Sunday, September 14, 2008

52 Blessing Project

Week 33



These are my hands. As you can see they aren't the prettiest hands and in no way could they ever have been hand models. But let me take a moment to tell you about them.

On my right hand the ring finger is so puffy I can hardly bend it. My pinkie finger is permanently crooked and my wrist doesn't rotate back and forth at all. And lets not forget that my middle finger is shorter than my ring finger.

As for my left hand things work pretty well. My 1st two knuckle joints don't bend on the pointer and middle finger but that's about it for the left hand. I do however have a pretty ring on that left hand that my sweetie gave me for our ♥12th wedding anniversary♥. Hopefully people are looking at the ring and not the joints Ü

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis for 21 years can really do a number on your joints. Mine took a beating in the 1st few years I had the disease. My joints in my hands and wrists were so bad I couldn't even pick up a glass of water. My Dad would come home from the grocery store and have to open all boxes, jars and bottles before putting them away. Otherwise I would be out of luck. I also had a hard time buttoning my jeans. How embarrassing to have to ask people for help buttoning your jeans in high school.

Anyway, when I was 19 I had 3 surgery's and 7 joints replaced in 9 months. Two knuckles on each hand, both wrists were fused and new joints were made and my right hip was replaced.

Since then I have had my left hip replaced (4 weeks before my wedding) and then both hips re-done for a total of 10 joints replaced. I have to say that it was the best thing that had happened to me since getting arthritis when I was 15. Even though it was hard, painful and time consuming I don't regret any of it. If it wasn't for amazing Dr's and Nurses and Hospital staff , along with a wonderful husband who loves me I wouldn't be who I am today.
These hands although not the prettiest things around have been able to hold my babies, carry in loads of groceries including gallons of milk and juice. They can open car doors, house doors and kitchen drawers with no problems. They can carry kids and car seats, vacuum floors, sweep, mop, drive a car - a stick shift if need be, fix things, cut things, sew, type, write long love letters, cook, and even button my own pants!!
Before my surgeries I would have never been able to do any of these things. I feel so very blessed to have hands (and the rest of my body parts) able to help me with my daily duties. I forget to be grateful for this since I don't think about the past that much. I need to be better about remembering how truly blessed I am.


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17 comments:

Kimmurs said...

Your an AMAZING person !

Grandma T. said...

Yes, doctors are so helpful in keeping us going. The only thing better than them is Heavenly Father.
I have been going for 30 years and only have 2 knee replacements. I take my hat off to your perseverance Cara. I don't much remember ever seeing you without your happy smile and good attitude, even when your brothers had to carry you on their backs because you couldn't walk.

idahohubers said...

I WAS looking at the ring - it's gorgeous! I was also looking at your hands in amazement. I love that you meet daily challenges with such a positive attitude. I think people's hands tell a story and yours have quite a story to tell!

momof3crazykids-Val said...

Isn't there some poem about hands and what story they tell? I will have to look into that.
I had a friend in highschool that also had rheumatoid arthritis. I remember the pain she would be in and she would come into work and her hands would be red and swollen and she never complained to all of us. It makes me wonder how she is doing now.
Thanks for sharing your story and being a great inspiration!

raising4boys said...

Perfect blessing! There are so many things we don't stop to think about. Great job this week :)

Becca said...

It's amazing the things we are truly blessed with if we just stop and think about it. Thank you for sharing. I'm glad you are able to use your hands more.

Janae said...

You are a great example to us all... thank you for the reminder to remember the good in little things!!!

Jenifer said...

Cara, you are so amazing and inspirational! I love this post. And I think you have beautiful hands.

Vidal's Nest said...

Great blessing! I love that you are able to look at the difficult things you have been through and see the blessings through it all. Great perspective!

Cindy said...

I think your hands are gorgeous, Cara! I remember the first time I met you was at a FHE in CA. Your hands had those big, funny metal things on them. We were playing Family Feud, and you were as happy as can be - even though those hands weren't as quick as everyone else's since you had all of those metal things sticking out everywhere. I LOVE it that no matter what - no matter how much pain you are in - you are ALWAYS happy. You are amazing, Cara Sue! Thanks for always being such an incredibly happy example to me! I love you!!

Kass said...

Thank you for this post. Your amazing outlook on life sometimes makes me forget the challenges you've overcome & the physical trials you continue to deal with. You are always so happy & grateful! Thanks for being such a fabulous example to me. I will think of you when I'm playing the piano today and be more appreciative that I can use my hands & fingers just the way they are.

miscellany said...

You are a treasure. Thank you for reminding me how lucky we are to be part of this beautiful world. Perfect or not, what great blessings we enjoy each day.

The Riggs Family said...

I have to go along with everyone else, you are amazing.
Thank you for sharing this, I had no idea you have had so many surgeries. I love your positive caring ways, again you are amazing.

Kristi said...

I only had 4 knee surgeries in high school, so you got me beat by a long shot! As much fun as that was not, I too am grateful for all the things I can do! Thanks for the reminder! And yes, we are extra grateful for modern medicine after our recent adventures!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

What an ordeal that must have been to deal with ... the before. I know that you still must be dealing with the effects of this. So goo that you can have had these blessing to make your life normal.
Sorry I'm SO late getting round to the blessing this week.... trying to catch up from last week!

Britta said...

You showed me your hands when my began to hurt this summer and I was immediately put into reality. Mine weren't bad at all compared to yours (turns out they say it's my thyroid- crazy). You are an inspiration and whenever I felt like whining I thought of you in awe.

Anny said...

Thanks Cara for this post, what a great blessing! I have always thought your hands were beautiful and have loved your positive attitude. You haven't let life pass you by at all. I'm still sorry about the horse ride in Idaho, but wow you sure are a trooper!