Wednesday, July 8, 2009

7 Days to Re-Invent and Invest in Your life

As I read through these, early this morning I began to realize just how little time we spend taking stock in our lives, what we want, what we do not want, how we cope, how we avoid coping, and we run around with so much "stuff" to do, we truly do not slow down enough to find out who we truly are.

This seems like a perfect 7 days of ways to re-invent ourselves, to clean out the old, bring in the new, and figure out how we fit into our own lives...

(courtesy of Care2 network)

By Carole Lynne, Intent

To renew and reinvent our lives, we all need a plan. Here it is: a seven-day process to work with over and over. This plan incorporates physical, mental and spiritual work. Use the whole seven-day process, or choose any one of the days to work with as you create the life you want.

DAY 1: RE-CHARGE A Day of Commitment
Focus on changing your mind-set: This is the day to change the thought patterns playing in your mind. Get rid of phrases such as “I can’t.” “Why does this happen to me?” “Things always seem to go wrong.” “After three bad things happen, life will change for the better.” Insert thoughts such as “I can do it.” ” There are creative solutions to any problem.”

Create a visual logo that works for you: Imagine the ocean or the lake, water falls, butterflies, sunshine, moonshine — whatever works for you. Note the image or images that work for you, and if you begin to feel negative, simply bring one of your positive images to mind. Your image is your logo for positive energy.
Tools for Day 1: Motivational books, music, dance, art, all that is inspirational.

DAY 2: RE-VAMP A Day of Planning
What changes do you need to make in your home?
What changes do you need to make in your office?
What changes do you need to make in your exercise routine, OR do you need to begin an exercise routine (with doctor’s permission of course)?
What changes do you need to make in your diet?
Tools for Day 2: A notebook and pen, or computer.

DAY 3: RE-CYCLE A Day of Throwing Out
Choose an area of your home, your garage, your backyard, and clean it out thoroughly. Have three boxes set up: one for things to keep, one for things to repair, and one for things to give to others. The hard work begins.
Do not tackle your whole house on this one-day. This seven-day program can be repeated again, and each time you can choose a new area. You can repeat Day 3 every week for six weeks.
Tools for Day 3: Boxes to sort things in, vacuum cleaner, broom, dust rags, music to play to cheer yourself on through this hard day of work.

DAY 4: RE-FRESH A Day of Refreshment
This is a day of reward. If you cleaned out your office or home on day 3, then refresh this space with a new plant or bunch of flowers. Give yourself a present. Open the windows and make sure the light can shine in.
Tools for Day 4: A present for yourself.

DAY 5: RE-TURN A Day of Spiritual Contemplation
This is a day to contemplate your spiritual values and re-turn to the values that are important to you. This is a quiet day of soul searching. In the past two days you have re-cycled some of your belongings and you have refreshed an area of your house or office: you did a lot of physical work. You were involved with a lot of “things.” Today, focus on the soul level. Sit and connect with the God of your understanding and ask questions:
What is the meaning of my life?
What am I here to do in this lifetime?
What am I proud of and what advances have I made in my life?
Which areas of my life need work?
This is the day to take an honest look at the way you spend your time, the people you associate with, the worries that occupy you too much, the fears that you allow to control you, the anger you may have towards others.
Tools for Day 5: An honest heart and an inquiring mind.

DAY 6: RE-INVENT A Day to Change Patterns
Yesterday was an assessment day. It was a hard day. Today is a day to make plans to change the parts of your life that need changing.
Do you have health problems you are not facing? Make an appointment with a health professional or get back to taking care of yourself in the way that you know is best for you.
Are you allowing the problems of others to dominate your life? If so this is a day to make plans to change your schedule. If you are a caregiver, find creative ways to get time off. And do not say, “There is no way.” Find out what your community has to offer. If the person you are taking care of does not want to receive care from others, then you must be strong and explain that you have to have time off.
If you spend all your time compassionately listening to others, remember that you will burn out if you do not have time for yourself. We all know this, but we do not always allow time for ourselves.
Tools for Day 6: A notebook, pen, computer, a telephone, appointment book.

DAY 7: RE-INVEST A Investment Day in All That is Positive
While I hesitate to use the word “re-invest” during this financial crisis, it is time to think about how to best spend your money, how to best spend your time. You have spent an entire week taking a look at your physical and spiritual life. Today is the day to take a good look at your financial life as well. Another coffee for five dollars may not be the best way to go. A lot of takeout food costs money. Are there ways to organize your cooking so that you do not pick up as much food?
Tools for Day 7: Your financial records, your checkbook, a willingness to make changes.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July Holiday Weekend to All!

May you be blessed, happy and safe over this 4th of July Holiday Weekend! Whether you are traveling, out at the lake, camping, hiking, boating, having a celebration at your home, with friends, family, or just a quiet weekend... take care, watch out for the crazy drivers, be sure to use a life jacket... and celebrate the freedoms we cherish.

May freedom ring across our nation and around our world!!!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Critical, URGENT, FDA trying to BAN Script Pain Meds! Please sign petitions!

I wanted to update all of you in regard to what the FDA is trying to potentially do, which would be a nightmare to all of us that suffer Chronic Pain, along with our Chronic Illnesses. The one good thing is that the House and Senate did pass the "Pain Patients Bill of Rights". :) So, I applaud Congress for that one! :)

But, on not so good of a note, and many of you may already have seen this in the news... the FDA is potentially trying to BAN extended release narcotic pain medications! I am venturing to say, that there are many here with the group that suffers just as I do, from horrible Chronic, sometimes even Daily, pain. This would be a horrid situation for us, for our families, our jobs, our friends and our quality of life. When I finally found my current pain doctor, I was overjoyed! Not only was he ready to help me with my pain medications, he has so far been excellent regarding keeping my pain under control. For that I am blessed.

As anyone with Chronic Pain knows, many times our prescription pain medications are what keep us having a full life, having happy spouses, happy kids, keeping our jobs, and making our lives as normal as possible. Without them, most of us would be in the bed, on the sofa, rendered not able to do anything. I know for me it was the difference as black and white. Within 2 days of beginning my medications a year ago, I felt better than I had in many, many years... probably 7 or more.

Now the FDA is trying to put a BAN on some narcotic pain medications and if you have seen they are also possibly taking Tylenol at higher doses and putting it as a prescription, and then lowering the doses in the over the counter acetaminophen.

This is an urgent, critical matter and I have two petitions that are directly going to the FDA, The House, The Senate, and the President, as well as my own House Rep, and Senators.

Here are the URL's about both petitions, along with the American Pain Foundations information and enlightenment on the entire thing.

I urge you to read this information when you can, and if you feel moved to sign the petitions I would be most appreciative. Anyone knowing what Chronic Pain is like, knows this would be disastrous to all of us.

Now, a little about my situation. I was having issues with high blood sugar levels, and had been having higher than normal levels from the past 3 or 4 glucose blood tests I had done. My PCP did a glucose tolerance test, and it showed "normal" but still I am seeing spikes in my levels when I do the check at home. So, I still am possibly sitting at the "pre-diabetic" position, but for now I am just taking it on my own, and keeping an eye out.

Also, my PCP, due to all of my blood work, now confirms, I do have Lupus. I also have Sjogren's and Raynaud's, to add insult to injury. I had a very horrible flare, that is still kind of going on, that caused me to not just have cracks in the corners of my mouth, but they got infected, thus I had been on antibiotics again for two rounds. My bruising is horrible! I look like I have been beat from my neck to my toes with a ball bat! Plus some of it is not just bruising, but petechia, which is kind of like tiny blood vessels rupturing and I have what looks like flat blood blisters everywhere.

My PCP finally decided my best bet in finding out what potentially is causing this is sending me to a hematologist. In fact my appointment is this afternoon. I DO NOT look forward to yet another doctor, also having to go to Dallas, but luckily he is in the same building that my pain specialist is in! For that I am blessed! I hope that he has a good bedside manner, is not just test happy, and can find some reason for the horrible bruising and petechia, and hopefully how we can get rid of it. With the Summer here and HOT weather, I am totally embarrassed to go anywhere. People just stare at my arms and legs, and I have to wonder if they think I am have horrible contagious disease, or if my husband is beating me....LOL... I found some "cover up" cream for my legs, which helps some, plus I have been using the self-tanning cream. Those both help a little on my legs. The darker my skin is, the bruising then is not as noticeable.

I am now on Methotrexate. My PCP and I had discussed it the past couple of visits I had with him, especially since I am having flares frequently, and it seems I just have a hard time shaking them. So, I am now on Plaquenil, Methotrexate, and 5mg. of Prednisone.

My husband Jim, has also been having one heck of a time with his lower back pain. We are now working on getting him some possible financial assistance so he can go to a new pain specialist over in Waxahachie. Jim has no insurance, he does not qualify for state assistance, due to the fact here in TX, the ONLY way to get Medicaid is to be pregnant, or have kids under 16, etc.

So we have a county program for very low income people that helps with medical bills. Most counties have what they call an Indigent Health Care Program, for those who cannot qualify for any other type of assistance. We hope, from what the PCP says, if we can get the financial assistance to see this Doctor, he would possibly due the injections in Jim's back. So keep him and myself both in your thoughts over the next weeks.

It is not just HOT here, but way higher than HOT!! We have had little reprieve from triple digit temps, along with a high humidity and dew point levels, that make it seem 110 degrees plus now for at least 10-12 days. It is horrible.

As I finish this up, I want to wish all of you a safe, Happy, and Beautiful 4th of July weekend! :)

As we have seen so much "bad" news from the situation in Iran, to No. Korea and their stunts, then the loss of several celebrities this week, including Farah Fawcett who finally lost her battle with anal cancer. She was an incredibly strong and brave woman that fought it since 2006. If you saw her special on TV I am sure you were touched by her story also. If you did not see it, I think they are planning to air it again... so if you can catch it, it is an incredible story.

OF course, we lost Michael Jackson, Billy Mays (Mr. Oxyclean himself), and several other "famous" people over the past 7 to 10 days.

Here is the information below about the URL's for the American Pain Foundation, and for the petitions....

I urge you to go to this URL and add your name to the petition. Actually I have one on and one on Care2! This is an extremely serious situation and if you have kept up with the news you have already seen they are considering making changes to all types of over the counter and prescription pain medications!

For anyone with horrid Chronic Pain and Illness this would be a night terror you live in forever! This could mean you not being able to get your proper pain medications, it means putting a strain on our good pain management specialists, and potentially ruin Chronic Pain Patients quality of life, possibly lose their jobs due to the pain, harm family life and relationships, and make many of us have no quality of life.

PLease see these two URLs:

For more information about this situation and a better understanding of what the FDA is trying to do is on the American Pain Foundations Website. Their URL is:

The Pain Foundations website is one with the latest information on all types of things related to Chronic Pain and Illness. You will find it very informative for everything from the latest research, medications, government related issues, possible bills going through the Senate and House, plus so much more.

Have a wonderful July 4th, be safe... and I hope pain free....

by the way... those of you that have been on or are on the Methotrexate, how long did it take for you to notice a difference, if at all? What kinds of side effects, if any did you experience? What is your dosage? Are you or did you take Prednisone with it, or by itself? Plus if you think you know something about the medications, or anything else in regard to the Lupus, please post here or email me.

By the way, for patients with a New Lupus diagnosis, or if you have a family member that may not understand just how any of the autoimmune illnesses effect us... I just read a wonderful book. It is geared for someone newly diagnosed, and the first year of having Lupus. Even though I have read an enormous amount of information on line, etc... this book really helped me learn several things I did not know. It is written by a woman that spent between 10 and 15 years of doctor after doctor, medication after medication, test after test, diagnosis after diagnosis... before she found a doctor who figured it out.

The name of the book is:

"The First year of Lupus" (A Patient-Expert Walks you Through Everything you need to do and Learn).
The authors name is Nancy C. Hanger.

She also goes into things such as overlapping autoimmune issues, from Sjogrens' to Fibromyalgia.

I close for now in wishing everyone is healthy and having a wonderful Summer...

My thoughts are with each of you.... Rhia