Archive for August, 2009

Busyness in God’s name?

Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.

I blogged about this quote last week, it is a reminder that less can be more. I think it is related to this quote in Catherine Whitmires Plain Living

Pg 36

“How seldom it occurs to us that God has to undo and to do all over again so much of what we in our willfulness have pushed through in God’s name.”

Douglas Steere 1962

I like this idea.  Not that I believe there is some guy in long white robes and a white beard sitting in the sky, but if there was, I could see him shaking is head at yet another committee decision, knowing that it’s still not working, and he’s going to have start over again…

Categories: Quaker

Do you watch the news everyday? Does it matter?

I read this quote in Catherine Whitmires “Plain Living – A Quaker Path to Simplicity” and it stuck in my mind.

Pg 34

“History does not happen by the day. Once I read every copy of a leading newspaper from January to September 1870, with the intention of discovering the nature of the historical forces of that period. What I did discover was a host of superficialities, fleeting illusions and enormous blindspots to what was really going on…

George Peck 1973

Is constant information a good thing, why do we want to watch disasters unfolding, second by second on 24 hour news channels. If we don’t avail ourselves of this constant stream of information are we bad citizens.  How much do we really know about what is going on in the world?  How biased is news reporting?

I bet most of the goods I own are made by some of the worlds poorest people, struggling to exist. Why then do I buy into the glossy advertising.? If I know this, why don’t I act on it? A jar of fairtrade coffee and some fair trade bananas aren’t going to change the world. Why don’t I consider the human impact of my purchases everytime I shop?  Because it’s too difficult? Because there aren’t many ethical alternatives? What good is all this information if it is not acted upon? What good am I?

Advices and Queries

28 …Responding to divine guidance, try to discern the right time to undertake or relinquish responsibilities without undue pride or guilt. Attend to what love requires of you, which may not be great busyness.

Quaker Faith and Practice is a book produced by the Religious Society of Friends,  which lets you know what Friends think on a whole range of issues. It also covers the details of how meetings are run and how marriages and funerals are to be conducted.

When I first started attending a quaker meeting one Friend described it as “300 years worth of wisdom”, which is a pretty good description.  There is a UK version and it is updated roughly once in a generation. The quote above is from Advices and Queries.

When I first started reading Faith and Practice the quote above really stuck in my mind, it still does!  Can you imagine, in this day and age, someone arguing that we should be doing less with our life, not more?

Busy does not always equal good.


“arthritis isn’t a big deal… until you get it”

“Arthritis at your age?”

August 28, 2009 3 comments

I found this webpage while browsing “Arthritis at your age“, sadly the author of the book/site died this month.This section seemed a good summary, it was written about rheumatoid arthritis but could be applied to psoriatic arthritis:

Sociologist Carolyn L Wiener (University of California) analysed the socio-psychological aspects in an article, The Burden of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tolerating the Uncertainty (Soc Sci & Med, Vol 9, Pergamon Press 1975).

“The variability of progression, severity and areas of involvement cannot be stressed enough. For example, an arthritic may have reduced mobility but no impairment of skill, reduced energy but no interference with mobility, reduced energy one day and renewed energy the next and so on. Loss of skill will remain fairly constant if it is caused by deformity, but it is variable if caused by swelling; the other resources, mobility and energy, can fluctuate. There is uncertainty about:

  1. whether there will be any pain, swelling or stiffness;
  2. the area of involvement;
  3. the intensity of the disability;
  4. whether the onset will be gradual or sudden;
  5. how long it will last;
  6. how frequently flare-ups will occur…”

I think the fact that my energy level can change, practically hourly is what is getting to me most, one day I can do a lot and feel almost “normal” the next I can hardly get out of bed and everything is a struggle, which then makes me feel guilty because I can’t even keep up with the house work, let alone my job or other responsibilities. Some other quotes that I can relate to are these:

“It’s not easy, sometimes, because I have good and bad days. I feel the pressure to be like other people — to run up a flight of stairs to get something, to reach something down from a shelf, to use a typewriter keyboard. So many little jobs, that others take for wanted, and don’t seem to realise I can’t do. How much of this pressure is deliberate I don’t really know.”

“Fit people (the ones with duodenal ulcers, varicose veins, or blood pressure but no outward manifestations of abnormality) find it difficult to be normal with the disabled. They are tense before they start. The first thing they want to know is, ‘What’s wrong?’ And then, ‘How long? Never! I thought…! My aunt…! Have you tried…? mud, codeine, turkish baths, vegetarianism, bee stings, cortisone, corks in the bed, real leather shoes, ACTH, REST, EXERCISE, PRAYER?’ When these questions have been answered, they relax and sometimes turn out to be quite nice people; just thought they were helping. “ (In Paul Hunt’s Stigma)

In Michael Leitch’s Living with Arthritis (Lennard/Collins) Phil echoed the worrying thoughts of many married people with RA:

“I was very concerned about my husband, and I think what I felt must be a fear with many women who have arthritis. He has always been very supportive, and I have been lucky in that respect; but in the early days I remember thinking; ‘What am I going to do if he leaves me?’ I didn’t want him to go — of course I didn’t — but if he had decided to leave us, I would have understood.

“The husband of someone with arthritis has a lot of pressure on him. He comes in the door after a long day at work and he does not know what he is going to find. It may be all right: she may have felt OK and been able to manage. But supposing she had had a bad day, which had been a real struggle to get through — what then? I can imagine husbands standing outside the door and thinking, What’s going to face me tonight?”

I like  the quotes from this  website because they go into detail, I was getting fed up with “leaflets” that had a paragraph saying

” you’ll feel angry (but don’t get too angry!) you’ll feel depressed (but don’t get too depressed!) etc etc”

Great, that doesn’t really help, life goes on, how do you deal with that?  A patronising blurb telling me it’s okay to cry and then get on with things is NOT what I need, I need some way of getting on with my life without feeling like I’m incapable or a failure. The “arthritis at your age” website lists a lot of autobiography’s, maybe I should try reading one of those.

I like the idea that managing peoples reactions and controlling how long you discuss arthritis is a skill that can be learnt.  You can learn to stay sitting in social situations and not feel self-conscious. I need to work on those skills!! A lot!

Categories: Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic Arthritis – How does methotrexate work?

Methotrexate is similar to a normal molecule called folinic acid, which is required for copying DNA. The drug prevents cells from making and repairing DNA

I found this definition on the Cancer Research UK website and I thought it was a good explanation.  Methotrexate was originally developed to treat cancer.  High doses (5omg or more) are used to treat some times of cancer ( e.g. leukaemia).  Lower doses (10-20mgs) are used to treat some types of inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.  You can’t take this drug if you are pregnant (or trying to get pregnant) as it could damage your unborn baby.  This also applies to men, men shouldn’t take methotrexate if they are trying to father a child.

Categories: Psoriatic Arthritis Tags:


Keep peace with your soul.

With all its shams, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Desiderata Max Ehrmann

I like the whole poem, I feel it’s quite quakerly in its acknowledgement to

“Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.”

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