One Patient's Positive Perspectives


Soothing Warm Dish Water

Washing dishes can hardly be described as an especially inspiring activity, but sometimes during such mundane activities a meaningful thought or two pops up.  So, what do you think about when you are washing dishes?  A couple of mornings ago waking in the first morning light of the chilly winter morning, there was pain.  Cold tiles on the floor chilled the bones of bare feet walking through the frigid dark kitchen.

A pair of stiff, swollen hands welcomed an excuse to soak in warm sudsy water and bubbles filling the kitchen sink.  Meanwhile, my cloudy morning brain struggled to connect.  Painful wet hands drew my attention to thoughts of personally disabling aspects of lupus.

These were not exactly the most upbeat morning thoughts!

Hands slipping into warm dish water almost seemed therapeutic, but the pressure of twisting a wet dishcloth inside a glass brought a painful wince.  Next, trying in vain to grasp and remove the lids from a coffee mug and thermos, after several tries, quivering tendons and stinging knuckles announced it was just time to give up!  With futile efforts abandoned, the stubborn cup and thermos would just have to sit there beside the sink all day, waiting to be opened by the male culprit to come home who had tightened them so firmly the previous morning.

Wordle Disability or This AbilityWhile scrubbing the remaining dishes, amusing thoughts were running around in some foggy grey matter, threatening to stimulate and waken a foggy morning brain.

Disjointed thoughts formed into a series of silly word plays, tossed around during the simple kitchen chore.  Inspired without any clear reason by a glass, dishwater and lupus arthritis, these words scampered around as disjointed musings:

Glass half full or perhaps half empty,
How to be a victor not a victim?
Disability, dis-ability, dish water, dish-ability,
No!  This-ability, THIS ability!
Think instead about ability!
Now, there was a better noteworthy thought!

Even though many activities are painful for those of us with lupus arthritis, there are many activities that are nearly or completely unaffected by it.  These are what we should focus on and be thankful for.  The thought about half full and half empty glasses, and a silly dishwashing soliloquy had triggered an unexpected New Year’s resolution of sorts.

This year should victoriously focus on being thankful for “this” ability and “that” ability that I have, instead of giving the negative aspects of Lupus any undue attention. Perhaps we should be intentionally thankful while thinking of all the verbs (ACTION words) that describe many remaining abilities, such as:

  • doing
  • thinking
  • walking
  • playing
  • sitting
  • standing
  • driving
  • cycling
  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • mopping
  • sweeping
  • working
  • thinking
  • writing
  • rejoicing
  • singing

What can you add to the list?

And yes, even washing dishes!

What are yours?  What positive actions would you add to your list?

It is resolved, then!  This is the year of this, that and every ability we have!

We can choose to celebrate the abilities we have, while striving to accept and minimize our disabilities with poise and grace.

[Note:  Paragraph two was edited after posting to correct the grossly disjointed sentence about a cloudy brain, written by a cloudy brain!]


Comments on: "Lupus: “Dis”ability or This Ability?" (10)

  1. I love reading your blog on days I am feeling sore or down. You’re always so inspiring to give a better outlook.

    Today I’ve been reading scripture and praying and a little voice said stop by your page. Thank you! It means a lot to see someone else staying positive even in pain with little things we take for granted when The Lord blesses us with so much.

  2. Another poignant perspective! Thank you for sharing your story and inspirational words!

  3. Great post LA. I agree 110%.

    • DYD, Thanks for being such a vote confidence. Sometimes it is hard to know if the post will connect or just fail to communicate with readers, or even go too far of the deep end or silly tangent. When you agree with a post, it is very affirming. Thanks!! LA

  4. Brenda said:

    It is so true, we need to give thanks for the things we can do and focus on that. I hate giving Lupus the last “word”, and instead try to beat it by doing something that I can do well. Yes, sometimes Lupus wins for a day or longer, but I don’t have to let it know it has won. I fight, I tried and I do what I can and for that I am very grateful that I was able to do that! I don’t run, but I can walk-that’s ok! I CAN walk! For a while, but I CAN. I CAN do small things and for the most part I am independent and I’m thankful for that. I think we need to keep going and not let the focus always be about Lupus, for Lupus gets way to much of our attention. Thanks for a great post today! I thoroughly enjoyed it and it really made me think.

    • Brenda, thank you so much for your comment. You are right about not giving lupus the last word… we should strive to keep it in its place! Down lupus, down! Glad to trigger a little pondering… thanks for giving me the opportunity! LA

  5. You say you have problems holding a dishcloth or using one. I found that the a luffa body glove works great. Put it on add alittle soap, and just swish. I only use it on the one hand so things won’t slip while i’m cleaning. After use I hang it on my faucet handle to dry or toss it in the washer. I can usually find them cheap at the dollar store.

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