Sarah Rowan

Painter.  Photographer.  Freedom Fighter.


The doc said it was incurable. It almost killed my art. Almost.

Posted by Sarah Rowan Dahl on September 20, 2012 at 8:55 AM

I've been silent for almost a year in the land of blogging.  In August 2011, my hands and joints felt disabled from a sudden and extreme inflammation that made holding my children difficult, much less a paintbrush.  It was depressing to be honest.  I had to take painkillers just to function, and numbness made my entire arms tingle for hours.  

In March 2012, I was diagnosed basically with rheumatiod arthritis and placed on 3 medications so toxic that alcohol and conceiving a child were off limits.  The swelling reduced and I was able to open and close my fingers for the first time in months, but the drugs were taxing.

By early September, I had to increase my medication because I was still in pain...but my body decided it had had enough and found myself almost in the hopsital from stomach pain.  That moment, I decided I had had enough of the medication too.

SIDE NOTE: Cortisone shots in your wrist 8 hours prior to a LIVE painting gig isn't enough time.  hahaha.  Turns out my body didn't like the stuff and my hand was not my own.  I painted over the canvas the following morning.  LOL 

I felt a grace to shift my diet to remove all inflammation triggering foods, and stopped my meds.  More importantly, I felt God's healing presence stronger than ever and here I am, over a week without medication, almost all the soreness from my hands is gone and I feel myself again.  

I'm back.  I'm grateful.  Go Jesus.

UPDATE March 3, 2015:  I still believe in healing and still believe it can be a process and a journey.  For whatever reason the journey didn't end there and I am back on medication, this time Enbrel, a weekly injection as well as natural supplements, healthier diet and swimming.  It's humbling to ask for help opening tight jars and fatiguing quickly, but I'm still optimistic.  My ankles and knees and fingers may feel like crap some days, but you can't take my joy.  (ok...I'm writing this when I'm in a good mood, let's be real...sometimes I'm frustrated and running low on joy...but not tonight.)

Categories: Personal Insight

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Reply Michelle Loves Junque
1:52 PM on September 21, 2012 
Sarah! Our minds and bodies are beautiful mysteries, aren't they! How powerful that you had the faith to stop your meds. I fight Multiple Sclerosis and I also choose a very moderate medication regime. I pray and ask God to take it on for me so that I can spend time doing the things that I love to do! Have a great weekend! See you in Flying Lessons!
Reply Carol Vass
8:46 AM on September 22, 2012 
My sweet Sarah...I had no idea you were going through this. I think you were wise to come off the meds. I have been going to a Doctor in Greenville for several years who had R.A., she came off Gluten, and the R.A. is under control. I too am Gluten Intolerant ,and have Arthritis and tons of Inflammation and will be starting a diet for that as soon as I restock the pantry. I have been off Gluten for a year and the stiffness in my joints is gone. I am praying for you and will continue to do so. You are a blessing to me and I want you well..Love & Hugs.
Reply Jody
12:10 AM on September 26, 2012 
Hello from a fellow flyer...praise Jesus for the wisdom to change your diet, Sarah! I too, have had to avoid inflammatory foods in my life to battle MS and Ulcerative Colitis. I know what it is like to get your life back after months and years of pain and tingling. Now I'm on LDN and both are in remission! (5 years now!) I rejoice with you that you are painting again without pain meds. Please pray for me as I am facing a total disk replacement surgery hopefully before Christmas. Still open for a regenerative miracle! The disk is virtually gone and I can only work 2 days a week as a nanny now. Painting is not as painful as caring for a 3 year old! Your work is so beautiful!
Reply Ruth
12:26 PM on October 7, 2012 
Sarah, what a beautiful testimony of faith and courage!! May the Lord continue to work in your body and continue to give you new dreams as you walk with Him. I discovered you and your work through our Kelly Rae class. So glad to meet you from many miles away in the Pacific Northwest! Sending you a hug... but not too hard...don't want to hurt the muscles of an artist who does incredible work! Ruth (
Reply Robin Heim
2:20 PM on October 8, 2012 
Great Work! So glad to be participating in Flying Lesson with so many remarkable and talented women!