California, USA
August 10
When I figure it out I'll add it, one blog at a time. I illustrated "Travel Tales I Couldn't Put in the Guidebooks" written by Lea Lane. You can get it at Amazon and on Kindle!


BuffyW's Links

AUGUST 23, 2011 10:41AM

It's Only Something I Can't Spell, Yet....

Rate: 15 Flag

As I have mentioned, things have been a little rough on me lately.  Okay, very rough is more accurate.  The whole pain, hand issue was perpetuating some negative feelings for longer than I would care to admit.  I tried to find out what was wrong but finally, when I had been taking far too many ibuprophen pills daily, and pain was spreading I decided to seriously get to it and find a specialist.
I went to a hand, wrist specialist.  He basically gave me a hand splint to wear at night...a prescription for hand physical therapy, a prescription for an MRI and another appointment.
To make an exceeding long, boring story short, after the MRI,  I was referred to a rheumatologist, after saying he would not give me a cortisone shot until after the appointment, which was his assurance I would make the appointment.
I made the appointment, he took all the information, read the MRI report and ordered me to give up 5 vials of blood and come back.  The problem to me was an almost 2 week wait for results...but I have been living with the problem since February so what's another few days.
Then I had my epiphany about drawing with the left hand, so that by the next morning, 9th of Aug. (a day before I turned 63) I had managed to pull myself up out of the depression I had allowed to engulf me.  Then came the call from the doctor's office, "Your blood results have come in and the doctor would like to see you, we had a cancellation today..."  
A few hours later I was in his office along with my husband hearing some rather overwhelming news.  I had all of the markers for RA, and not only did I have them but at levels of 250% -400% of the normal range.  Then he told me of the options for treatment of the disease.  
I got a TB test (a requirement before proceeding with some new drug), a shot of cortisone in my knuckle....yeoweee!! and a kiss from Hubby.  Of course I still had to drive home alone...not fun left handed but then the thought of being out of this pain was worth it.
Back to the right handed drawing for now!
The next day was my birthday.  This is how it went.
 “Hi Dad!”

 “Hi Sheila. How are ya?”

 “Fine daddy.” I looked over at Paul and smiled. It is my birthday and I was hoping daddy would call. I’d called him earlier but he wasn’t home, so I spoke with his wife. Meanwhile I figured he didn’t get my message and Paul took me out for dinner.

 “Jean told me you met with the doctor and have...uhhh...”

 “Rheumatoid Arthritis. Yeah.” 

 “Oh well, it could have been worse.”

 I smiled. “Yep, it sure could have. Hey, you calling to wish me a Happy Birthday?”

 “What? I called you? When?”

 “Uh, just now. You are calling to wish me a Happy Birthday aren’t you?”

 “Whose birthday? I called?”

 “Dad, I’m out to dinner and the waitress just brought me a slice of cake with a candle...I’ll blow it out with you.” I hastily made a wish and blew it out into the phone. Paul smiled and nodded his approval. “I made a wish.”

 “Hello, Brandy?”

 “No dad, it’s me, Sheila.”

“Oh, yeah. Sorry.”

“Dad can we talk tomorrow?”

“Oh I am going to play golf tomorrow. Every week my friend Rudy and I play golf at 6:30 am. I’m home by 10.”

I sighed. “Well dad, I’m going to call you tomorrow after golf then.”

“Ok. Goodnight then.” I heard him disconnect. 

Paul looked at me questioningly. I smiled. “Dad was confused, I’ll speak with him tomorrow. It happens.”

Ring. Ring. I look at my iPhone and it says I have a call from Dad. Again.

“Hello Dad.”


 “Yeah Dad?”

 “I’m so embarrassed. Happy Birthday.” 

“Oh, don’t worry Dad. Thanks.” 

“I feel horrible I missed your birthday.” 

“Dad, today is my birthday, you didn’t miss it.”


“Dad, I’m eating my birthday cake with Paul in a restaurant, can I call you in the morning?”

“Oh...sure. Sorry.”

“I love you Dad. Goodnight.”



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Into the feed....and I know it may take time!
Buffy, your art work is so appealing. I wish you well. Joint pain is well, a pain, I know. ~r
First, happy birthday, oh fabulous Buffy. Secondly, I wish you all the best in treatment options and pain-free living. Thirdly, as always, I admire your grace in living, your eloquence in writing, and your sharing the experience with us . . . Blessings, friend. Namaste.
My hormones must be scrambled pretty bad. I have tears in my eyes. So, it is bad but it isn't the end. There is some relief.
Oy, Sheila. Sorry about your new diagnosis, spell-able or not, a pain.
well, that's crappy. i mean, old parents forgetting your birthday (and your name) is one thing, but RA is a real bummer. glad you seem to have good docs and treatment started, sheila. wishing you better days.
Joan H--Thanks, it feels so wonderful to draw again.
Owl_Says- So very nice to see you here. I'm amazed how many of us keep braving the site. Thanks for the birthday wishes, each one becomes more special and always full of surprises!
Bobbot--Yes, relief before the end is always good!
Kathy--As my father reminded me, "it could be worse", so I feel fortunate to know what it is, and my choices. Thanks dear.
Candace--I would rather have Dad get confused and call than not...time with him at nearly 89 is precious. Every day is better in some way...it's a pretty large "boat" we boomers are in!
So glad you can post here and share. We need you!! That RA is no laughing matter but somehow you made it seem so. I wrote about my dottering parent too. Im so glad you have the support of your new hubby. That is what it is all about I think. Thanks for this post.
I am so glad you have some answers now. RA is very serious, but at least you know what you're dealing with.
I feel so bad you have it to. Mine is especially bad in the morning, that's why my typing is atrocious. I wish I could say it gets better, but age is what it is, so you work around it. I know you can do anything you set your mine to!
First, Happy Birthday. Second RA can be a strange thing. My brother had one spell with it in his hands and then it never came back. My sister, however, suffers all the time. Good luck to you.
I love your drawing. It's so encouraging. You are amazing to me, dear friend.

I had read about this on WDC, but it's just as good a read the second time around. Love you!! xoxo
buffy.. You know how much i love your art work. I swear if I ever turn Emileeeeee Mc Pheeeeee into a real book I am going to hire you.
But the story was so sweet except the shot of cortizone..
Dear old Dad does things in his own sweet way no matter what.
Hope you had a swell birthday
Ah, my little SoCal friend, I'm glad you're getting treatment for the hand. I go in for some minor surgery to my left (or "stupid," as my gran would say, but what did she know) thumb in a couple of weeks. Not looking forward to it, unless they let me watch, but I hope I deal with it with the same aplomb you display.

Glad to see you're still cartooning. What would OS be without your work? And you, for that matter. Best to Paul.
Pain is a pain in the _____ (insert word). Glad you at least have a diagnosis and know what you are fighting.

Be well1
Happy Birthday and No Rheumatoid Arthritis! May your New You Year be blessed and pain-free!
Guess I should welcome you to the RA club. I sure hope your meds work as good for you as mine do for me.
Happy Birthday, Buffy. I love the way you took a miserable diagnosis, and a confusing phone call and made a wonderful, loving and forgiving piece - with a great drawing.
Aging, fading parents, a kick in the pants regarding our own frailties; all a royal pain. Yet you are willing to use your left hand to draw, you retain your sense of humour, you wrote about it and your OS friends have listened and advised, and you have a soul mate who is by your side. I can only add from where I sit; you're handling a negative situation wisely. Keep writing, we'll keep on listening.
The dialogues with your Dad - so telling, and so much better than paraphrasing. You really captured that reality.

Also, a thought about your RA. I now have something called a "Bio-Mat" that I got after my alternative doc in SF purchase three or four of them for his practice, and set up a whole room just for people to come in and have bio-mat sessions of one to two hours. He did this only after researching them up one side and down another. Anyway, I can tell you from personal experience that sleeping on my bio-mat, overnight, has considerably helped me with lower back pain. And other bodily ailments. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND if you aren't interested in a stranger's advice! Am just tossing it out in case it resonates with you.