Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pieces of Me

As I wrote this, and it is really for my upcoming 2nd Poetry and Prose book, I had promised myself not to start "sharing" my work here or on FB, that I am going to put into the book. I don't want to get started doing that, then everyone will know well before the book, what is inside of it. LOL, stupid thing for a writer to do, especially if I want to sell even ONE book! Of course it is NOT about the sales, but being able to "touch" my readers and bring them to a place they can feel.... it all! So, here it is,

Pieces of Me

Pieces of me linger today, in the basking essence of the beauty of rays of sunlight upon my skin. There is a glow surrounding me today, I observe the pieces of my heart, pulling together, and becoming whole...I have kept pieces of me hidden away, locked behind a closed door, for fear of being exposed again, raw and naked to love's call. Yet, I often "hear" it and try not to "fear" it, for I know the passions that lie within and without. I seem to be in another realm, spaces in between, life and love...the shades of grey, that only lover's know...fill and outpour over me. I find myself, longing just once more to give of my heart, and wonder where the path shall lead? Do I dare explain my soul, do I dare expose the unbridled passions, and take the plunge as before? ‘Tis always been my nature, to dive into the rushing rapture; falling head first off the cliff, to allow my love to be in full view. Yet I held those pieces back...this time, trying to find a new way, trying to be more cautious, trying to allow it all to just happen; yet I throw caution to the wind. I have jumped off a final time, to take the chance...of life's dance.
Passion, and pain, eroticism, and ecstasy, glory, and honor! All surrounding me, and I linger today. I feel the pieces of me come together, where heart's bind, bodies intertwine. I know that fall far too well!

I feel it rush through my veins!
Plunge into the passionate realms....
Allow your spirit to be set free,
No chains, yet velveteen binds....
Experience a heart as no other,
Sustained by the glow....
To know of the heart, is to know wisdom and grace.
I find that you are a sweet addiction,
One quick shot throughout my veins!
This is where your will shall reign,
In the deepest pit within my heart.
I stand "fearless" in this fall,
I succumb to where we "mesh;
heart, mind, body and spirit.
A temptation too great,
I could not withstand the heeds of warning from my heart,
So I just allow it all to unfold.
Unveil itself in front of my eyes, and then there I will embrace the passion!
I have given over to holding back; to resound, to resonate. In all of your stupendous charms, my heart is of yours for the taking....
Carry it gently.                            

Rhia Steele  copyright 1/2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Battling The "Wolf" - Slaying the Symptoms & Fighting the Good Fight of Life

This morning, as many, I am torn. Torn between this... and that. Torn between working on my poetry book (Tattered Musings) The 2nd one I want to have ready to publish in a couple of months, and my book "Reaching Beyond". I am torn between being here to write, and make sure I keep in touch with my fans, which of course I am not sure even how many read my blog. I donn't have many that post, thus I really can't guess at the amount of those that actually follow along. I have quite a few followers on Facebook, and they certainly know about my blog, but whether they take time to come here to read what I have written is not something I usually think about.
I don't get all wrapped up in numbers, and I am certainly not standing in the vanity of worry that I need more people here to read, or I am not famous, or I am not reaching out to enough of an audience. As one of the partial old sayings go, "Write, and They Shall Come".
As one of my own sayings goes, "Do NOTHING, and NOTHING gets done". So, rather than sit around worrying, because sitting around worrying, also GETS nothing done! If I have learned anything from life in my 5 decades plus a couple of years here, worry gets you no where. I told my Mom just this week that I could help her figure out if all that she worries about is worth it or not.
I said "Mom, if you pick something you are concerned about or really sitting around worrying about, say to yourself, Is there anything I can do, to "fix" the issue? If you can't do one thing to fix what you are so worried about, then it is absolutely futile to make yourself ill over being so overly concerned. As I told her for example, I could sit around and "worry" as often she does about my "illness". I could make myself even more ill by constantly stressing over it. Where would that get me? I cannot "fix" what is wrong with me. I can "do" the things I am supposed to, like take my medications, watch my diet, exercise, take care of myself, etc. BUT me being so concerned that I literally am that frightened about it, does nothing. I cannot make Lupus or RA go away. I cannot do anymore than what I am doing for now. Thus to worry does nothing, but waste time. energy, and puts undue stress on me that could make me more ill. I could worry about whether a car will run over me tomorrow, or that Jupiter will fall out of the sky, or that the stock market will crash next month, and the what ifs' can build on forever into an eternity.
Maybe life comes full circle with "worry" like other things do. We come full circle from being a child, to a young adult, to an adult, to elderly, and then many of us come back to almost a "child-like" stage as we get to be very elderly. We get stubborn and bull headed, we become at a stage that we decide not to eat certain things, or throw "temper tantrums", or just turn back to the things we did as children. So, life as that goes comes so often full circle. So, it seems worry and concern does also. When we are children and young, we have no worries. We are not concerned about anything. We live in this absolute faith that life is life, it is beautiful, nothing goes wrong, and it will be fixed by Mom and Dad if it does. Then we become teenagers, and worry kind of sets in. Worry about prom-dresses, and the cheerleader squad. Worry about dating, and whether a certain person would like to go out with us. Worry about getting our driver's license or our first car. Then onto worry about larger things such as finishing our education, what we want to do with our lives, and higher education, such as what college we want to go to. Then we get into college, and all too often, rather than get more "concerned", we tend to go into this place of "party". We are out of Mom's and Dad's sight. We are "on our own" and "grown" (or so we think). We tend to let our guards down on the worrying part of life, and just enjoy our "youth" again. We wax and wane throughout our lives in the realms of being overly concerned, down right worried, and almost out of control with the insanity of "fixing" everything. So, as time comes to graduate, and get a job, here comes the worry train again. All too often we climb on board it, and here we go. We are worried about the biggest home we can get to impress everyone, whether we have the latest car, the best design in furniture, clothing, shoes, and the best manicured finger nails, toe nails and lawn! Then comes a few years of dating, and we may again let our guard down, enjoy that last few years of "freedom", date as we want, spend too much money, and then that "right" person appears out of the blue, clear sky, and Voila', we are worrying about the PERFECT WEDDING, the perfect Honeymoon, and a better job, a larger home, because kids shall be on their way soon. Some of us I have noticed have chosen to wait longer with marriage and kids. For many of us we do establish a job, get a home, have our "dream" car, etc. and wait until even our 30's before we "settle in and settle down" with a partner for life. We have kids later now, rather than in our early twenties. Which depending on your personal preference and situation can work out either way. Personally, I am happy I chose to have my kids earlier in life. It seems I can relate to them better now that they are young adults. We seem to be closer in many ways, since the "age" gap is not so far away. Since this world changes so quickly now, the longer you wait the more it has changed, and it seems the further that generation gap gets between your kids and you. I saw that with my on Dad, who was in his mid-thirties when I was born. Things in life has changed so much, from him seeing a portion o the depression, and women never working, to when I was a young adult women go to college, work, and juggle family, a marriage and a household all at the same time. He never understood that. He never "got" why I wanted to go to college. He never understood many of the things I wanted to do or did in my adult life. But, we were from almost two different planets because his life was so totally different than the time that I was born and growing up.
So, then we worry through our middle aged years about jobs, finances, homes, cars, bills, feeding kids, putting them through college, retirement funds, income taxes, and you name it. We concern ourselves with all kinds of things we "can" d something about, and then there are all the others that we still worry about, and honestly there is not one thing we can do about it. We cannot stop the sun from falling out of the sky. We cannot overly concern ourselves about our grown children. That is a huge one for me. Once my kids we "adults", and chose to live not with me, and they were of age, then even though I do of course want them to be happy and safe, and well etc., I am NOT going to worry every day whether they are going to drink a beer, or get a tattoo, or fall in the yard, or raise their own kids right! I can give them advice, if they want it. I can pray that they have the guidance they need from the Lord above, but me worrying a bout foolish things like whether they need that new car, or need to go on a 2 week vacation, or whether they change jobs, and so forth, there are a million things that I just cannot do one thing about, so why worry?
Then we begin to get to that "half-century" mark. Either we are married or alone, widowed or divorced, or happily still married to the love of our life. Which ever it is, we begin to have "concerns". We are concerned about bills, retirement , money, and health. We start to have new aches and pains, our bones creak, we may have some minor health issues like high blood pressure pop up, so then we begin to be overly worried about health matters. Believe me, if you watch day time television like my Mom does, hell they will have you in the grave by the time you are 55 with all they can find to say is wrong. Or they say they can "cure" you from every thing that is wrong with you, by a few drops of some "liquid" miracle medication.The ones that really drive me nuts are all of these "1 minute miracle" cures, that can take an "80 year old elderly lady" and make here look 40 years old in a minute. Wow, reckon how many women and men have jumped on that bandwagon and spent a small fortune on the stuff? You can bet one in about 4 that see the ads, will pay those 4 payments of only $24.95 to find out that is absolutely see that there is NO WAY, no how. Don't get me wrong, I do believe if you begin at an early age, taking good care of your skin, keeping it up through the years, then yes I think you certainly can have a much younger looking, more youthful appearance as far as skin goes. Eating right, hydrating right, staying out of the sun without protection, all of those things add up to usually a more youthful appearance. BUT thinking some miracle ointment you buy and use after using it once or twice, yet not taking care of your self the entire time of your earlier life, you are nuts if you feel any of those treatments really work.
We are thrown into all of these things from news, to magazines, to TV "tele-mericals, or "info-mericials", whatever you may want to call them, on everything from "soup to nuts" as the old saying goes. So, once again, somewhere, somehow, some stranger, gets into our "door" and into our "heads" making us even more stressed out about appearance, about health, and about all of the health and body issues each and every person on this Earth knows that someday, we are going to age, we are going to wear out some of our parts, and either have them replaced, put up with them aching and hurting, or pray something new and less invasive comes along the lines of being better, quicker and easier for us to be less pain free, have less aches, or worn out joints, and find a way to make our older lives more comfortable to live with.
So, is the "journey" from birth, to toddler, to young child, to preteen and teen. Then comes young adult, adult, middle age, older age, elderly, and to me, now even more than "elderly", that age that is beyond those elderly years more often now, when other things such as Alzheimer's, dementia, or a combination of those hit us, and we maybe in many ways still productive, but we go past that to almost as I said in the beginning of this "child like".... coming full circle. from the first moment we take a breath... until that very last moment, we take that very final breath...As I look back at my younger years, and great memories, I also have fond memories of my current life, and I am so glad that even though I suffer much chronic illness and pain, I have and am blessed with many fond happenings, people and memories throughout my life times.
I look forward to the years ahead and pray the "foggy" portions of the Lupus hold off so I can continue to write, which is the number 1 thing I love to do.

So, as you contemplate over your life, memories, and times to make new ones as they come,  I pray you also find many realms of happiness, strength, joy, and the omnipresence of what true life, without real fear is all about.

Friday, January 18, 2013

LIFE- "Flu" Interrupted!

Can you ever say that one again! LIFE! Surely comes to a complete and quick halt if you become emerged in this latest "flu bug". I cannot remember in the past decade of my life, other than having double pneumonia when something like an illness knocked me on my butt for 10 days or more, but this one certainly has. I am still reeling from the damned thing, honestly NOT feeling normal" at all even yet. Today, after fighting with extreme fatigue, total lethargy, no appetite (well more like everything tastes like cardboard), and the worst aches and pains other than my RA, and chronic pains than I have dealt with in my life. I vaguely remember having a bad case of the flu about 15 or so years ago that sent me to the ER directly from my job, of which I was ill for 3 weeks. I actually lost that job because of it being a "retail women's clothing store", it was right after Christmas when the Huge New Years Sale was going on and I, the manager was out almost all of the big sale sick as a dog.
I believe this one may have topped it. I had some nausea, and I really never ran much of a fever, but I did for a couple of days have chills, where I just could not get warm. But, it is (and I am yes still is) the severely painful almost like leg cramps, lower back pains that I thought maybe kidney stones they have hurt so badly, and my neck, shoulders, back, even the bottoms of my feet hurt, much like when you have a flare with Lupus or RA.
Of course it could be that I do have a mixed situation here, and do have a flare of Lupus to top it off. That might explain the lingering severe bone aches, and the type of tiredness that will not even allow you to drag yourself to the shower, bathroom, or kitchen for a drink, barely. I am NOT one to ask for help, unless I have had a surgery that incapacitates me, but this certainly did that. It is crazy.

My daughter called and her two youngest have had it, but they ran fever, and hardly had no other symptoms but it was the flu. Her husband who is NEVER ill, it put him to bed, like me, for 7 or more days, and he was still not at his best even after that. I really never had any "cold like" symptoms, no cough, no other signs or symptoms, mainly pain and fatigue. I did have severe headaches several times, but I had so much aspirin flowing through me for the body aches that the headaches never lasted very long. I am most sure that I picked up the "bug" from my Uncle Joe's funeral. Of course here it is the middle of flu season, and you are hugging on people you have not seen in a while, and most assuredly being a funeral people do come sick or not at times. So, even if they have no symptoms, they could still be carrying the germs around, and passing them on to you. I was also shocked to find out that some of the flu virus can stay alive something lie 8 HOURS after leaving the body! That means if a phone, a desk, a cabinet, a sink, a doorknob, just about any and everything we touch inside or outside of our homes, can be a potential "carrier" if someone ill has touched it! Also, and I have witnessed this, when someone's sneezes, it goes it looks like for yards and yards! I watched as my dog sneezed in the sunlight one day, and it spread for what looked like the size of a sofa or larger right away. So, if someone fairly close either coughs or sneezes droplets are in the air for a long way from you. W do not realize things like that, yet then when we get ill, and really do not think we were around anyone that was ill, how we got the germs. Well, even if it takes a few days to show symptoms, yet you are already contagious, think about people you see rarely in the store, shake their hands and not see them again for months. They could be ill, or possibly you are carrying it, and one of you does not know that in a few days one or both of you may be ill. So, that explains why thing spread so quickly. Especially an illness that can spread like this so easily just by being in the air, or on things you use daily. OF course getting immunized annually, getting immunized every 5 years for pneumonia, and taking any other immunizations that your health provider may suggest if your best protection from either getting ill, or having it as badly as you could have. A very mild two or three day "version" is much better than a version that puts your butt on the sofa and in the bed for 2 weeks or more. As I said, I still honestly do not even feel like sitting here for very long at a time. The aches and pains are still coming and going some, although not nearly as intense as 10 days ago, and the fatigue is also still with me, and it is not quite as earth shatteringly tiring as at first. That is another thing and maybe it is just me. When I get this type of fatigue, I am not necessarily "sleepy", when I say fatigued or tired. I am severely bodily fatigued, like I feel as if my legs weigh a ton, but generally I am NOT really sleepy! So, then you get even for me sick of watching movies that you have seen, and to hell with regular daytime television, IT all sucks! So, I shall close for now, with a couple of things. First of all, try to STAY AWAY from this FLU mess!!!! it is one heck of a not nice illness! Secondly, if you or someone you love does get this crap, be PATIENT with them! IF they are still sick in 4 or 5 days, believe me, they are probably still feeling like hell. And even after they are up and about after 10 days, they still feel like warmed over crap. So, give yourself, or those close to you a break. Go get the flu shots!!! It is NOT too Late!!!!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Getting Caught Up In The Flu Bug Season - A Bad Situation for Many Beginning the New Year

I have been so "under the weather" and felt as if I was "underneath a train" over the past 3 days, that I feel guilty about not being "here". I had posted a few days back thinking that the dramatic change in our weather here had brought on some terrible aches and pains in my joints. It tends to do that when we have pressure changes, changes with thunderstorms, humidity and so forth. It reeks havoc with those that have any type of joint, bone and even muscle issues. there is just something about the barometric pressure rising or falling, and then I always blame the drastic change in humidity that will make someone that feels just fine one day, be able to tell you 3 days before a bad storm strikes that it is coming in.
Actually, we could use joints on people such as mine to more accurately predict the weather than our own weather people now days. Kind of like it was when the first of the "Farmer's Almanac's " came out, (if you have never seen one, you should pick one up for the new year and keep up with it), there are all kinds of different things that can be dealt with, figured out, and so forth, from things like the pull of the moon, when it is full, or at all of the different phases, the soil, the temperature, the growing seasons, illnesses and different "remedies" that have been passed down from generations that have helped many not die honestly. In fact just this morning, I read an extremely interesting post on a friends page on one of the big places such as FB. It was about just this thing, involving onions. there were several really good stories about onions, and if you know about onions when you use them in cooking and so forth, those things make sense. Not only do onions "put off" a strong odor, they also tend to "absorb" things quickly. Smells, or different things even cooked with them, the onions tend to take on other items. Thus the idea of onions as a preventative for things such as the flu, or almost like a healing source to "pull out" an illness makes sense to me. Here is the stories:

ONIONS! I had never heard this!!!

In 1919 when the flu killed 40 million people there was this Doctor that visited the many farmers to see if he could help
them combat the flu...
Many of the farmers and their families had contracted it and many died.

The doctor came upon this one farmer and to his surprise, everyone was very healthy. When the doctor asked what the farmer was doing that was different the wife replied that she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in the rooms of the home, (probably only two rooms back then). The doctor couldn't believe it and asked if he could have one of the onions and place it under the microscope. She gave him one and when he did this, he did find the flu virus in the onion. It obviously absorbed the bacteria, therefore, keeping the family healthy.

Now, I heard this story from my hairdresser. She said that several years ago, many of her employees were coming down with the flu, and so were many of her customers. The next year she placed several bowls with onions around in her shop. To her surprise, none of her staff got sick. It must work. Try it and see what happens. We did it last year and we never got the flu.

Now there is a P. S. to this for I sent it to a friend in Oregon who regularly contributes material to me on health issues. She replied with this most interesting experience about onions:

Thanks for the reminder. I don't know about the farmer's story...but, I do know that I contacted pneumonia, and, needless to say, I was very ill... I came across an article that said to cut both ends off an onion put it into an empty jar, and place the jar next to the sick patient at night. It said the onion would be black in the morning from the germs...sure enough it happened just like that...the onion was a mess and I began to feel better.

Another thing I read in the article was that onions and garlic placed around the room saved many from the black plague years ago. They have powerful antibacterial, antiseptic properties.

This is the other note. Lots of times when we have stomach problems we don't know what to blame. Maybe it's the onions that are to blame. Onions absorb bacteria is the reason they are so good at preventing us from getting colds and flu and is the very reason we shouldn't eat an onion that has been sitting for a time after it has been cut open.


I had the wonderful privilege of touring Mullins Food Products, Makers of mayonnaise. Questions about food poisoning came up, and I wanted to share what I learned from a chemist.

Ed, who was our tour guide, is a food chemistry whiz. During the tour, someone asked if we really needed to worry about mayonnaise. People are always worried that mayonnaise will spoil. Ed's answer will surprise you. Ed said that all commercially-made mayo is completely safe.

"It doesn't even have to be refrigerated. No harm in refrigerating it, but it's not really necessary." He explained that the pH in mayonnaise is set at a point that bacteria could not survive in that environment. He then talked about the summer picnic, with the bowl of potato salad sitting on the table, and how everyone blames the mayonnaise when someone gets sick.

Ed says that, when food poisoning is reported, the first thing the officials look for is when the 'victim' last ate ONIONS and where those onions came from (in the potato salad?). Ed says it's not the mayonnaise (as long as it's not homemade mayo) that spoils in the outdoors. It's probably the ONIONS, and if not the onions, it's the POTATOES.

He explained onions are a huge magnet for bacteria, especially uncooked onions. You should never plan to keep a portion of a sliced onion.. He says it's not even safe if you put it in a zip-lock bag and put it in your refrigerator.

It's already contaminated enough just by being cut open and out for a bit, that it can be a danger to you (and doubly watch out for those onions you put in your hotdogs at the baseball park!). Ed says if you take the leftover onion and cook it like crazy you'll probably be okay, but if you slice that leftover onion and put on your sandwich, you're asking for trouble. Both the onions and the moist potato in a potato salad, will attract and grow bacteria faster than any commercial mayonnaise will even begin to break down.

Also, dogs should never eat onions. Their stomachs cannot metabolize onions.

Please remember it is dangerous to cut an onion and try to use it to cook the next day, it becomes highly poisonous for even a single night and creates toxic bacteria which may cause adverse stomach infections because of excess bile secretions and even food poisoning.

Please pass this on to all you love and care about.

— with Adonain Danny Rivera."

I am not sure exactly where the person got  this, but I found it extremely interesting, especially in these times of "medications" that we tend to take for granted as being the "fix-all" thus we just the because the doctor tells us they will help, rather than at least looking them up to see what they are, what they do, how they do it, do people benefit from the medications, or do they have horrible side effects??? I can't say a word because I have such an "empire" of medications that I take daily, along with more I take on a weekly basis. Yet, I have questioned each one of them. I have done my research on them. I know the side effects, and if the "good things" they do outweigh the bad side effects they can cause. And although with chronic illnesses, we are put on often lots of medications, then we put ourselves on different supplements etc, I still go through my own wide array of scripts periodically checking them out again, and making sure I feel they are doing what they should be. 
After reading this about the onion though, it took me back to those times when the majority of medications did not exist. there were very little, maybe an antibiotic, disinfectant, and some type of pain medication. So, most of these were used only on the very ill, or for surgery, etc. If you were ill with a flu, cold, ear ache and so forth, you were given the home remedies passed down from the generations to be used for the regular illnesses. There we no such things as immunizing against illnesses such as polio, pertussis, measles, mumps, chickenpox and so forth. I would imagine many of these now "known" illnesses were not even named back at that time. they knew they were "contagious" because often entire towns became ill or even died from one of them, but back then they may not have known what it was that caused the illnesses themselves. We have come a very long way in our medical knowledge, yet there is still so much more we often do not know when it comes to things we are genetically predisposed to. 
I just read the article about one of the competing women for the title of Ms. USA will be undergoing a complete double mastectomy right after the pagent next week. She had watch breast cancer ravage her Mom, Grandmother and Aunt I believe the article said, so she is going to not take a chance with her life. She has decided to take this what many feel is a drastic step, but one that will more than likely save her life. This story is even more something to think about, because a portion of her life, is about her "body". Or up until now, being able to be seen in a bikini, and all kinds of beautiful clothing, evening dresses and so forth, is what has brought her this far to winning the Ms. USA pageant. So, what a tremendous decision to have to make, but often they win these pageants up until this point, and from here, they go onto college, and to make a life, "after pageant" life years. So, it makes total sense to me, but still it is a sad and very difficult thing to deal with at 24 years old, pageant Queen or not. I commend her for her decision. 
So, from "flu" to Lupus, to "Breast Cancer"... pageant Queen's and daily life... we dwell in all types of "happenings" and steps in our lives... I big you wellness for you and your family... praying you are not dealing with the flu.. My daughter called and my Grandson, only running fever yesterday, not yet showing real signs of feeling bad, but he does have the flu. So, the "symptoms" or lack thereof are vast for this one this year.

Take care of you... and each other... Rhia

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Allowing the Weather To Rule Your Joints

Unless you have some type of issues with arthritis, joint injury, surgeries, replacements (yes, even totally replaced joints), you could not possibly comprehend what is meant by the title of this post. But, if you are between the ages of a year old (or at least where you are old enough to convey you are in pain) to over 100 years old, and have any type of arthritic illness, from osteoarthritis, to RA, gout, other illnesses such as Lupus, FM, CFS, and dozens of others, to have your joints hurt and ache so badly you could cry when the weather raises its ugly to head to roar, you just cannot fathom what it is like.

At this very moment, myself, and I am sure many more in my type of situation are suffering horribly with joint pains. From a mild ache, to almost a bone crushing stabbing pain, joints can leave you feeling horrid and not able to move at times. Weather changes, such as humidity (which for many is the worst), dramatic barometric changes. I do and try everything to get relief. I take loads of BC powders, well the maximum dosage I am allowed, to rubbing them, massaging, them, running hot water over them, rubbing different NSAID creams on me, taking extra strong pain medication that is also given to me by my physician for times such as these.

We, and as I really speak of me, do not want to feel like a whiner, or griper. But, the amount of pain chronic pain from joints can cause can reek havoc over a personal daily routine. I have always said I can tell the weather, especially when we have a drastic change ahead, like a thunderstorm, or very high humidity, I can, as well as just about anyone with joint issues will tell you what is going on with out even seeing the weather people on television. At times it may come on several days before we even have the new "cold" snap, or the depending on the barometric pressure changes, and especially rise in humidity brings on such severe pain and acutely. Like this past two days, I had been fine one moment, and within 15 minutes, I was hurting as if I did not have a pain pump, nor any medication what so ever in me. My body almost burned at every joint. You name it, especially the smaller joints, but even those that have had replacements, such as my knees will keep in me horrible pain. It comes on as I said above, 24 to 48 hours BEFORE the weather actually starts to change. Then by the time we are seeing the changes, I am usually in a world of hurt. Then it begins to level out as the weather levels out, even in a storm, as the pressures stabilize and the humidity, even high stays stabilize the pain leaves about as quickly as it came on. There are times I am left very tired, exhausted and fatigued in all ways, from mental to physical. I recover quickly, and within a day or so of the weather make itself even out, I feel "back to normal" whatever that is for me again. But, during those few days, it is sheer agony. Whether I sit, lay, stand, exercise or not, nothing will make a difference but Mother Nature herself putting things back in their normal order.

Not so long ago, doctors that "weather" and what people said about pain, aches in joints, doctors put off as a bunch of "bunk". I can recall telling my physicians years ago, as soon as the weather was going to have a very severe change, in pressure, humidity and so forth, I would hurt much more. Those are the times my migraines would be at their worst. Yet, up until the past 5 years or so, many doctors would "admit" it was "true" in many of their patients, the medical world did not recognize it as even being a symptom to assist in diagnosing some of these Rheumatic and Joint type of illnesses.

I never did get to complete this posting yesterday on Tuesday the 8th. I got some things done, such as I did get my kitchen curtains down, along with some other placements and so forth that needed to be laundered and did those things. I managed to literally force myself to "do something" and also rode my exercise bike for 40 minutes, so I would feel mentally like I had accomplished something the the day. Even though the intense pain, which does put me on my butt on the sofa also. Don't get me wrong, I do not claim to be some "super human" woman that can withstand it all, and keep right on ticking. I can also be one on the sofa for a few days, doing not much of anything but watching movies with the puppies. I try to avoid those times, and at least accomplish one or two tasks on my list. Emotionally it takes away some of the "guilty" feeling that just takes a bite out of my psyche, making me feel "less than" or worthless during those times I am "out of order" so to speak with a flare or whatever maybe causing some of the physically ailments that come on.

I am in the process of writing a blog posting about other illnesses, like Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, both know better as FM & CFS more than likely. Since I am not having a very good last two days, not being sure if I have contracted this bad flu going around, or if I am in the middle of a really bad flare from the Lupus, I will close this for now. I shall try and complete the post and get it up tomorrow. I realize many maybe here suffering from these illnesses alone or in combination with some of the AI illnesses. Since I also began this journey within all of my own plight of doctors, tests, medications, and symptoms at that time. they thought I had both or at least one of those also. Yet, now they see that my health issues are more than likely not related to FM/CE or CFS, but the Lupus and so forth. Yet, with so many that are going through the many tests, doctors, and trying all types of different therapies and medications to help them, I feel I need to include in my blog activity. More to come... take care and stay well. This flu situation is not sounding good at all... Rhia

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Life & It's Unexpected Not So Great Start to a New Year

Well, I was SO hoping for a New Year Good start, yet we had not great news yesterday evening. My Mom's brother suddenly and unexpectedly passed away yesterday. OF course it was a huge shock to Mom, and with everything else over the past couple of weeks, I know this hit her pretty hard. Then being the 1st day of a brand New Year, I know she is feeling like me, we prayed for "good" things. Anyway, she is also one sister, the "baby", her brother was the oldest of the three. Her sister, my Aunt is not in good health at all. She has a rare type of stomach cancer, that is not operable, and has just about responded as much as it will to chemo etc. So of course, that makes this even worse. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers. Between the stress of it all, Mom's scare thinking she had heart problems two weeks ago, in which honestly she is still kind of worrying off and on, even though things appear to be fine, and then we are totally blanketed with the flu in our town. Even all three of our doctors and PA's were all ill and the entire office all out last week with the flu. Some of them still are not over it all, thus as I said it is just not a great time to have to be out in the very cold weather and then exposed to the flu. None of us, and me with the compromised autoimmune issues, really don't need to take the chance either. But, I have to be with Mom and help her through this, plus my cousins and I were very, very close our entire childhood. So, this hits me hard also. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers over the next days to come as we deal with yet another one of life's unexpected trauma's. thank so much my dear friends and family, Rhia

UPDATE 1/4/2013

It does not sound well with my Mom's "baby" sister either. I spoke to another cousin last night who is very good friends with my Aunt. The cancer is not good at all from what she told me. My Aunt and her had talked at Christmas time, and basically my aunt told her she was "ready to go". Undoubtedly, the "stomach" cancer has metastasized and must be spreading over her body from the information I got. She must not be very well, because she did not come for the Rosary last night. They are going to try and come for the Funeral this morning at 10 am. Last night was certainly not easy. This is the first time I have seen any of my 1st cousins in well over 10 years at least. I know I had not seen them since I returned from Seattle to TX 7 years ago. In fact, My other Aunt, which would be this Uncle's Wife, passed away almost to the date of my coming back. She also died of a long battle with colon cancer. This would be my Mom's Brother's Wife who just passed away, so Mom's Sister in Law. She passed away about 10 days before I could get back, which was the 10th of December 2005. So, that was difficult to talk about also with my cousins. As I said it was bittersweet. I was so happy to get to see them. My oldest cousin and I were "running buddies" until high school. We did everything together! We were always at each others homes, or going somewhere together. Then we kind of just went through a phase in High School, and drifted apart. She was an athlete, and went to the Catholic school, and of course I was just in the regular High School here. Between my getting engaged and married so young, and then she also got married a couple of years after I did, etc, and she has 5 children! Twin boys and 3 girls! OF course they are all grown like mine now, which seems so impossible. Then other 2 brothers were just about 3 to 5 or 6 years or so younger than us, so we used to bug the heck out of the both of them! LOL! We would get them to play dress up, and then they had us playing some "war" game outside etc. I can remember very well those times as all of us as kids. Then they have the "youngest" sister that was born after we were up almost in high school. As I said, it was a bittersweet meet, and was certainly not the way family should have to see one another after that many years. We vowed we would not wait again until some tragic happens. But, all of us understand that lives our so busy, too busy, as my cousins Aunt on her Mom's side said as we were leaving. When we were kids, and back in the 70's and even the 80's, life seemed so much less"complicated". We seemed to have time to have a holiday dinner or a family get together, and not have it be years between or a funeral that brought us together. Our worlds are "TOO full"!!! We have too much to do when it is so much that it keeps us away from our closest family members. These are my Mom's siblings, and their children, so they are very close. Plus this is the last of my Mom's family. Her and my Aunt who is so ill with the cancer, and me are really all of the family Mom has that are close. So, if something happens to my Mom's sister, Lord knows how she is going to take it. She did "okay" last night, but as people came and gave their condolences, Mom kept saying "my family is almost all gone". So, today at the funeral also is going to possibly be a very difficult time if my Aunt is going to look like she is not doing very well. She had also made the comment that she was really not eating at all but just drinking Ensure, and I gather they are possibly now giving her strong pain medications, but I just kind of gathered that from the conversation. I will know more if she is even able and well enough to make the funeral today. Yesterday, was just a nightmare in a hundred ways for me. It was enough that I had the funeral and Mom, but I also had lots of my "own" stuff I needed to do that was important, such as it was "bill day" for me. Plus of course I had some other paperwork that needed to be taken care of, and even trying to get things ready to pay my own taxes on the house etc, and I have to take care of getting Mom's paid for where they need to be done. Then Mom left it up to me, so rather than send flowers, we donated in my Uncle's Memory to the Arthritis Foundation. He had "gout" along with probably osteoarthritis, but it was so bad he was almost not able to walk and needed knee replacements I think. He just was not going to go through that. As my Cousin said, and she was talking about her Mom, that My Aunt "called him home". Which is probably true. Him, my Dad, My Grandfather, Dad's brothers, and many friends are now "fishing, talking about deer hunting" and having a party in heaven about now. They are all together. Honestly, the was this world is and where it is headed I almost "envy" them. They are "out" of this world of hatred, disdain, hard hearts, greed, and all of the terrible ways that things are happening here now. They are in a peaceful place, that none of this worldly mess matters. For that I do envy them. So, I made the donation and done the paperwork for that. Also, I am not that well, but I am keeping my mouth shut. Every one of my fingers from deep in the nail beds down the middle of now at least 6 of the are split open and bleeding, along with the cuticles also. Plus I am of course emotionally, mentally, and physically drained. We do not even have our tree down yet and the rest of our Xmas decor put away, so I have that hanging over my head. I have so much to play "catch up" on, from doing all of the "deep" house cleaning I had planned to other paperwork, and their are upcoming doctor visits, and you name it, it is on my shoulders right now. Don't get me wrong, I am so glad III CAN help my Mom get through all of this, but in all of that, what I have really gotten a very good look at is my own Mom and her frailness. Which really took a toll on me also. I have just seen it mentally,because of how much she is not remembering, and then some things she says I am really not sure is true. Then, just the way she is walking, more "feeble" each day, etc. So I just see that she is also even though in good health right now, is aging what seems like faster now. I guess because I am with her all the time, I see it but it really does not hit me until, I kind of get an more objective look from something like this happening. Then I can comprehend the ways thing are. Anyway, today is the funeral, and there is a family meal at my cousins church afterwards. So this will be another "early" starting day, and a long one by the time everything is over, and I get Mom home and myself home. Please continue your thoughts and prayers. I realized more than ever last night all of us truly are in need of it. I am so appreciative of all here....  

Continued early Saturday Morning 1/5/2013

We survived the funeral. That was the 1st time I had been in the Catholic Church in many years. Honestly, since I went with my Grand parents and also my Uncle, Aunt and 4 cousins when we were all young, it brought back lots of memories of my Uncle who passed away, and his wife, My Aunt, who also passed away just after my Dad in 2005. The Mass was beautiful, and there were lots of family members there. The weather was very cold here and in fact, sleet fell a little yesterday morning early. But, it cleared and the sun came out a little bit in the early afternoon. One of the 4 cousins and his wife belong to one of the local Methodist Churches and that church had a wonderful lunch for the family after the interment at the cemetery. Mom was not really feeling like going to the cemetery. So, we came home for about an hour, and then went back for the lunch. Thank Goodness my other Aunt, that I have talked about, my Mom's youngest sister, that has the stomach cancer, her husband, and my cousin of that family, and her husband came along with them from the Mesquite area. I was so happy to get to see them. We were not for sure my Aunt would even physically be able to make it. So, when we saw them coming into church, all of us we very blessed to know she at least was able to come down for the funeral. She felt well enough to come also for lunch, although bless her heart, it is honestly not good. She is very, very frail. She was also very "shaky", and you could tell the medication they are giving her is really making her extremely weak. I also noticed she had something going on and it could also be medication related (she is taking a very high powered chemo pill that costs something like 600.00 A DAY!!) she frequently kind of either blinks or almost squints her eyes all the time. At first I wondered if she may have had a slight stroke, but after talking with her I feel it is just the extremely strong medications causing that side effect. After getting to see them, it was a very mixed blessing for me. As I sit here now, and tears stream down my face, I realize that we may not see her alive again. Even Mom said that as we took her home yesterday. That is Mom's only sibling left, and with that said, Mom, I can tell has got that weighing heavily on her heart and mind. Even the entire funeral and luncheon was such a mixed emotional ordeal. For the most of us, we have not seen one another in years, even though we all live in the same small town. We talked seriously about how that is just a shame, that it takes something so tragic to get us in the same room together, when we live a couple of miles from each other. We vowed to not allow this to happen again, and to keep in touch, and try to get together or at least those of us that can as often as possible. But, I know that if I, or one of us do not make a vow to make that happen, by initiating it, we won't. Words at that time in life are always said with good intention in mind. But, then we get "busy".... too damned busy in "life", and we make excuses about that mess of being busy, and the next thing you know, we will be at yet another funeral saying the same thing. I made a promise to myself, that I would initiate us trying to get together. Even if it is just a few of us that can, but every few months at least now I can call some of my cousins, and see if they want to try and have a lunch or just visit for a couple of hours and have coffee. Anything not to lose contact for so many years, due to the silly excuse of being too busy. Their kids are grown, mine are grown, and even though there are jobs etc... "stuff" is NOT as important as FAMILY! It hurts me to think we have allowed "crap" to keep us apart until my own Uncle passes away suddenly. I am to blame also. I realize my illness keeps me down, or at doctors, or in the hospital... yeah, yeah, but still I can MAKE TIME to at least make a phone call, or get an email address etc... We tend to do "lip service" at these times in life, saying we will, and we have very good intentions at those moments. But, when we leave from that moment, all too often, either it it forgotten, or once again, we get wound into the web of "life" and tangled into lots of "things" and stuff that is not nearly as important as we think it is. I am "preaching to the choir" here as the saying goes. I am just as guilty of this as anyone. But, this will be on my "updated" 2013, things I want to do differently in 2013 and beyond. I pray I will think it through, and make sure I at least make an attempt to check on my cousins, etc. from time to time, if nothing but at least a phone call. Maybe that phone call can assert all of us to do more.. see each other, or then call more often. We never realize just how very short life it, until we get to this point. We begin to lose family members, we see how much older we are, and how time has flown by and we have just missed out in one another's lives. It is a crying shame, that some of my cousins children I had never met. It just should not be that way at all. It is not like we were upset or mad at one another. We just have been wrapped up in the freaking madness of life's crap, and one day you wake up and realize just how much of what if REALLY IMPORTANT IN LIFE you have totally MISSED!!!! It is the same with my own kids and my Grand Kids. I miss out on so much of their lives. I realize for that situation we do have 7 plus hours different between us, but still I do not want that to be the excuse that keeps us apart until we have a tragedy hit. I cab sit here and say well, it is hard for us to travel down to the coast to see them. I can use the excuse they are so busy I don't want to interrupt their lives. I can use the excuse that my illnesses keep me close to home for the most part. I can use the excuse that my "ex" is down there, thus honestly I stay away because of him living down there.. yet I already have missed out on 3 years, 7 years, and about 12 years of my Grand Kids' lives. I see them a couple of times a year, and the two youngest ones do not really "know" who I am when they see me. Of course they know I am "Nana", BUT they are not close to me, they are not able to hug me and know daily or weekly, or hell even monthly that I am their Grand Mom. IT sucks. It truly sucks, and I am as much to blame as anyone. Lots of things that go into our lives, that we use for excuses, that we don't ponder enough over, that we lose sight of, and track of, lots of TOO MUCH WATER flowing underneath the bridges of our lives, all the while "time" is ticking, ticking, ticking away. With each "tick" another moment in life has passed us by. That is just one more minute, one more breath of life taken, one more thought gone, all leading down the hill, or up, however you want to call it... to that place that we shall be here no more but dwell with our Father in our true home. So, we then leave our "family" here behind to grieve, as we cross over into the land of perfect peace, with no pain, no suffering, and back into the arms of all the family we have "lost" before us. They are never lost, just briefly not in our humanly lives. As I close this for now, and I realize I have "said" a great deal this morning, for their is a very large amount that I am feeling, from the emotional, mental, physically, and feeling realms of my own humanness. If YOU take a message and walk away with it from this, I pray it is NOT to allow LIFE to get in the way, of LIVING what is the MOST IMPORTANT to you. With my honor, and as always love to you, Hugs, Rhia
 (after this post)
 I had also posted the words to a Crosby and Nash song they wrote and sang in the early 80's "Let the Waters Come and Carry Us Away"... "so much time to make up everywhere we turn, time we have wasted on the way, so much water moving, underneath the bridge, Let the waters come and carry us away.... I love the couple of stanza's ..."OH, when you were young, did you question all the answers, did you envy all the dancers, who had all the nerve, Look round you now, you must go for what you wanted, Look at all my friends who did and got what they deserved..."