Mar 222015

I regret the length of time between blog updates as of late.  Typically, I like to post at least once per week, and I’ve generally maintained that schedule (give or take) since I started Reeftraveler in 2011.  But in the past few weeks it seems I’ve been operating on Island Time.  Toes in the water and…?  Well, a little bit of that, but there’s also a more serious underlying reason.

If you’ve followed Reeftraveler for a while, you may remember my post about what it’s like to be a diver with rheumatoid arthritis.  I wrote about the challenges of carrying and donning heavy gear, complete with 12 pounds of weight sitting around my hips.  Then, add a wide, bulky camera rig (which I must grip continually underwater) to the gear roster, and I’m pushing my already painful (and somewhat dysfunctional) joints to their limit.

For the past two years, I’ve enjoyed a relatively healthy, stable period when it comes to dealing with the monster that is called rheumatoid arthritis.  However, I’ve not been as fortunate during the past two-three months.  I’ve had more dive-free days than I prefer, and gripping my camera has, at times, led to the inability to use my hands for a day or two.  Some things that I treasure, like this blog, have had to take a backseat to my quest to get better.

The strange thing about rheumatoid arthritis is that one day you can wake up and feel great, and the next day you may have 4-5 joints aching like you are being stabbed repeatedly with a hot dagger.  Things change very rapidly, and you must learn to deal with it.

So I am dealing with it, and I expect to continue diving and photographing for as long as possible.  Even if it means doing it on Island Time.

Do you face physical challenges when it comes to diving or underwater photography?  How have you learned to deal with it?

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  2 Responses to “On Island Time”

  1. While rheumatoid arthritis takes its vicious toll, your indomitable will to make the most of the circumstances reveals your truly herculean strength, which inspires me and many others daily. You get more done in a day than the vast majority of able bodied people, while looking better than anyone in such pain has a right to.

    That you manage to do everything you can to keep fit and reduce the progression of the disease, while also finding time and energy to help others – including me – shows a strength of character that makes me proud to have married so well.

    For those who may be trying to relate to living with family and friends with autoimmune diseases, I highly recommend reading “The Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino, a four-page story available for free at

    Wishing you and others in the same virtual boat more spoons, and the power to manage them as graciously as you do.


    Mr. Reeftraveler

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