at the Water's Edge

Living life and learning all I can along the way!


I’m going to bring you back in time a bit here.  Step back with me to the year 1998.  Remember Jewel, the singer?  She had a song on her second album titled “Hands".  It’s on my ipod along with other select songs from the “Top 200 Hits from the 90s” and every time I hear it now I can’t help but think about applying a few verses to my RA, as if the words were directed at my disease:

“My hands are small, I know, but they’re not yours, they are my own”

RA affects my hands more often than any other part of my body.  That’s where my symptoms started and those are the joints that often don’t get reprieve when the rest of me does.  It’s like RA wants to take over, and I’m fighting to be able to use my own hands to do the things that I want or need to be doing.

“I won’t be made useless; I won’t be idle with despair”

I might not be able to do everything that I once could, but I refuse to let RA run my life.  I refuse to fall into the pit of despair (Princess Bride, anyone?), to fall into the trap where I become paralyzed by hopelessness and unproductive in life.

“I will gather myself around my faith, for light does the darkness most fear”

I know that my strength comes from God alone (2 Corinthians 12:8-10), and I have faith that He can work good things out of every circumstance (Romans 8:28; Ephesians 1:11).  The best way to shut out darkness is to turn on the light – and I seek to live in such a way that spreads light (Matthew 5:16) and brings hope.

“We’ll fight, not out of spite, for someone must stand up for what’s right”

I’m learning that, as patients, we do need to fight: for education, for understanding, for excellence in patient care, for new research, for better treatments…for…a cure.  And if I learned anything from my recent trip to Chicago for the ACR annual meeting, it’s that we’re not fighting this fight alone.  We have doctors, researchers and other professionals on our side – along with those who support us in our own personal lives.  Together, we can fight for what’s right.  Together, we can change lives.

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Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Copernicus. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!