories about their fight against this disease. For every one of these stories shared, Tylenol is donating $5 towards the Walk to Fight Arthritis. As a way to unify all walk participants during the event, everyone will be given a Blue Badge to wear during the walk to demonstrate the changing face of arthritis – that the disease impacts Canadians of all ages and not just the elderly.

Almost 2,000 registrants, 335 teams and 375 stories shared. Almost $250,000 raised.

Schedule Change

scheduleMy schedule is undergoing a major change today. Instead of teaching a morning class and a midday class, I will now be teaching a midday class and an afternoon class.

Normally this wouldn’t be big news…except for the fact that over the past couple  of weeks my worst flares have taken place smack dab in the middle of the afternoon.

A few months back, when I agreed to teach (at the time I signed up for one class – today I’m starting my third!), my concern was with my morning hours. For months, my toughest time of day had been at the start of the day – with my morning RA stiffness and all. Surprisingly enough, though, my rheumatoid arthritis seemed to understand was going on, and automatically rescheduled its worst moments to later in the day. I worked with it, and it worked with me.

Yesterday, I was expecting another major episode during the afternoon. It didn’t happen. It did, however, come later in the evening. I actually smiled a little when I realized that it had broken its “usual” schedule. I’m hoping that my rheumatoid arthritis is once taking in these cues, and will start rescheduling some of my worst flares for some time other than the middle of the afternoon.

I’ll continue to work with it, and I’m sure that it will continue to work with me.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!