The doctor said the bones in her wrists looked like swiss cheese. That’s where the disease started. Then on to the fingers and other joints. He said that without aggressive treatment, she would become permanently and painfully disabled.

There were no guarantees.

There were all sorts of drugs. Some were poison. Others were unaffordable. Some didn’t work. Some worked and then stopped working. Everything hurt. Everything was uncertain.

She hated her hands, but I still saw the same tiny, delicate soft hands I first held on a long past summer evening. Everything was promising then.  

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