A dear friend of mine that I met in fact at last years Annual Summit on the Hill by the Arthritis Foundation had posted and asked me if I had filled out my "Travel Award". Well, yes I have, and as I told her, I had made "Platinum Ambassador" thus I believed it was my "obligation" to come to the Summit. Of course I would try to go whether I had made that or not. My entire world evolved around that Summit last year in March. I had in fact "won" a Travel Award, after putting my application in at the very last moment. I felt I had probably missed out since I was so late in even knowing about being able to go by getting a "Travel Award". So, by the time I filled out my paperwork and emailed it in, I feared I would be too late. But, within a few days, I received a "glowing email" that I had in fact been granted a Travel Award to D.C. for the Summit that took place and does take place each year around the 24th through about the 26th of March. I will never forget how much I got out of the Summit even being my very first time there, and just how much more I wanted to be a "better voice"... activist, advocate, blogger, writer, and then I wanted of course to be an Ambassador for the AF. I was not sure I would be able to get enough advocacy work in to make "Platinum" especially after my husbands accident, but I was SURE I would give it all I could in between everything that took place for those months following that fateful day in March. I've played it over and over in my mind. I have spoken about it numerous times online, and in person. I've written about it, blogged about it, and still to this day, at times it feels almost surreal.
It is almost impossible to believe all that happened at that time did. What is more impossible to believe is that the entire ordeal with the wreck that Jim went through, the months of hospital and rehab after that, and then months of outpatient rehab, the red tape that still goes on and on with the lawyer, and all of the fighting we have done to get him into physicians etc... it is truly a night mare. Maybe that is truly why I have night terrors almost every night of my life. There are not many nights that I don't wake up and I cannot breathe. I am "suffocating" in one way or the other in the night terror, but I am also in real life having massive problems breathing. Most nights I am up, trying half asleep, half awake and still almost in a dream like state trying to find my inhaler and the nasal spray, so I can once again breathe. It is crazy insane, but it is so very, very true.
I've done a good bit of research on night terrors, and of course the amount of stress from the accident in itself is enough to send me into a frenzy. When you add in my own health problems, and the fact that I have had to endure a great deal of my own pain once again, and the entire situation with my teeth, or no teeth now, the full set of dentures... of which the bottoms STILL will NOT stay in place, thus I am still not eating as I should, and by the end of the day, I just want to take the damned things out and throw them across the lawn into the street and say to hell with all of it. Of course the issue of also having "complications" which for me, what is new, yet they always seem to surprise me... of which involves my sinus cavity on the right side... and it is the maxillary sinus passage, which I have already been told, that I need to have repaired, I am sure has sometimes a great deal of reasoning behind my night mare like breathing problems. But, when you are facing another 7,000.00 PLUS out of pocket since you can't get a damned dental plan worth a flip, OR as this should be paid by regular Health Insurance, because a "chronic HEALTH Illness" is what caused me to lose my teeth in the first place should pay a portion of it. But, I have fought "tooth and nail" (no pun intended)... and I have just gotten way too weary to fight them anymore about paying any of it. Of course now, I changed insurance on January 1, thus you can believe that makes it entirely impossible to get either one of them to pay a dime ....
There is "after the fact of me already being out thousands" a "non-profit" that is for dental issues, mainly caused from autoimmune illnesses or cancer patients. But, there are way too many people needing the help versus the dentists and oral surgeons that will try and help out of generosity and not expecting either to have lots of people that will help.
Baylor dental college in Dallas also has certain things students do, while the professors and doctors watch, but you will much pay like 278.00 just to walk in the door. Then the 78.00 is a "fee" non-refundable, and the 200.00 is to apply towards care you are given, or if they can't help you then you get the 200.00 back. I know I went there to have my 4 wisdom teeth cut out all at once. In fact I was newly married, and my Dad drove me up there and home. I looked like a chipmunk with a full mouth of acorns for over a week. But, they charged a great deal less that having that done in a regular oral surgeons office.
As I leave behind so much "sadness" and "darkness" from 2014, I am trying my best to hold onto 2015 being a positive year, full of prosperity, not just financially, but more in the "domain" if you will, of getting things accomplished. I am trying to stay as far away as I can of thinking about all that took place in 2014, trying to look as each day a new one, that can mean much more as far as my writing, my advocacy, my activism, not only online, through my blog and writing, but I hope to be more involved in trying to find a way for my entire community of Ennis and Ellis County to become knowledgeable about the Autoimmune Illnesses, their symptoms, their lack of being able to be diagnosed, and to educate those that are surrounding me day in and day out right here, even as next door neighbors. I've come to see as of late, that there are MANY people that have some type of AI disease, FM, CFS/ME, Chronic Pain, right here that I could help, if given some assistance on how to go about starting an "awareness campaign" locally. We are SO LACKING in the understanding of Lupus, RA, Sjogren's (boy this one we REALLY NEED some understanding on), and MS... Raynaud's, Diabetes 2, autoimmune arthritis, autoimmune psoriatic arthritis... and the list goes on and on.
In fact, just about the time I was finally "diagnosed" with first MTCD & UCTD.. that turned into RA, Lupus, and the Sjogren's and Raynaud's was showing immediately when the MCTD first became the "name" of what was going on with me. There were two gentlemen (which is rare in the first place for men to have AI illnesses) both of them around the same age, both going to the church we were going to at that time, and both had Grave's Disease. What makes it even more unusual is men for the most part don't have "thyroid" issues either. Usually women have more of a propensity to have any or all of these illnesses and disorders.
So, right there being in a Church, with two guys, both almost the same age, both having Grave's disease was enough for me to absolutely know we had a much larger group of people with autoimmune illnesses. Both of then underwent treatment and both were "cured"... put into remission. My understanding is that once Grave's disease is in remission, that is permanent. Unlike many of the other AI illnesses, they "can" go into remission, but more than likely you will undergo swings of "active" disease symptoms, and then inactivity, yet there are no real "cures" for any of them.
That is why for me, I really would like to find a way, with the help of some of our community leaders, to get a group, or some type of monthly, weekly, however... crowd in a "face to face" type of environment to help them further their knowledge about their own, friends, or loved ones AI illnesses. I also would love to help people and physicians in "learning" how to talk about these diseases, along with how to talk about medications, side effects, long term "goals" or what to expect from having an AI or more than one, and what that will do in the years to come. Will more medication be needed, will hopefully there be more research, and possibly medications coming out? All of the questions that either patients themselves feel it is "wrong" to ask, or for the doctors who honestly are not as well versed on these illnesses, and how they address them to their patients. This includes all medical staff. From the person who answers the phone, to the nurses, lab techs, doctors, and other staff ALL of them need to be very well versed in these dreadful illnesses. For one thing, you maybe "well" and feel fit as a fiddle one moment, and within hours be severely ill and need hospitalization. Often times there is not a "warning" of impending AI and their flares. They can come on within moments, and you don't even know what hit you until it has. Unlike the flu, a cold, and other illnesses where you can certain "symptoms" like a forewarning of being ill, AI's can "attack" at any time they please.
So, when I call my PCP, and the girl that answers the phone is either not aware of my patient status OR she may not know about a "flare" of Lupus... she may insist that I "come in" and be seen. Well, sometimes that is a necessary... but at times, depending on my symptoms, my doctor may allow me to fore go the trip to the office for a visit, and just come in for a corticosteroid injection and a script for a high dose tapering down 14 days round of Prednisone.
Well, as I said, if the woman that answers that phone is "new", and so forth, I may have to make an uncalled for trip to sit in that office, to get the exact same thing I asked for. So, I've exposed myself to other illnesses, especially in the Winter. I've also wasted the doctors time, my time, and caused some other patient who truly may need to have been seen, to wait for a day. So, it is truly unjust for everyone. But, if whom answers the phone either knows me well enough, OR they understand the workings of come of these diseases, he or she may already be on top writing a note, taking down the information so they can talk to the doctor BEFORE making me come in for a totally uncalled for trip.
So, there are many involved in all types of health care that should be very "up" on autoimmune illnesses, diseases, symptoms, medications, and all that wrapping them up in neat newspaper, with a bow around it.
The very latest of challenges that many of us have had to hop over, or will trail and error finally get something nailed into the heads of the medical professionals, far and wide.
Interestingly enough, the UK tends to be "up" on the latest and greatest when it comes to being the leader in new medications, clinical trials, and finding out more than just about anyone around the globe. Often times I've noticed that Britain may have a "pilot" medication in the works. As soon as it is approved by the Brit's, you can bet the USA will be setting for us to jump up, and get to scrambling together researchers, grants and funding, clinical trials, and all on the band wago. What happens often times with a situation such as that. If the "CDC" of Britain signs off on a new medication, it means that the "medication" we put into the hands of researchers here that is basically the same, may not have to cost as much and those types of medications and treatments are sometimes able to be "fast tracked" into production. So, that is great for our economy, great for the Pharmaceutical companies, patients, doctors and so forth, because it gets here, and gets the door, helping to ultimately save lives...which ALL are great events when it comes to those with chronic autoimmune, incurable. painful, night mare diseases.
As 2015 "rolls in", I am hoping it allows me to try and "roll on through" with this blog, with the Ambassador (Platinum) work, and all of the other activist activities I so want to participate in.
Wish me luck as I am preparing to once again try to write the "Ultimate Book"... and get it published. I am also working on the more "fun" book, that will include many of the TX "sayings"... different words and how they tend to have different meanings in the South and in TX.. and many of the what some might call "odd" traditions we engage in here... in the Lone Star State!
"Through my heart's work of writing, I share with you my complex journey a top the mountain, sliding down, crawling up, & living through the realms of Autoimmune Arthritic Illnesses. Taming "The Wolf" Thru each Day... One Step at a Time … Together We Are Learning to Survive. Please follow along, to New Beginnings - looking Thru the Window Pane of Pain in life where we shall find our journey leading us to - New Perspectives
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Anticipating the 2015 Arthritis Foundation Annual "Summit on the Hill"!
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