Writing with RA

sample of my handwriting

 Sample of my handwriting

I’m always surprised when someone hands me a form then asks, ‟Can you sign this? Or do you want me to do it and you can initial it?” My hands aren’t pretty, by any means; they are gnarled and weak looking. At first glance, they give the impression of being difficult to use. However, once I write my name, it is east to see that they are still useful in some tasks.

Anything that requires hand strength is a challenge, such as opening a tight lid or pulling the tab on a can or package, I am able to easily hold a pen and write. In fact, I enjoy writing out things on paper before typing it into the computer. I get satisfaction from the knowledge that I am still able to write clearly and neatly. Yes, there are days when my handwriting is sloppy and unreadable, but they are usually on days that I’m feeling depressed or tired.

Often, you’ll see an ad or article saying the best type of pen for people who have a weak grip is a pen with an oversized barrel. For me, that isn’t true. I’ve tried a variety of ‟fat” pens. I find them awkward and uncomfortable. I tend towards the felt tip or gel pens. My favorite are the Sharpie pen and the Pilot G-2 retractable gel pens. (Actually any retractable gel pen works fine.) I like these because I don’t need to press down hard to write. This allows me to write longer before getting tired or sore fingers. I don’t have to hold onto the pen tightly and the ink flows smoothly onto the paper.



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