PERSONALLY - World Arthritis Day...

Personally, I've not put much up for WAD! I have been so busy wanting to get pertinent information out there from the URL's and so on, that I haven't taken the time to "step up" to the plate and give my own feelings, impressions, and how things are looking for myself and my own issues with Arthritis, both Osteo and RA. My other AI's from Raynaud's to Sjogren's, from Lupus to MCTD, from the upheavel of medications that we are constantly changing to try and find a combination that "works" for me, doctors, new symptoms, how my Medicare Advantage Plan appears to be taking a run for my money next year I fear, to all of the "busi-ness" of life, of the accident of course we are still dealing with, left right and center, to my own personal issues with my writing, and what I want to do at home, versus what my body "thinks" I should do.

My Sjogren's issues are far from over. I still have another at least 6 weeks possibly more, before I am able to really stand to keep them in my mouth all day long, eat with them, and adjust to how they feel. I am learning to
keep them in to eat now, but the bottom plate just does not cooperate as it should. Once those mini implanted pins are set into my bone, that is supposed to stablize the plates, both top and bottom, thus I so hope and pray that is true. I know if this does not do the trick and gets them where they are more comfortable, I may be like my Mom, and have to take them OUT when she eats!!! LOL! I always wondered why when we go out to eat, (she has partial plates not full ones) that she takes both of them out. Now I totally know why she does it. When I eat of course food sticks in them, much like your own teeth BUT, it is not exactly the same. It is much more difficult to get food out of the plates once it gets underneath them and all that packs underneath them. The ONLY way to get it out, is to excuse yourself to the lavatory and clean them out. I would much rather do that though and eat with them in, rather than have them lying on the table as I eat!!! Kind of defeats the entire purpose of having them, and going through all of the trouble, time, pain, and suffering to reach the goal.

The weather is REALLY reeking havoc with many of us. I know here in Central TX we are having a dramatic change in temperature, of humidity even during one day. The humidity might be almost 100% in the morning, and by the afternoon drop to 30 percent. Plus the days are beginning to get "shorter" and I just not am adjusted to the longer days. It really does suck, or at least for myself, it sucks to have yourself in the midst of a change just about the time, your internal clock sets itself.

The Sulfasalazine, which I thought we would be up to 3,000 mg by now. Yet, due to lack of communication between my Rheumatologists nurse, myself and my Rheumatologist had not realized he told me to take 2 of the pills - 1 at a time for the first 14 days. Then begin taking 2 pills at a time, twice daily.  They are 500 mg tablets... so two of them make 1,000 mg a day, then I was to take 1,000 each time and read I could go up to 3 of the pills twice daily, which is usually what an RA patient works up to after a few weeks of the medication. So, 3 at a time would be 1,500 mg and time 2, make 3,000 mg a day. I already know my blood work was okay, because my PCP ran it for my Rheumatologist, and they told me the results when they were faxing it over to the Rheumy.

I am getting quite disenchanted with the biologic medications. First of all, my insurance can't make up its mind which ones it wants to pay for and which not. They used to pay for Humira, Enbrel and Orencia. But, they did NOT pay for Simponi, and when it is an infusion, it is hit and miss as to how and what they pay honestly. I've already tried Rituxan, and the last round, is when I came down so ill with the double pneumonia. Even though I am almost positive the medication only played a small part in the illness, with all that was going on there, my Rheumatologist is not really thrilled about taking a chance again with a biologic that seemed to contribute to me having infections. I show to already be having some chronic lung issues from what the Xrays show from the pneumonia, and it is kind of like an asthmatic chronic COPD thing, although smoking also probably has little to do with it. I smoked a total of about 10 years, and never over 1/2 pack day, most of the time less. I've quit all together, and even though we still have the "e-cigarettes", I am not even really using those. I just am not having any type of "craving" for them. Some days when I am really in horrible pain, and/or really badly stressed out, I may think to myself, damned I wished I had a cigarette, but other than that I could care less. Of course for me, I could go and buy a pack, put them away, and just smoke one when one of those "moments" come... I probably would not even smoke an entire pack in a month, probably more like two months... but if some people have even one, then they have to have it all over again... strange as it sounds its true.... Kind of all an alcoholic or any type of an "addiction" one might have... some people just cannot be satisfied with a tiny bit, and then leave it alone for a long while. Only using that, whatever it may be, only on those horrid days or moments that life feels like it is pulling itself right on over the top of you, and the darkness continues to grow and fill in like a dark black, no way see through ink or pain. 

I've been working on some other "volunteer, activist, advocate, ambassador type of projects", in between all of the doctors, medications. lawyer junk, paperwork, pain, and feeling generally like hell lately. I feel like I have found a couple of places, beside my blog and Facebook pages to truly help others and bring more awareness to all, especially when it comes to our health care laws, Capitol Hill, Congress, and all that can involve. I have come face to face, and toe to toe, with my Federal Congressional Representative Barton, and some of his staff. I have also been trying to find contacts in the office of our Senators here in TX. Actually I am trying to get the attention of both our Federal and our State Legislatures!!

Wow, talk about an education to learn how the wheels (clogs), (clocks esp. cuckoo) ,the bureaucratic bunch of bull red tape, the bend over and kiss butts groups, and talk about really learning how the "cow chews the cud" - I have so seen with my own eyes thinking that I was "up" on the political scene. Well, I have definitely found I had more to learn when it came and will continue to come face to face with the entire ordeal, full circle of how MUCH politics effects EVERYTHING!!! From business, to taxes, from your home, to your safety, from flying to riding in a car, from makeup to your hair coloring, from the BC powder I take, to the prescriptions medications.

It just amazes me the older I get, the more I know, and the more I have to learn about. There is never a day that goes by, that this old dog' seems to learn a few new tricks! I believe that is a portion of your "legacy" of having chronic illnesses, especially Autoimmune Illnesses. You are just given over a brand new educative process... because if you wait to let our "health care nation" educate you, more than likely you will NEVER understand a damned thing that is wrong with you, physically, mentally, emotionally... and within your world. Our "world" in the autoimmune "bu-si-ness", it a totally realm of birth right that has light and dark at the same time shining and blacking out our psyche. If you EVER ARRIVE at that MOMENT you "get it"... you can bet within 24 hours, all you figured out will be shot down, and went to hell in a hand basket, if it has a thing to do with AI diseases, syndromes, illnesses.... have you ever wondered what the difference it is between an "illness", a "syndrome" and a "disease"? I have given thought to it, but up until this minute I guess never decided it was a huge enough ordeal to look it up. But, since I am sitting on that "needle" the proverbial one in the hay stack... I am headed to "google" the differences. I will post them below, before I go on with my blog post.

All of these did come out of a "medical dictionary online"---
 Definition of ILLNESS: an unhealthy condition of body or mind : sickness  
 Definition of DISEASE : an impairment of the normal state of the living animal or plant body or one of its parts that interrupts or modifies the performance of the vital functions, is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms, and is a response to environmental factors (as malnutrition, industrial hazards, or climate), to specific infective agents (as worms, bacteria, or viruses), to inherent defects of the organism (as genetic anomalies), or to combinations of these factors : sickness, illness—called also morbus
 Definition of SICKNESS
1: the condition of being ill : ill health
2: a specific disease 
 Definition of SYNDROME : a group of signs and symptoms that occur together and characterize a particular abnormality 
 Definition of PHENOMENON (or Phenomena) as in Raynaud's Phenomena
1: an observable fact or event
2:  a : an object or aspect known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition b : a fact or event of scientific interest susceptible of scientific description and explanation ....
I really do not feel looking up those even in the medical dictionary helped much. They still all come out to the meaning of the odd... but when I have more time, I know there has to be an in depth reason for calling something a "syndrome", rather than a "disease"... or they would just have called EVERYTHING one word... illness, disease, sickness, syndrome, phenomena,  ...


Anyway, I got all off my own thoughts, walked away from the computer and decided to take a long, warm shower. It has cooled off here today and been on of those dreary days of a typical Fall. No sun, all cloudy and our temps have dropped down, and feels like we have had 2 early mornings, at the 57 degree range... Just plain cool first thing in the morning!! And as ALL know or most, BONES and JOINTS that have arthritic issues, or those that have autoimmune illnesses, this time of the year is not our best. Many of us go into almost a "hibernation" mode... We cringe at the thought of the "cold" weather coming in, and the grey days tend to bring on a depressive way of thinking... As we know seasonal depression is always around in the Fall and Winter... and then we have the pressures (if we let them) of the holidays, family, friends, parties, cooking, cleaning and all of that bologna ... as much as we all love family, holidays, friends, and the beauty of the Christmas decorations, trees, all of the sparkling lights... none of that really makes a difference if your body feels like heck... then your holiday spirit feels down in the dumps too.

Around here for me, it has seemingly turned to either feast or famine. I am either running around trying to get everything taken care of, and wondering how I will deal with it all... to the place I am "looking" for stuff to keep be busy. Oh, it is not like I don't have plenty to do, because I can assure you, just right here in the house alone, I have some major projects staring me right in the face.. I really have wanted to redo my entire kitchen, including putting a new counter top on. I was going to just pick one out that is already "pre-made". I noticed they sell them like that at Lowe's.... and it would be perfect for me. I would not have be to concerned about how the heck to do it... it should be more or less pre-pieced for me, and the edges and so forth there to purchase to put the finishing touches on it, I would LOVE to be able to get a TOTAL KITCHEN MAKEOVER!!! New Cabinets at the the doors and hardware, sand all down, brand new handles and pulls... the floor that I've wanted and to repaint it the two blues I've picked out. Then we still have the bathroom that needs the walls completely finished as far as the texture, and even though the lights are up, nothing has been wired in... so the bathfan and all of that I will have to have someone come and help me with that part. I just don't think Jim will ever be able to get back up into the attic again to connect everything. We have it practically finished but that most important part of making sure all is wired in properly, and not going to short out etc... I am not that sure of myself. I've put in water heaters, hung and wired ceiling fans, and done quite a bit of DIY stuff over the years, but between being "eaten alive" by RA, Lupus, Osteo etc... the idea of climbing into the attic and trying to do that sounds like something I should get an expert to do.

Now as far as painting, redoing our music room... getting rid of junk etc... all of those things I will do slowly, and could manage most of it myself... laying the carpet, and then the floor in the kitchen will probably mean getting someone also to help out.

At the time we bought the house, we put a great deal of money in it redoing it. The house was a definite fixer upper, so we redone hardwood floors, completely redid the bathroom even making it twice as big, painted everything inside and out, every room with our "wainscott" look that I am so thrilled with even today. We had to buy all new appliances, had to redo the entire water, sewer, and redo the electrical wiring. The house was in need of so much... and we did manage to do many of the things we planned. As "frugal" as I was though, money ran out before we got through.  

I realize this is "NOT" a typical Autoimmune post full of what all is going on physically, mentally and emotionally in regard to illnesses...

But, I also needed to kind of update everyone about where things stand for myself ...

My plans, and one of those IS to WRITE my BOOK!!!! I've been giving some serious thought to exactly what I want to write; along with how I want to do it. I am keeping the title that Jim came up with, because I believe it will fit when all is done..

I got a bit pissed this week. A guy who also wrote a book of poetry, about 80 poems,  had an "author's reading" and signing at our library!!! Well, everyone made a huge ordeal out of it, even in our daily newspaper.

YET, when I wrote BOTH books... I had to almost beg to get an article in the paper, and I donated copies to our library... and not one soul ever mentioned me reading them, or doing a signing... and MY TWO BOOKS contain about 3 or 4 times the amount in his...

So, I am NOT going to allow that to happen again. My plans are to MAKE SURE I do a reading and signing of my next one... and I hope to have a "full house" at the library as he did....

Sometimes this world is truly NOT fair....

Okay I close for now with I hope you have reflected today on what World Arthritis Day means to you.... and that if you got to go to events etc... that you did so full of joy and meaning... 

Keep watching because they will never get rid of me! :)

Rhia 10-12-2014
 






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