Gone Shopping

I dreamed last night that I was trying on new hands.

I know. Creepy. But as in most dreams, trying on fresh, new pairs of mitts was as unremarkable as doing the same with new shoes. Except … like it is when I get new shoes, the dream process was fraught with pain and frustration.

See, when I put the first shoe of a new pair on my foot, I know instantly whether the pair will be coming home with me. More often than not, knife-like pain shoots rack of shoesthrough my foot the moment I put my weight down on it. Groaning–and silently shouting expletives in my head–I yank that instrument of torture off my foot, slap it and it’s mate back on the rack, and continue looking. But the fun has gone out of the hunt.

In this dream it was the same thing. I’d pick out a nice, attractive new pair of hands from a row of towering shelves like the kind you see in discount stores.. I’d work the new pair on gently, like gloves (this made absolute sense in the dream), and bend my fingers. Instantly, rude pain would jab into my joints and I’d have to pull the offending hands off and keep looking. With each failure, I became more glumly resigned to keeping the hands I had, even though they were painful and frequently dysfunctional.

I woke suddenly, frustrated and disappointed. Good morning, world.

I’ve only rarely dreamed about my rheumatoid disease. Which is odd, really, considering its grumpy, growl-y domination of my thoughts–of my life–most days. There are a number of creaky body parts I’d love to replace too.

For instance, I’d love a new pair of feet. These old ones are pretty much worn out. They hurt even without shoes, even when they’re warm and toasty. Imagine how nice it would be have new ones! I could walk all over the place, on any surface–even on sharp, uneven gravel–with little or no discomfort. I could wear any kind of shoe my fancy fell on: frivolous little things with wafer-thin soles, gorgeous, dangerous stiletto-heeled pumps, long, sexy, calf-hugging boots, strappy little sandals crusted with glittery jools. I could wear any pair of athletic shoes I wanted, and I could have classy leather oxfords to wear with slacks.

Instead of any of those, the shoes I have to buy must be flat or –maybe–have a very low heel of two inches or less. The toe box must be wide and round, and there has to be a sturdy arch support. If I need to wear the shoes more than an hour or so at a time, the soles need to be soft and–ideally–padded.

So, I have a rack full of overpriced, clunky-looking, old-lady shoes in my closet. My single pair of nice leather pumps are simple and black, with a small, rounded toe and a two-inch heel. I only wear them if I know I won’t have to walk any further than the parking lot and back. Once.

I could really appreciate a new pair of hips, too. To start, I’d get a smaller pair, since the ones I was born with have always beena little too wide for my taste. But more importantly, I’d choose hips that didn’t hurt. I’d get a pair that didn’t jab me every time I took a step, or start aching when I sat still for more than a few minutes. I’d love a pair that didn’t throb during the night, waking me up and forcing me to roll to one side, then the other, over and over until morning.

Dreams can be fun, and they do have a tendency to put images to amorphous longings. But that’s all. Reality requires that I live with the hands, feet, and hips I have, however grumbly they make me. And being realistic also means that I’m grateful. For what? That my rheuma-dragon hasn’t caused more damage than this; that the meds I’m taking for it are keeping the old monster drowsy and bumbling; and that there’s always hope for the future.

So much of life depends on our attitude and outlook. I try to keep mine positive and optimistic, to keep smiling, and to keep my eyes peeled for the gifts it offers every single day.

And, of course, I dream of a cure.

6 thoughts on “Gone Shopping

  1. Anyway it’s a beautiful dream. I’m reading you from Spain. I have RA about 19 years. Your blog helps me very much. Your dream is beautiful for me because I’m an artist, and so very visual… it’s an interesting dream.


  2. I’ve never had dreams of my RA – of course, I need to be sleeping to dream and that’s been my challenge as of late. I wish you many pleasant dreams for the New Year and I hope most of them will take you to places where they can come true. (although, I don’t want to run into anyone trying on new hands in a store – that is creepy 🙂 . I hope your dragon retreats to its cave and leaves your joints alone for good long time. Hugs.


  3. Amazing dream and as many pieces and parts that I’ve had repaired and replaced, I’ve never dreamed of hands. (How wonderfully interesting.) Of course I’m waiting for a whole body transplant — preferably from Angelina Jolie (although I’d want the tattoos removed!). Wishing you very pleasant dreams and a wonderful New Year.


  4. OMG, Wren, this is a sci/fi entry! But I can definitely relate to wanting to replace our creaky joints. I won’t say old creaky joints because they are not old and neither are we. We are just burdened with this insidious parasite that clings to us mercilessly. And I’m with you, I would love a new pair of hands!


  5. hmmm… my inner psychologist is dying to interpret this dream. The mental picture of a store rack full of hands in a shoe box is a bit humorous, or maybe that’s just me? I’d have to say, whatever you ate before bed, don’t repeat tonight 🙂 Great post! And if I don’t catch you before midnight tomorrow, Happy New Year!


  6. I still refuse to get rid of my fav red heels and leopard print heels dreaming of going into remission one day. Lol.


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