Thursday, August 28, 2008

Share the Love Contest

Today’s my birthday. We shall gloss over exactly which birthday it is, as I’m not yet sure how I feel about this particular number. I’ve spent the week being very aware of the way mortality's looming on the horizon and considering various and sundry ways of indulging in a middle-aged crisis - colouring my hair blue, going on an indefinite road trip with loud tunes, man, have looked droolingly at severally yummy cars and done likewise to what can only be described as boytoys (toyboys? The fact that I'm uncertain as to the terminology probably means I should reconsider the latter). By tomorrow, I'll ignore my age until next year's middle-aged crisis (I hope), but today, we're putting the focus firmly - and exclusively - on the birthday rather than the number. Besides, what's in a number? It's so inconsequential we don't even have to talk about it...

Anyway! To aid in the celebration, I remembered the old adage that it's better to give than to receive and in a theme of what appears to be a week long revolt against the vile definition of love mentioned in Monday's post, this one's going to be about sharing the love. Your assignment, should you choose to enter the contest, is as follows:

Leave a comment describing the best birthday you ever had.

Yes, I know - the set-up hinted at something much more complicated, but in honor of my advancing years, we're going to keep it real simple. Winner gets a 8x10 print of their choice selected from my Flickr page (note to Michelle, the winner of my last contest, who had the excellent taste to pick the one picture that isn't digital and therefore has been patiently waiting for me to get the damn print developed and sent to her: I haven't forgotten about you).

Contest closes Sunday evening at 6 p.m., winner to be selected in some random manner and announced Monday.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

All Love

This past weekend, my sister Janne and brother-in-law John gave me the best gift: a visit from my lovies, Morgan and Liam! It was a true Tink extravaganza, an afternoon spent immersed in a two-year-old world and there is nothing better to ease a worried mind.

It reminded me that the funnest game ever can be as simple as a wall, an adult willing to pretend they have no idea where you are and popping out, repeatedly "surprising" the adult.

Both kids are growing by leaps and bounds and every time I talk to them, they have more words and more things to tell you and ask about. And every time I see them, I am convinced that now, this very moment, they are as cute as they'll ever be. Then when I see them again, I think the same thing all over again.

While the parents went to pick up lunch, mormor and moster babysat (mormor = grandmother, moster = aunt/mother sister). Or perhaps more accurately, corrupted the minors by teaching them how to open doors. This was almost as much fun as the wall popping game.

And on Monday, I got the present I had most hoped for when my girl returned home from a 10-day stay at the vet, something I superstitiously refused to blog about until all was well again, instead sitting around and twitching with worry. Mojo went in after becoming suddenly very, very ill and almost died from what turned out to be an attack of pancreatitis and came home with a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis (if you have horror stories about that, please don't tell me - I prefer to believe my vet who says it can be managed). She’s nothing but skin and bones, pretty much at half strength, but is eating like a horse and sleeping a lot - the good kind of sleep, the one that heals. When she's not insisting that I touch her, that is, just to reassure herself that she's really home, which is only about a third of the time by now. I'm going to have to sell myself for medical experiments to pay for the bill, but there is no price tag on a healthy, happy cat, sprawled out and purring on your bed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Goodness, True Love & A Rant

Last week, I felt compelled to watch Big Eden again. Sure, I've been building up to it for while - it's been about six months since I last saw it and that's about as long as I can go without my fix. And no, I'm not just talking my fix of the character named Pike, who I may have mentioned I have a huge, honking crush on - what can I say, I like 'em tall, dark and awkward - but my goodness fix. I know this movie is a fairy tale, a utopia, but still, every time I watch it, it restores my faith in humanity. But more about that in a little bit. Because the sudden need to see it now - not later, but now - came from what I was reading.

The Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer is all the rage among teenage girls these days and I read the first one a while back (spoilers about to abound). I liked many aspects of it (supernatural romances are wonderful entertainment of the fluffy healing kind), but had major quibbles with an equal number. Still, I wanted to know what happens, so in an episode of retail therapy, I got myself the second one. And the quibbles continued to grow. Basic plot line: Bella moves to small town, meets astonishingly beautiful, sad and tortured boy named Edward, they fall in love, he happens to be a vampire, ends up leaving her "because it's best for her", she's devastated, makes friends with Jake, who’s a werewolf (werewolves are the protectors against the bloodsuckers in that community, despite Edward and his friends abstaining from drinking human blood). Jake is also in love with Bella, but she remains hooked on Edward, despite believing he left her because she wasn't "good enough for him", he comes back, etc. Within the love story, the books are about the struggle to be good, to accept others for who they are and to lead with love and compassion. Except I'm having trouble seeing that point because the love story is pissing me off. With Edward, Bella constantly feels like she is "hideous" (in comparison to Mr. Beautiful), stupid and unworthy of his love, he spends an awful lot of time speaking sternly and disapprovingly to her, forbidding her to do things, she constantly tries to be "good" for him and even during the time she's with him, there's a fair degree of emotional pain involved. Jake, on the other hand, has a very sunny disposition, treats her like an equal, makes her feel good, makes her smile and laugh even when she's deeply depressed due to missing the leech Edward, does not forbid her to go on adventures, but has them with her, accepts her just the way she is and she feels that he is her best friend and "safe harbour". Sorry. That got long-winded. I have many feelings about this. Some of which I'm about to share.

WTF??? This is what we want to teach girls about love?? That true love = pain? That true love controls you?

(Brief sidetrack. I don’t like the term “true love”. If you’ve had more than one relationship – and these days, that’s most of us - in each one honestly loving the person you were with, if your latest love is “true”, that makes all the others false, doesn’t it? I think there’s just love. Different kinds for different stages of your life. Anyway, that’s a post for another day, now back to the rant)

That someone who makes you feel safe and happy and treats you like an equal isn't true love? That the height of romance is a controlling, condescending ass? Alright, so tragic romance is the pinnacle of swoon-inducing stories for the young and maybe, 20-30 years ago, I would have swooned like Bella does – can’t guarantee it, though, as I’ve always had a decided case of you’renotthebossofme-itis. And I guess it’s a definite indication I am officially in the next generation that all I can see in this story is a really alarming lesson for adolescent girls, because am I the only one who sees the beginnings of an abusive relationship in that relationship with Edward? It always starts with control and with a woman feeling stupid and unworthy and pardon me, but that's not romantic! I finally gave in, checked the Wikipedia page for links to plot summary for the next couple of books and am I ever glad I did - I might have had an aneurysm if I had wasted money/Audible credits on this crap. I’m just grateful that my niece Morgan isn’t 15 right now or we’d have to hire someone to de-program her.

And that's why I had to watch Big Eden again. Because it tells the story of a small town where everyone does their very best to live in love and no one engages in control, forbidding or restraining. Where they respect each other for who they are and more than that, where flaws are not just tolerated, but accepted as part of the whole package and so, if you love the person, you love the flaw, as well. It is a town that leads with compassion all the time and as for the love story? It's one where the choice is healthy - walking away from tormented, uncertain and not feeling good enough and into a safe harbour of happiness.

Nice antidote.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Joy Fawcett: the Olympics, Soccer and RA

My latest HealthCentral post is up:

"Joy Fawcett has played for the U.S. Women's soccer team in three Olympics -- 1996 in Atlanta, 2000 in Sydney and 2004 in Athens -- and was on the field every minute. Each time, the team won a medal - one silver and two gold. She is the mother of three girls. She has rheumatoid arthritis."

The rest of the interview is here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Judge Not, that Ye Be Not Judged

So John Edwards has admitted to having an affair two years ago and we’re outraged.

In a poll on HealthCentral’s breast cancer site, 90% believed the affair has destroyed his credibility. Alright, I can understand why women who are surviving breast cancer can be tender about this particular event in light of Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer, but I’m pretty sure a poll of the rest of the country would give about the same numbers. So I dug around some more and found David Bonior, Edwards’ campaign manager for the 2008 presidential bid, quoted as saying "thousands of friends of the senator’s and his supporters have put their faith and confidence in him and he let them down … you can't lie in politics and expect that people's confidence". After I stopped laughing about lying and politics being incompatible (and trust me, it took a while), laughed some more about having thousands of 'friends', all that was in my head was a giant Excuse me?

What on earth does a politician’s private life have to do with his credibility in his job?

Edwards has not let us down - we and he did not engage in a ceremony in which he promised us to forsake all others. He promised us he would do his best to be a good politician and I fail to see how an affair affects that. The requirements for politicians to adhere to a strict code of "family values" - what does that even mean? - is a crock, a crutch and a distraction. It's completely image-based - as long as our politicians appear to be happily married (in public, anyway), for decades, with the perfect spouse and perfect kids, they'll take good care of the country, right? Maybe we should get off our collective arses and actually educate ourselves about the issues and what our politicians are doing about it, instead of worrying about who they're sleeping with. I don't really care whether my politicians are faithful to their spouses or not - I care about their job performance. The number of lovers they take has nothing to do with their job performance (providing, of course, that they keep their mouth shut about their job while they are in bed with said lovers).

Is it the hypocrisy of it? Of course it is, but we’re the ones who have been indoctrinated to insist upon politicians being so saintly as to be inhuman. We're the ones who swallow the line about family values and image being a determinant of job performance. What if a politician said his/her private life was none of the public’s business, that the focus should be on the issues – would they be elected? And isn’t it sad and sort of offensive that the answer is probably no? We get the politicians we deserve.

We are so quick to judge, to pass blame. We so seldom practice compassion. Who among us hasn't done something not perfect when under pressure (in Edwards case, the death of a child and a wife’s diagnosis of cancer, both within a decade, might be termed a wee bit of pressure)? But this isn't about adultery or even defense of adultery - this is about something entirely different. Who among us could stand to have our private lives - our entire private lives - turned inside out and plastered over the front page of newspapers for a public feeding frenzy and lynching party (BYOB!)? I certainly couldn't - behind this innocent exterior luck lies a hotbed of illicit activity. No, not really (unfortunately). But I'm not perfect. Making mistakes is part of living, of being human. And if I am not perfect, why would I expect anyone else to be perfect?

I don't know all the details of this affair and I don't need to. None of us do. From skimming the research that I did to write this, Edwards apparently spoke to his wife about it two years ago and they have come to a resolution within their marriage. Why is it any of our business what these two people do within that marriage? Do you think I have the right to have an opinion about your private life? No? I’m with you. And you don't have a right to have an opinion about mine. It is not our job to judge another person's actions, unless the actions are criminal. That means that if the man's wife has decided to move on, we need to shut up.

As for Edwards? Judge him on what's relevant: how he does his job.

Rant over. Soapbox's yours.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Effortless: What Walking Looks Like to Someone Who Can't Walk


A few weeks ago, when I posted a link to a HealthCentral post vaguely related to the Olympics, Valeria had a quibble. I said "[w]hen you have RA and live with pain and loss of ability, watching people effortlessly push themselves to places you will never go again…". To which Valeria, who used to be a competitive swimmer, commented "there's NO effortlessly about any of it. When I was swimming, I spent between 3-5 hours a day swimming endless laps until even my ears and toes ached and a 3 day swimming meet woould leave me as limp as an athletic center towel … when I watch those athletes up on the television, i haave a fair idea of the immense effort it takes to get to that level, because I know what it took to get to a couple of levels below them ..."
As quibbles go, that's a pretty valid one. And excellent blog fodder! Thanks, Valeria – I love it when you guys make me think! Although, must you do it quite so often? My wee brain is aching…

I was 14 the last time I walked on my own steam and I did so with crutches and what felt like knives slicing through my joints at every step. Thirty years later, walking no longer makes sense to me - I have no muscle memory of the things that have to happen in your legs when you take one step after another. It's quite possible that if I magically became able to walk again by next Wednesday that it'd come back to me like riding a bike, but I honestly doubt it.

I remember reading about someone who had been blind for a long time and had an operation to get their sight back. I remember reading how terrible the consequences of the successful operation were - they had no idea what they were seeing, had no idea how to put the visual cues together to make sense to the point that they became profoundly disabled and could no longer be independent as they’d been while blind. Their brain had changed and they had to spend a long time relearning what seeing meant (unfortunately, I can't remember the end of the story)...
It hasn't been very long that walking has been this alien to me - as recently as a few years ago, I still walked in my dreams. I don't any longer - I'm either using my wheelchair or mysteriously hover, flashing between points instead of traveling between them, being in the living room, for instance, and in the next moment the kitchen (if only I could do that in real life, imagine how much I could get done!). I watch people walk, really watch the process and wonder that they can and so far, take so many steps. Effortlessly.
When I get to the Market fairly early on the day it opens after the weekend, I have watched my butcher slice bacon. He puts the hunk of meat into the slicer and stands there, palm up just below the rotating knife catching each slice as it falls, then turning his hand upside down and letting the slice fall again onto the tray. He does this over and over again, easily a hundred times or more, several times a week. Effortlessly.
And I know that the training that goes into being an athlete isn't effortless. I know that walking isn't effortless. I know that slicing the bacon and arranging it in trays isn't effortless. Effort goes into everything physical, regardless of how small or big the movement is. But when choosing the term effortless to describe such movement, I speak from within my world and in here, these movements and so many more look effortless. As effortless as a swan gliding through water, it's feet paddling furiously below the surface, out of sight.
Not even in my wildest dreams could I do these things and what's more, I can't remember how. When I look at my butcher, so smoothly catching, turning and turning back to catch again I cannot comprehend that his elbow isn't screaming after the first slice. When I look at you walk, taking the garbage to the chute, popping to the grocery store or running for the light, I cannot comprehend the ability to do so, to take that many steps, to carry on a conversation while doing it, to not keel over in a crumpled heap, screaming with the pain (not a ploy for sympathy, just a statement of what would happen should I make the attempt).  

And when I look at athletes or dancers moving their body with such perfect synchronicity and precision, their bodies doing exactly what they have trained it to do, I cannot comprehend the ability to do so. Not just to do so painlessly - or relatively painlessly from my point of view - but the ability to do it at all. 

Because it turns out that four decades of arthritis, three of using a power wheelchair and most of those years conditioning me, almost like a bonsai plant, to smaller movements, to no strength, to can't, has impacted more than my body. It has changed my brain, changed the link between my mind and body so significantly that making your body walk, slice bacon and all the tiny movements involved in swimming, gymnastics, soccer is a concept so alien as to be unimaginable.

And that's why it looks effortless to me.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Random August

Spam of the month: Steve Jobs Names God as Successor.

This Toronto event from last weekend made it to the news in South Carolina (got a panicked call from a friend). Big explosion at a propane depot, two deaths, mass evacuation of residents. Video here and articles here.

This week, Condelieeza Rice said ""This is not 1968 ... where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it". Really?? You can't just waltz in, occupy a country, overthrow a government and get away with it? Oh, sorry. Russia can't. Nevermind!
For the knitters out there.  Knitler (and other
dictators). Trevor sent it to me. Blame him, not me. I laughed.
My home country was occupied by the Nazis during
WWII, so if I laughed, you can, too.

(first, I get blatantly political, then I laugh at dictators...
wonder if I'll get flamed in the comments?)

Any potential rancour might be mitigated by this. My
good buddy Craig told me about this (yes, we’re
friends – he talks to me every night from the TV).
The Yes Dance. Fork in the garbage disposal!! (NSFW).

The fifteen most sexist commercials of daytime TV. Am I the only one who’s tired of the same old crap being perpetuated?? Women aren’t manipulative sirens from a tender age (#15), men are capable of cooking a meal (#8) and…. Just… sigh.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Patient Identity & Why I Don't Have One

My latest post is up on HealthCentral:

"Lately, on my travels through the Internet, I've noticed a new term being used on health information sites -- including this one (look at me biting the hand that feeds me!) -- and it's been percolating in the back of my mind, making scritching sounds like nails on a blackboard. The term is "Patient Identity." I'm still jolted by those two words, something in my brain has trouble digesting it, because I don't have one. I'm not sure I ever did."

You can read the rest of the post here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Under the Shoe

The other day, I was rooting through my recent archives to find a post in which I had dissed The Lord of the Rings so I could put a link to it in Friday’s post. I never found it, but I did find several posts about my inability to stop being busy, the ever-present threat of injury due to my inability to stop and it became apparent to me - for perhaps the 437th time - that there is a real gap between the expectations I have of myself in terms of what I need to get accomplished in a day and my ability/energy level. And it's not just that I'm addicted to Getting Things Done (which I am) or that I put more things on The List than I have time and energy for (which I do) - I think there’s more to it.

How do you accomplish a life when you have the energy level of what used to be called an invalid? There's a reason they used to be housebound, at most wafting delicately from bed to divan, perhaps doing a bit of embroidery or reading. It's because people with a significant degree of impairment and pain have less energy (yes, I know it sounds obvious, but I have to remind myself of this almost daily). At some point I estimated that on a really good day, I probably have half the energy of most of the able-bodied people I know. And if I listen to my body, I would waft delicately from my bed to the living room in front of the TV and back again. But I don't, as sitting around being disabled all day would bore me senseless and result in severe depression very quickly. So you make a life. A life that may not be as busy as other people’s (although it certainly feels like it), a life that may at times not look like much of a life, but you squeeze whatever meaning you can out of the day, in between the Mandatory Rest Periods, the medical appointments and tests, the hours spent on the phone persuading various bureaucracies to give you the help that they are mandated to give. Having a disability is in itself a full-time job. And after that, there are friends and family, work, even if it's volunteer or part time, taking care of your household and the cat and all of a sudden, I realize why I'm so tired all the time.

But how do you balance it? Because the solution can't be doing less - okay, so maybe doing a bit less would be a good idea. But what do you give up? The medical stuff is mandatory, but in order to connect to the world and feel like a real person, things like friends and family, work, buying groceries, taking care of the cat, etc., are equally necessary.

And here’s the other thing, the real stuff underneath it all. Because when you live with a degenerative disease, you know that each remission, each calm period is temporary. That the only constant is the disease. You know that the meds can stop working, the disease can decide to start flaring and you know that this can happen tomorrow. You hope it won't, but it doesn't take very long before you realize that there is another shoe and that it will drop. It's hard to remember to pace yourself when you live with a shoe above your head and so, you try to pack as much into every day, every week as you can, because who knows when you're going to lose two years to sitting still. Unfortunately, doing this virtually guarantees you a ticket on the injury train, but it's hard to remember when you have a list and a life, obligations and responsibilities and the desire to live the part of your life that isn't sucked into the medical field.

How do you change your thinking from short-term to long-term when years and years of this have taught you there are no guarantees? There are no guarantees for anyone anywhere - all it takes is a slip off a step, a car accident or the detonation of a timebomb in your heart, but most people don't think of that. Most people pretend that nothing will ever change, because you have to live like that or go mad. But when you have lived with the certain knowledge most of your life, it's almost impossible to pretend that everything will be fine, that your level of health and ability will remain stable, because you have proof over and over again that this is not the case. And sure, you plan as if everything will remain stable, because if you don't, you end up gibbering in a corner, but still, the activity is fueled by the knowledge deep inside that it could all change tomorrow. So you push yourself to your limits every day to take advantage of the good spell while it's here, rush through it all, forever fighting the awareness of the shoe dangling above. Somewhere in your head, you worry that you won't have enough time, engage in a never-ending negotiation with the universe to hold off on dropping that shoe until you've done this, finished that, seen the other thing. And every time your ability drops another level, you rearrange the mental list of what you feel is essential to have accomplished in your life, on some level planning for the time when you can't, so you can look back and be satisfied. And in writing this, in unearthing the truth that I prefer to be buried, I realized how much time I need to do what I need to do. And I fear that at the current pace of degeneration, there is probably much less time than that before the shoe drops.

But still. You have to live in hope, in applied denial. You have to believe in miracles and I am lucky there, because I've already had one called Enbrel and then I had another named Humira. Amid the fear, there’s a flame of hope and I try my best to look at that light instead of the shoe-shaped shadow on the wall.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Six Degrees of Boys' Club

A while ago… okay, a long while ago - I sought help in a project I called Six Degrees of the Lord of the Rings. The idea was to take the actors who played the lead characters of LOTR, find other movies they'd been in and post a review. I've come upon a snag. Namely that my local video store cleaned out their library of older movies to a quite alarming degree, to leave room for games and then expand its new releases library. It's very frustrating when you love old movies. Yes, they have a mail order thing much like Netflix, but I tend to watch movies based on my mood, not what pops into my mailbox next. I mean, what if you're in the mood for a Bergman movie and Scary Movie XXVII is in your mailbox (or vice versa)? So all your hard work finding the movies to watch resulted in a list of really good flicks, most of which I can't find at the video store. Argh!

But I have a plan B! Since my primary dissing of LOTR - and by the way? I lost about 20% of my readers in the week where I did that post and can only think the masses who left were really dedicated fans - related to the Boys' Club aspect, with women mainly being an afterthought, I've decided that I'm going to do reviews of movies that are primarily about and for men. Luckily, with the dearth of female-oriented movies coming out of Hollywood, this was not a problem whatsoever! I've had a real hankering for good movies lately instead of the mindless dreck that serves as entertainment these days (I just made myself sound 87 again, didn't I?), but have managed to find some gems.

And really, no six degrees of anyone or anything in particular, except a rather tortured connection between my original idea and what actually happened. Life is what happens when you're making other plans and apparently, that goes for blogging, too.

Charlie Wilson's War. Intelligent, witty, entertaining and meaningful. And only 90 minutes long! I cannot tell you how much I love a good, tight movie. I know I’ve said it before once or twice (or 63 times), but just because you can make it 2 1/2 hours doesn't mean you should! Loved to see Philip Seymour Hoffman do something other than still, passive and dejected (which he does very well – rent The Savages if you haven’t seen it already), Tom Hanks was roguish and charming and Julia Roberts was delightful in a different role than her usual thing. Plus, I actually learned something about our recent history I hadn't known - I can highly recommend watching the special features, as well.

In Bruges. After a botched job, two hitmen get sent to a small Belgian town to cool off. And then there's a complication. Profane, bloody, funny and it makes your heart ache when you least expect it. Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ray Fiennes all clearly have an absolute blast and so did I. The special features are also good, especially the one entitled “f*cking Bruges”. That one is f*cking hysterical.

The Dancer Upstairs. Quietly mesmerizing, this is the story of an honest policeman trying to catch a terrorist, using his mind instead of violence. About corruption and justice, freedom and dictatorship, thought and emotion, war and love, The Dancer Upstairs is a contemplative voyage through the paths of two men much alike. Javier Bardem is as usual phenomenal and so is the rest of the cast - Latin actors speaking in English, which works much better than you’d think and it's directed by John Malkovich. Based on a book by Nicholas Shakespeare (who also wrote the screenplay), fictionalizing his search for and obsession by The Shining Path movement in Peru and the hunt for and capture of Guzman. I watched this more than once in the past year or two and am captivated every time.

Shoot 'Em Up. I finally got around to seeing this, having waited until I was in a mood for extreme gunplay (and why is it called gunplay? Aside from a fictional setting, I think it's obscene to pair the word play with something designed to kill. Or is it just me?). This is a fantastic movie. It's played completely straight, which makes it not just a good thriller, but also very funny. Clive Owen is terrific, Monica Bellucci is sultry and heartbreaking and Paul Giamatti has the time of his life playing a thoroughly despicable, yet not one-dimensional, villain. Fantastic fun and for those of us living in Toronto, there's extra fun in spotting local places, many of them around my extended neighbourhood.

And because I've decided to follow this post by an estrogen edition, the last movie is a sort of bridge between the two.

Jindabyne. An Australian movie, directed by Ray Lawrence, who also directed Lantana (another favorite of mine). Based on the Raymond Carver short story "So Much Water So Close to Home", the movie is about a group of men from a small town near the Smokey Snowy (thanks, WT) Mountains who go on a fishing trip, make a bad decision and the fallout following that decision. The movie takes its time, alternating between being a bit of a mess and sucking you completely into the story. The catalyst for action is the decision made by the men, although in many ways, this is a film about women. Laura Linney burns through your TV with a fantastic performance and there is a scene in a meadow where smoke dances like a thing alive, a spirit visitation that is so moving, it had me in tears. Despite being uneven, I recommend it

I'm almost afraid to ask, but does anyone want to venture a recommendation of a (recent) women-oriented movie for the next edition?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Following the Olympic Creed

My latest post is up at HealthCentral:

"The Olympics are starting in a few days and I've been of two minds about whether to watch the Games. On the one hand, there is joy to be found in watching people bursting with health and ability going full-throttle for the Olympic motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius (faster, higher, stronger). On the other hand, when you have RA and live with pain and loss of ability, watching people effortlessly push themselves to places you will never go again can be hard on the heart."

You can read the rest of the post here.