I suppose I am a little sad that the arthritis I suffer from in my fine joints has turned my hands into something you might be more likely to see dipping an apple into a cauldron of poison in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
However the thing about my misshapen fingers that annoys me, more than how they look, is the pain I suffer from them quite a lot of the time. I would be devastated if it deteriorated to the point where it affected my stitching.
So much so, that this week I decided to return to my doctor to see if there was anything else they might recommend.
It was a very interesting conversation.
I had previously thought the pain was caused by using them too much doing handwork - all that stitching!
However as we chatted she pointed out that the pain wasn't actually from too much movement, more from too little - inactivity and them seizing up.
As I thought about what she'd said I realised she had a very good point. After all when we're stitching either by machine or by hand we really don't actually move our joints to any great extent - rather we grip our work and the needle and hold our hands fairly rigid in one particular position. Multiply this rigid state by several hours a day (if we're lucky to be able to get that much stitching in) is it any wonder the joints whinge and complain?
So, her solution was, rather than stitching all the time thereby keeping the joints rigid, instead, using something like a stress ball or a dog's soft ball, repeatedly work the joints at regular intervals to keep them supple and aid their movement, hence reducing the inflammation and pain
So far I've not remembered to try and source a stress ball so, when my youngest came down from tidying her bedroom with this wonderful red lip shaped cushion filled with those miniscule polystyrene beads (about a pen tip size each), I realised it would be an excellent substitute. It offers just the right amount of resistance when squidged.
I've been having a jolly good squidge of it at regular intervals throughout today and strangely enough my fingers feel a little better already
I suppose it stands to reason - if you have a stiff hip which gives you great pain on getting up after being sat for a long while, but then as you walk around loosens up and becomes less painful - why shouldn't the same apply to your fingers
So the moral of the story is - if you too have sore joints, try giving them a little bit of regular exercise against something with some resistance and see if it improves them.
In amongst all that squidging I have got some quantity of stitching done today
I've machine quilted in the ditch around the purple star components and then echo quilted all the stitchery - you can probably get a vague idea from this picture but the lighting isn't great.
I guess that's on the list for the morning!