The Harsh Journey of Rheumatoid Arthritis Requires a Pillow

Homemade car pillowRheumatoid Arthritis Warrior Road Trip

The blog will be a bit different for the next few days. I will have to be on the road. But I hope you will be able to come with me – at least in spirit.

I plan to disclose more about the trip over the next couple of days. I will be sharing the driving with my bff. We will be bringing some daughters, too. There will be plenty of estrogen in the car. And chocolate.

The last few days have been very difficult physically. The Rheumatoid Arthritis in my neck (cervical spine) has been very inflamed. At times, I can hardly hold up my head and it brings blinding headaches with it. Also, knees and ankles.

I have been amazed at how God has helped me to get packed anyway. The girls have done a lot of it for me, but I still did much more than I thought I could. I was running on NSAIDs and adrenaline.

The adrenaline even let us catch a glimpse of the old me for a few moments:

I had bought this travel pillow a few months back. I frequently use it in the car, but still with the original plastic bag on it. I kept hoping to someday sew a pillowcase for it, which would make it a lot more comfortable. Of course, I had given up that for now since my hands hurt far too much to cut fabric.

Today, I was cleaning out a compartment in the ‘Burban and found a couple of fat quarters I had planned to return. That’s quilter-speak for a pre-cut section of material. Like skirt steak for sewers.

I opened them up and suddenly realized that 1 plus 1 equals 2! And two fat quarters obviously equals one travel pillowcase. With no cutting.

This evening, I followed my impulse and made my nice smooth case with French seams and a deep hem. It will be a good thing to have. I was glad to see that plastic bag go in the trash.

As useless as those fat quarters had seemed as they waited to be returned, they were exactly what I needed. I just had not noticed that. That is okay; they were willing to wait for me. (Lord, is there anything else you want to show me? Please make me ready to see.)

PB (post blog)
I will check in with ya’ll soon from the road. If you would like to see more frequent updates, please check in with the Facebook page; I usually make more frequent posts there. Or follow me on Twitter. Bon voyage.

More Warrior

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is an advocate providing ways for patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. Through her writing, speaking, and use of social media, she is building a more accurate awareness of Rheumatoid disease aka Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creating ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and bringing recognition and visibility to the Rheumatoid patient journey. In 2009, Kelly created Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior, a comprehensive website about RA of about 950 pages and writes periodically for other newsletters and websites. Kelly served on the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Advisory Board. There are over 42,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook Fan page. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is the mother of five, a home-schooler, Bible teacher, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. You can also connect with Kelly by on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She has lived over nine years with unrelenting Rheumatoid disease. See also

2 thoughts on “The Harsh Journey of Rheumatoid Arthritis Requires a Pillow

  • December 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Lovely pillowcase, Kelly
    My Mother was a quilter. Had to smile at your reference of fat quarters

  • August 10, 2016 at 1:03 am

    I’m addicted to fat quarters! I can cut and sew on occasion but my beloved hand quilting is out. I crochet also, too stubborn to give up my favorite hobbies. Best wishes on your travels Kelly!!


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