Losses of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Photos & Other Things | Rheumatoid Arthritis Warrior

Losses of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Photos & Other Things

Losses of Rheumatoid Arthritis

A Story of a Christmas Present and Birthdays Past

A few years ago, I got a new digital camera for Christmas. It was too heavy for me to hold. Even with the neck strap, I couldn’t use it.

Eventually, after more time on the RA medicine, I was able to hold the camera for short periods. So I took a few pictures of things that were special to me. There were a couple of birthday cakes and some fireworks.

It’s a pretty complex camera and I didn’t really know what I was doing. So, there were lots of mistakes to laugh about. However, one of them was not so funny. I accidentally formatted the camera.

Just in case someone doesn’t know, that erases all the data – er, I mean birthday cakes and fireworks.

I know how to use my camera much better now. But I have a different problem: I have to force myself to format the camera when it needs to be done. It’s almost impossible to make myself push that button.

It reminded me too much of RA: Photos and memories are so valuable to me

It took me a while to figure out why it was so traumatic to lose those pictures. At the same time that I had lost them, I had lost so much else. I finally figured out that it was like my life had been re-formatted too because of RA. I didn’t want to risk anything else being erased.

Somehow, I guess I connected the two things. I don’t want the trauma of losing any more pictures the same way I don’t want the trauma of losing any more of my life.

Christmas and Rheumatoid Arthritis

I’ll continue to fight this against disease and everything it tries to take from me. As for the way that it forcefully rearranges my life, I will continue to look for new ways to enjoy the old things I love. But I will always adore cameras, photos, and memories – and Christmas presents.

 Recommended reading:

A Few of my personal scrapbook photos on this site:

Kelly O'Neill

Kelly O'Neill (formerly Kelly Young) has worked about 12 years as an advocate helping patients to be better informed and have a greater voice in their healthcare. She is the author of the best-selling book Rheumatoid Arthritis Unmasked: 10 Dangers of Rheumatoid Disease. Kelly received national acknowledgement with the 2011 WebMD Health Hero award. She is the president of the Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. Through her writing and speaking, she builds a more accurate awareness of rheumatoid disease (RD) aka rheumatoid arthritis (RA) geared toward the public and medical community; creates ways to empower patients to advocate for improved diagnosis and treatment; and brings recognition and visibility to the RA patient journey. In addition to RA Warrior, she writes periodically for newsletters, magazines, and websites. There are over 60,000 connections of her highly interactive Facebook page. You can also connect with Kelly on Twitter or YouTube, or LinkedIn. She created the hashtag: #rheum. Kelly is a mother of five, longtime home-schooler, NASA enthusiast, and NFL fan. She has lived over fourteen years with unrelenting RD. See also https:/rawarrior.com/kelly-young-press/

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6 thoughts on “Losses of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Photos & Other Things

  • December 22, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    There are times with this disease where it feels as if it’s gradually razing you down to the foundation – I was there about 3-5 years ago. The thing about being “erased” is that it allows you to build a new you – some parts the same as before, other parts new – and it can be quite intoxicating. It’s hard work, but can eventually make you a happier person. Not just because you can lay old ghosts to rest, let go of old baggage, but also because it allows you to reframe the losses as something that’s necessary before you can start building.

    If that makes sense?

    • December 22, 2009 at 10:38 pm

      I love what you wrote. Of course it makes sense. Shame on me for not going that one more step in my logic. That is why we format the camera: so we can take new pictures. :camera: Thanks.

  • April 3, 2010 at 10:17 am

    as a photographer of the past i too am finding a new hobby hard… i used to crochet and knit and read books and take photos for a living. now i cant even take photos for fun it seems.. every picture i take is now from the same angle MY CHAIR…it gets tiring not having something to take my mind to an artistic level.I constantly try to fill the void of my lifes past and try anew but i cant find anything to fill that void.. what does everyone else do.. ive writen a bucket list of things i wish i could do and these things are on the list.. i find that its all things i used to do or things i do not have the ability to do anymore. My life pretty much sucks without something in my life to do.. Iam not wordy like dear kelly here is.. and frankly being on facebook all day filled my time for a while now im bored once again and i sit and cry looking for “something” ANYTHING i can do while i sit..here in pain.
    anyhow thought id share.. just in case theres someone out there with a magic wand. or maybe someone who needs a good cry along with me

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  • May 23, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I’ve never been any great photographer but I have a lot of trouble holding cameras also. I’m actually currently looking for something that’s little and lightweight but has things like optical zoom available.

    I have an Olympus FE270 which has been good to me but is on its last legs and urgently needs replacing. As I’m wanting to learn more about the manual side of photography instead of just “point and shoot” I’d like something that gives me more control when I want it but I’m concerned about camera weight.

    It sucks having to think of things like this when we’re buying things – I don’t want to have to buy a specific camera because it’s small and light, I want to buy the one that has the features I want!

    • May 23, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      My kids got me a little lightweight Powershot SD1200IS by Cannon for Christmas so I could take more pictures – the feature that I really wanted was a viewfinder since I’m old fashioned. But no – there won’t be as much manual stuff I thought I was going to learn – I have hardly gotten to learn anything on that Olympus b/c my eyes went w/ the RA too – I’m not selling it – or my tennis raquet for that matter – I’m keeping hope for us all.


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