Wednesday, January 22, 2014

change #2, #SmallMerciesMiércoles: I'm grateful for feet, even when hopping on one leg

view from my office today!

People with arthritis often claim they can predict the weather, based on their joint pain level, and with good reason. Studies show a variety of weather factors can increase pain, especially changes… in barometric pressure (especially falling) and in temperature (especially lowering). 
A study from Tufts University in 2007 found that every 10-degree drop in temperature corresponded with an incremental increase in arthritis pain. In addition, relatively low barometric pressure, low temperatures and precipitation can increase pain. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens. They suspect certain atmospheric conditions increase swelling in the joint capsule.
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"'Man is a creature composed of body and soul.' We have recited that truth from the day we first learned our catechism. But until the body fails us, or pains us, or forces itself upon our attention by some little twinge or complete collapse, we tend to take for granted this first and most precious of God's gifts to man or to give it short shrift."  
"What came to me in the prison camps was a tremendous respect and love for the poor old body. It was the body that bore the brunt of all suffering, though the soul might well experience anguish. And it was the body that had to sustain you, for all the strength of will and determination it might have. It was the body that felt the sting of the wind, the bite of the cold, the cramp of aching muscles, the raw lash of cracked and bleeding flesh, the gnawing agony of hunger in the belly, the soreness and numbness of overtaxed sinews... and yet somehow it always managed to get you through one more day. It was the body that underwent the suffering, felt the agony, and carried the heavy weight across its shoulders of this daily passion and slow death of inhuman work."  
"It is in the body that we exist and work out our salvation. It is in the body that we see and take delight in the beauties of God's created universe, and in the body that we ourselves bear the marks of Christ's passion."
"God by his Incarnation took on a human body."  
"For each of us salvation means no more and no less than taking up daily the same cross of Christ, accepting each day what it brings as the will of God, offering back to God each morning all the joys, works, and sufferings of that day. But those are abstract words."  
"What it means, in practice, is spelled out as always by the poor old body. It means getting up each morning and going to bed exhausted. It means the routine, not the spectacular. It can mean drudgery, pain, putting aside pleasures, happiness, or the love the human heart craves until another time, so that what is necessary at the moment can be done. It means working for others, touching the lives of others, through the medium of the body."

~Walter Ciszek, S.J., 

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I am hopping on one leg today, literally. I’m not sure what’s causing it, exactly, but I’m having pain and swelling issues with my left foot. 

I don't even have a weird, fun story to go with it! There’s nothing broken, so it seems to be related to the inflammation problems related to my condition.

Which, believe it or not, leads me to the next “adjustment” that I’m proposing to myself!

Yesterday I wrote about keeping holy the Sabbath day, and my commitment to un-plug from technology on Sundays. In addition, I have decided to also work at being more regular with my writing time, including the frequency of the blog—and yes, within my physical abilities!

I’ve written before about the importance of  thankfulness and gratefulness, and how this attitude affects my life. And I’ve participated, however briefly (so far!), in’s #SmallSuccess Thursday Project.

So it seems like a natural sequel to developing my writing routine if I include weekly posts on what I’m grateful for, with specifics.  More on the details of this idea over the next few weeks, but for today… here’s what I’m calling #SmallMerciesMiércoles, which I will publish (¡con la ayuda de Dios!) every Wednesday.

#1   I’m grateful that I did not break any bones in the foot of my “poor old body

#2   I’m grateful for the opportunity this situation gives me to stay home, put up my feet (ha!), and write!

#3   I am also grateful for my body’s reminder that God is here, incarnate, in every minute detail of my life and myself!

Ps. For those of you who’ve reached the age where your body helps you predict the weather – here are two helpful online sources to help you verify what you’re already feeling:

Over at, an Arthritis Index based on a proprietary forecast by the meteorologists at Click here

and over at, you can type in your zip code and get your “local aches & pains forecast
or even peek at the “National aches & pains map”

The “aches & pains” forecast looks great for me today!  
What about your neck of the woods?